A Coaching Model Created by Hedvig Berry Wibskov
(Confidence Coach, CHINA)
In many ways, I have been coaching my whole life. I’m one of those people who was taught from childhood to respect, honor, and positively revel in the spoken word. The exchange of ideas, two people talking and really connecting….Well, it just doesn’t get much better than that!
For me, there is no better place to connect with people than on a stage. I do understand that public speaking isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that standing up in a meeting can make your heart race. It turned out that this love plus understanding partnered with a big dose of empathy, meant that I was really good at teaching other people how to speak on a stage, too.
Then one day, it became more than just speeches. My students told me, ‘We are learning more than public speaking. We are learning to have confidence and our confidence at the podium is permeating into other areas of life. Can we call you a confidence coach?’
I liked the sound of that. I relished the idea of helping others find their confidence, find their voice. For me, that is the ultimate form of self expression and empowerment. WIN-WIN!
Everyone is welcome
It sounds strange to me to try to define who is my client, much less my ideal client. I don’t believe my coaching model is applicable if I try to define who would be on the other side of it. My ideal client is whomever the Universe puts in my path at any given moment, on any given day. I believe my only ‘job’ is to stay open to the other person.
In that regard, my coaching model was formed through several discussion groups regarding how a coach can prepare herself for coaching. Should a coach have prescribed methods or prescribed questions for a client? Or Is it possible to start fresh with each person and go in faith that I will have the words in the moment when the I need them?
Yes. Yes, I do believe that because I have felt that perfect coaching moment. I have felt when the energy pours down over me and through me and I am fully focused on the person on the other end of the phone line or the other side of the table. I have been blessed throughout my coaching journey with several truly life-changing coaching moments. Those moments when the clarity is so real that you are almost a bystander watching it happen.
Thank God for Good Guidance
On April 5, I was fortunate to be in Leon VanderPol’s course on Power Listening where this coaching clarity was described in a truly significant way. Our discussion included terms like validation, as in validating the person’s life and situation by listening to them, i.e. really hearing them.
When you say to your client, ‘I can hear how frustrating this is for you.’ You are listening in, listening them into existence.
The rest of my notes go like this:
‘The need to have the next question ready takes away your ‘present presence’: you’re not listening anymore. You might miss a very important detail. There is a spaciousness in the waiting. The waiting to listen to yourself during a session. Waiting to feel, what should I do in this moment?’
And then came my very favorite part and one of my most memorable ICA moments. Leon concluded the class with this most profound statement:
‘When the coaching experience is GOOD, it is TRANSFORMATIVE on both sides. When the KNOWING and the way forward just RISES UP and REVEALS itself. [It is] A meeting of the MINDS.’
It was really the word ‘both’ that struck me. The WIN-WIN of coaching that is defined when both parties are open and giving, when it is a ‘meeting of the minds’ and a meeting of two energies.
Eureka! I know that feeling! It is a feeling that gives is as good as I can describe: It is ‘a hole in one’ + ‘just won the lottery’ + ‘I just found a Dr. Pepper in the back of the fridge’, all rolled into one swirling, good feeling place.
From Scribbles to Creation
I described Leon’s words and the impact they had on me to my peer coach and fellow ICA coach-in-training, Line Johansen.
I described my yearning to find that place where I did not worry about ‘having ideas for my client’ or ‘sounding smart, insightful, etc. etc.’ Or my other very important lesson learned at ICA: not worrying about having good advice. Can I get an amen from the choir, please?!
The goal was only to be a conduit for whatever energy was pouring out of me, and trusting that that energy would be right for what the other person needs.
As I made notes during my session with Line, this is how the initial scribble came out. I was spontaneously trying to create a symbol to describe the BOTH scenario that Leon described and which so strongly resonated with me:
Two equal partners meeting in the middle with a big heart expressing all the good feelings the two create.
As the session with Line continued, the symbol began to repeat itself. Now the symbol got a foundation. There came a horizontal line between the two, describing a grounding element. The words COACH and CLIENT got numbers 1 and 2. Maybe the titles were not so important? Furthermore, I wasn’t immune to the fact that there was a triangle, as form of ‘higher power’ element to my symbol. (I have had many phases with ‘higher meaning’ symbols in my life, so that didn’t really surprise me.)
On the last fast drawing I made, I was still trying to go deeper, to find an accurate depiction of the feeling. ‘Ah, I see it now!’ I exclaimed to Line. Both parties are going forward with good intentions, good feelings. Those good feelings are racing towards each other until that burst. The burst is an ‘Aha!’ moment when the good feelings meet. The Aha! moment is a revelation of understanding that reveals itself like a meteor shower or shooting star.
Defining the BOTH symbol
The BOTH symbol incorporates the idea that coaching is for the coach as well as the client. It is two people pointing their energies towards the same goal of greater understanding. A shooting start, a cloudburst of warm, loving light is waiting for us, rewarding us for our openness, for our partnership.
My symbol is like a hologram which goes into every coaching session with me. Its power resides in what it reminds me of, the ideal it represents. It reminds me to let the energy flow, to get out of my own head, to TRUST.
One last point…I won’t bore my fellow classmates with all the many drafts I made on my computer. I really wanted it to look savvy, professional and like a logo on a business card. But it never quite got there. I had to go to the art box and draw it out by hand.
I kept going back to the original feeling behind it and the original reason for it. Why it is so valuable for me. Answer: Because it is inside me! My coaching model goes with me into my coaching sessions and helps to make me a better coach.