COACH: Aleka Thorvalson, PCC
CLIENT: Darcy Jaskwhich
In this video Merci Miglino, MCC, “stops the clock” to share her observations on the coaching as it maps against the ICF competencies. These highlights are extremely valuable to anyone wanting to improve their coaching or apply for an ICF credential. If you are interested in becoming a coach, take the next step by filling out our Coach Development Plan.
Observe the ICF Core Competencies in Action
Get a full list of the ICF Coaching Competencies Download Here
Video Timestamp – 5:56
A. Setting the Foundation
2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement
Video Timestamp – 9:14
D. Facilitating Learning and Results
8. Creating Awareness
Video Timestamp – 10:37
B. Co-creating the Relationship
4. Coaching Presence
Video Timestamp – 26:43
D. Facilitating Learning and Results
11. Managing Progress and Accountability
In this transcript Merci identifies elements of the coaching session that map across the ICF competencies. These highlights are extremely valuable to anyone wanting to improve their coaching or apply for an ICF credential.
Click here to get a copy of the annotated transcript
Aleka: Darcy, how are you
Darcy: Good. Good. How are you?
Aleka: I am good. I'm excited to meet with you today. So, what is on your mind.
Darcy: What I would like to look out today. I'm a student in the advanced Coaching program and I am having particular trouble getting myself to participate in the mentor classes.
As a coach. I've been a client.But I just can't make myself, for my hand up in the air and do it and I've done my tell classes, my peer coaching client coaching as pure client and peer coach.
And I have a small practice where I'm pretty comfortable.
I don't know what it is about getting myself to jump into the mentor calls and I don't I don't know if it's the time frame. If it's the number of people listening and I'm not… I really don't know
Where the hesitancy is coming from.
Aleka: Gotcha. Well, first of all, that's great news and well done that you've got so much done at the ICA. That's a huge win as well as you said that you have you're practicing with clients.
So, you're doing it, you're actually doing this coaching thing right here.
Just the mentor classes and, I believe, are these if I'm right at these classes where you have to demonstrate your coaching ability in front of a group of your peers.
Darcy: They're typically, and see, I don't know if this has a component of it as well. It's typically you know, the whole group calls and like for teleclass. It's the same hour time frame. And usually there's three dyads, an attendee coach and attendee client and they work for 10 minutes and then the instructor will stop and ask the coach, you know, what their experience was, any feedback from the client and then they'll, they'll look at competencies and skills to think about or things to shift and then they'll go on to the next. And usually there's three, three sets of people, and I've been the client a couple of times.I don't know why I'm having… and I've got to do like 10, I think, or nine of them.
Aleka: Yeah, that's sounds like an important step as far as practicing and getting that feedback. So today, would you like to really focus on that aspect of it? The fact that you would like to look at being able to do these mentor calls?
Darcy: Yes, please.
Aleka: And then, what, what would that look like, what would it look like to complete that goal?
Darcy: To motivate myself to give myself some accountability. I went ahead and registered for my observe coaching so that I could finish in order to participate in the observed coaching. My understanding is that you have to be nearly completed with your mentor calls. Like a gave myself a deadline of March 6th, and twice now if chickened out. I put the class down in my day book and then conveniently somebody else had to practice or something…I didn't move.
Aleka: So, what I hear you saying is that you actually have taken a step forward to holding yourself accountable to this goal. So, what would be a one more step forward?
Darcy: To do it.
That's where we are. It sounds like I'm standing on the precipice of that.That moment I'm stepping into that moment where I'm doing it.
Aleka: Let me ask you just a bit about your coaching because you said that you were coaching as well in the office and you're practicing with clients and you have that experience. How does that go for you?
Darcy: I think, well, I mean the feedback that I've gotten is that it's going well.And I thought about that. In relation to this, and I don't know if it's because both either on the phone or its live – but I have about a 60-minute session and I feel maybe that gives me - don't know if this is going to be makes sense, but it gives me a good amount of time to come up with the right questions or get there, so I feel like there's something about this sense of 10 minutes that I think that's the resistance. I'm not sure.
Aleka: I appreciate that awareness, because in the beginning of our call you were, you were listing a few things, you said is it time frame. You were a little bit unsure about what it was about this particular issue. And you mentioned time frame. And you mentioned the number of people, but I'm hearing you say here that the issue is about time, ‘I have a whole 60 minutes to kind of formulate my questions’. Do you think that's your block as far as moving forward?
