Coaching Presence is one of the 11 ICF Core Competencies. And since all of the competencies are delicately interwoven, it could be said that without Coaching Presence there would be no Active Listening, Effective Feedback or Powerful Questioning. After all, how can we hope to listen, question, and reflect when we are not fully present? It is so important for us as coaches to hone this skill professionally and yet, how easy is it to achieve in our personal lives? And how can our ability to strengthen this skill in our personal lives support our coaching growth?
When it comes to how presence shows up in our personal lives, most of us would say we have some work to do. We tell ourselves; “I’m going to stay in the present” and in the time it takes to think those words, the present is long gone. We may find ourselves firmly grounded in the future; “Did I confirm that lunch meeting?” or skipping through the past; “What possessed me to volunteer for the school fundraiser?”
Gurus, well-meaning friends and evolved colleagues alike tell us to “be here now” and “take one day at a time.” They extol the virtues of the present as though it were as wonderful as a pair of new shoes, as relaxing as a Swedish massage and as satisfying as a hot fudge sundae.
With so much endorsement and with our true knowledge and experience of the power of presence, we continue our commitment to become more skilled at being present in our personal lives. And, of course the commitment to be present in our personal lives will translate directly to our ability to be present as coaches. And although it starts with commitment, we will not get far without awareness, practice and a community of support.
Awareness and practice are key. How often have our minds veered from the present like a sleepy driver on a lonely stretch of highway, considering our to-do list or when we will clean out the closet? With awareness we are able to wake up behind the wheel and start driving again.
How do we notice that we are no longer truly present to our client, child, spouse or friend? And how do we use that information to practice being in the present again? The more we practice recommitting in the moment, the easier it becomes.
All of this is so much easier when we surround ourselves with like-minded people – a community that supports our commitment to coaching through the ICF Core Competencies. We enjoy that camaraderie at our local chapter meetings, in educational settings, and with our professional colleagues.
Keeping the conversation alive is key and being with a group of people who are excited about investigating the coaching process and all of the core competencies, is a wonderful way to support continued learning as coaches.
What does having a powerful coaching presence mean for you?