Coaching is Like That
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been enjoying the book, Deep Work by Cal Newport. He contends that the many distractions of our day lead to and embody shallow work which is of little consequence. He advocates for deep, meaningful work which can have high impact. To illustrate the nature and importance of deep work, Newman uses master craftsmen, such as blacksmiths and wheelwrights.
Master craftsmen fulfill a noble and meaningful task as they work raw materials using tools unique to their craft. From the depths of their being, they intimately interact with the materials to create the finished product. This process takes time.
The craftsman believes there is an inherent value in the materials and a unique task the materials are meant to perform in the final product. Every piece of material has its own distinct personality and subtle virtues which cry out to be cultivated and nurtured. In himself, the craftsman cultivates the skill of understanding the materials and the ability to work with them in such a way that they fulfill the unique value and purpose already present in the material. Recognizing all this, the craftsman relates to the materials and the task with a sense of sacredness.
Coaching is like that.
As a coach, I intimately interact with the client using carefully honed skills and tools unique to the coach. The process takes time and patience on the part of the coach and client.
I believe every client is unique, valuable, whole, competent, capable, and not in need of “fixing.” Every client has their own personality, strengths, and virtues which are a part of their potential as a person. Each is unique and has a unique mission to achieve. My job is to cultivate and nurture the realization of their potential in their being as well as their doing. I don’t force clients to do what I want or to follow my agenda. I help them clarify their agenda and do what they were created to do.
I am constantly cultivating my skill in the coaching craft to understand, respect, serve, and support my clients in reaching the potential and possibilities already present in them. I treat the coaching process and the client, their individuality, mission, and potential, as sacred.
There’s one more way to describe coaching.
Newport, C. (2016). Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. New York: Grand Central Publishing.