“Mindfulness improves listening, communication and increases presence and outcomes.
And presence is the most important coaching skill”
Magdalena Mook – CEO ICF
As coaches, we’re called called to help people as best we can. It’s not just a profession, it’s calling.
People trust us to make a difference in their lives and I believe this is a sacred trust.
I think you do too.
But like many, I didn’t start out to be coach.
I used to work in technology for Microsoft as a speaker and trainer
When all the while, I was really wanting to help people more directly. So even though I had written technical books and was speaking all over the world, I spent most of my spare time seeking out and studying with world class somatic therapists and teaching meditation.
You see, a while back (before Microsoft), I had a world-class breakup in a relationship that resulted in my entire world coming down. This was totally unexpected and my world turned upside down. No ordinary heartbreak, this was an epic meltdown. So intense, I lost my job. After a couple of weeks pretty much complete dysfunction, I woke up one morning and said “I need professional help!”
So I sought out a therapist in the area.
In the very first session I was talking to him about the breakup and after about 5 minutes, he stopped me, and said the most unusual thing. He said “Did you notice that while you were talking, your hand was making a fist?”
I was annoyed somewhat, but you know what, he was right!
I was unconsciously making a fist and relaxing then making a fist and relaxing all the while I was talking.
But then he said an even more unusual thing!
“If your fist could talk, what would it be saying?”
That seemed really odd. But hey, he was the professional so I went with it.
And this was the beginning of a very great revelation.
With his skillful help, I connected with the message my body was saying outloud, that my words could not.
No wonder I was so bent out of shape. The breakup had smashed open a door in my broken heart and a tsunami of emotion had came pouring out. In the chaos, it all seemed like it was about my breakup, when actually it was also about decades worth of unexpressed emotion about relationships.
Knowing that was the beginning of a huge healing journey.
AND THIS WAS ONE SESSION!
At the end of the session, I asked him “what was this thing you had me do with my hand?”
He replied “it’s something use called somatic psychology.”
I decided right then and there,
“I have to learn everything there is to know about this!” and proceed to find and study with the late Ron Kurtz, the founder of Hakomi, one of the first forms of somatic psychology, and other amazing teachers in mindfulness, meditation, group dynamics, contact improvisation and others – for several years.
Even with all this training and practice I kept working in tech. After all there are worse jobs than travelling the globe speaking for Microsoft at conferences and trainings.
When COVID hit, like a lot of folk, I was laid off.
Now was the time to commit.
There’s a lot of need in the world and I felt I had not put the skills I had learned to their best use. In fact, I felt like I was much better coach than a technologist, But more than this – there was calling that I could no longer ignore.
After all, as I into somatics, right? So when I asked “what does my body want” – the answer was loud and clear – “start coaching. The time is now. The need is great.”
So I made the leap and started my own practice. I also started The Language of Mindfulness podcast, wrote a book (being edited), landed two TEDx talks (both cancelled due to Covid) and co-founded The Futures is Mindful, an online event on mindfulness in the workplace.
But I had another huge wake up call!
On my coaching journey, I completed a year and half of training to obtain the ACC credential from the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
As you can see from the quote at the top by Magdalena Mook, CEO of the International Coaching Federation – coaching presence is one of the core coaching competencies, and mindfulness is a pre-requisite for that – but here is little training on exactly how to be mindful and present in sessions!!!
In addition, training on the incredible somatic techniques I had learned, adapted for coaching, is almost absent!
It seems almost tragic to me that coaches are being trained by thousands while these crucial skills that improve every aspect of coaching are pushed to the sidelines or not even discussed.
It’s like training a carpenter without a hammer.
I took a hard look at the how I adapted all I had learned into a coaching content. Was there a method here? Can this be taught?
The answer is yes.
I mapped out a process I call The Somatic Insight Cycle.
The cycle is a roadmap for your session work, and helps you skillfully guide clients to discover their natural resourcefulness and resilience. Then, when empowered in this way, they look back on their problems – they look very different.
I call the the course The Mindful Coach Method – an eight-week live/online course to help coaches learn the method and The Somatic Insight Cycle(tm) so you can be the coach that people need and want.
And because I’m a technologist, incorporating the latest research and supporting technology is important to me. The class includes essential information about neuroscience and why it matters to you and your client. Also practices from recent research in brief mindfulness/social mindfulness are built in, and and even an SMS system during the class that has been shown to support engagement.
In my heart of hearts, I know this much – this approach is what many coaches need to take their practice to the next level, and what many clients are yearning for.
Is this you?
Are you wanting to make a real difference in people’s lives?
If so, it would be my honored privilege to welcome you to the next class starting in late September.