Knowing ‘us’ – the relationship
When I meet the ‘other’, I enter a field of relational dynamics – some of which will be outside my awareness. Occasionally, coaches can feel intimidated by their coachees. One coach worked through this in super-vision, by first learning about the root of his habitual response to strong coachees. He began to understand cognitively, how this pattern had formed in his life and then changed his thinking around it – “ I don’t need to keep doing that”. Over time, he completely changed the relational dynamics with his client. He now feels much more empowered and they continue to work together. So, our personal history matters in this very personal, relational work of coaching.
So does the in-the-moment encounter with our coachee. In ‘A General Theory of Love’, we read that our limbic brain confers on us a largely unconscious ability to read emotion and relate to others. This indicates that “coach and client are engaged in a process of reciprocal influence’. Bill Critchley. And there’s more: contemporary sciences make it clear that the electromagnetic field emanating from our heart centre has a major impact on our relationships and conversations – without our saying a word. There is so much going on between coach and coachee!
‘the heart’s field plays an important role in communicating physiological, psychological, and social information between individuals.’ Rollin McGraty Heart Math
Have a look at some of your relationships with coachees and note their qualities. Which ones might need a little attention? How can you find out more about the ‘stuff’ between you – that ‘fabric’ I wrote about in the previous blog?
- How much/little am I aware of the energetic exchange between clients and myself?
- Can I respond to what I know about this?
- Can I hold Self and Other in the same frame of perception/thought/imagination as I speak with clients?
Edna Murdoch 2012. Course Director, ICF Approved Diploma in Coaching Supervision