Merci: We're going to leave Darcy with that thought. You think about that and I want to bring forward the observation that this is what it takes to create the coaching agreement within a session.This is not just the contract, we think of as, you know, how many sessions and how long are they. This is what has to happen every session. So, what Alexa has done is in establishing the coaching agreement -one of the markers for that is,‘coach helps the client to find what the client believes she or he needs to address or resolve in order to achieve what he or she wants to accomplish in the session’. So, it takes a few questions. Nice big open-ended questions. Curious questions which we saw demonstrated here. OK. Back to you and Darcy, we left you with that thought.
Darcy: I wonder if some of my hesitancy isn't because in these mentor calls. It's just 10 minutes and I know we don't have to resolve anything in the 10 minutes but I'm not sure what's standing in my way.
Aleka: Well, I think you've created some awareness about what could be standing in your way. I mean, you started talking about this time frame piece which you're speaking about it is, as I'm observing it is like when you're coaching in the office you feel like I have all this time.You know, and there's almost, as you're talking about it, almost seem relaxed, like, but then when you're doing the calls and you're doing supervise coaching or observed coaching. It seems like there's kind of a smaller time frame. And that's creating this resistance, blocking for you moving forward. Is that correct?
Darcy: Think so. I think there's also something about the,I mean I want the feedback.Compared to what we're doing in the office.Not being directly observed I guess I feel like I have the freedom because they don't have time pressure. If I'm not asking most helpful questions if I'm not you know, helping me move towards some clarity. I have some wiggle room.
Aleka: So, we have these two issues, now right? One is this time frame - sort of relaxed and then when you're in this supervised coaching, it feels a little bit more uncomfortable and then we have this other piece where you you're being observed. You're sort of being watched. So out of those two issues if you could kind of feeling into those which do you think is, is the more significant block for you?
Merci: Okay, we're going to interrupt again so Darcy gets to think a lot about this.I couldn't help myself.There's such awareness being created here, you can see how Aleka’s questions and posture is inviting this client to really think in an awareness kind of mode which is exactly what coaching is about. And in this competency, creating awareness, the coaches sharing what she notices about the client and the client situation and is, you know, curious, seeking the client’s input or encouraging their exploration. So, she's left Darcy with two possibilities. So, we'll get back to those…
Darcy: I actually think, even though I wanted to make it all about time, I think I'm a little intimidated by the immediacy, the feedback and not that I've ever heard anything on a call but fantastic feedback and information and I'm,I don't know. I mean, this just isn't how…when there’s a swimming hole, I'm the first one to jump off the cliff and in the swimming hole. This isn't a usual area for me to have hesitancy around and I really want to complete the program on time. So, I have a lot of motivation to do it but unlike the teleclasses where I was taking them left and right, and I, you know, and I'm working on the written projects and I've done like I said, all my hours.I don't know. I'm just I don't know.
Aleka: Yes, and I can hear the frustration, a bit, you know as you're talking about it like you're right there and it's just that little nudge forward. And you know, I also want to offer validation that
I think this is challenging. You know, to get up in front of people and perhaps practice doing something, you know, I think that's a human thing. And I also know you as someone who's been successful in a lot of different areas. And I know your background as a yoga teacher and a studio owner and I'm kind of thinking back to some of what we've talked about as far as doing yoga and I'm wondering if you've ever had that experience when you were, in that particular learning, where you're getting up in front of people and having to be critiqued?
Darcy: Ah, that's interesting. Yeah, we had…I hadn't thought about that. We had a master series of master workshops, just for teachers at the studio over the course of the year, you know, teachers, not just my studio, any studio to come and work on their skills and it was actually taught by a friend of mine, and she called me out because I didn't want my teachers to teach me on the mat, like I wanted them to be out there and provide… but I actually hid by moving all the time.I was never, not never, I was rarely, like, I would open a class and the class in the front of the room. But then I was on the go and she made me stand on a yoga block and teach standing on a yoga black because she's like ‘you’re hiding’.
Aleka: What was that like?
Darcy: It was I felt like I was… Wow.Powerful
Aleka: Cool. Well, what I'm hearing is, you know… I'm getting this visual. Now you know you're standing on a yoga block and you're feeling like you're being exposed. Right? So, what did you call upon within yourself enabled you to do it?
Darcy: I felt responsibility to do it because it was my studio. Respect for my friend and her assignment.
And I knew it was true. She addressed it, I was like, Oh, I do that and that's not always helpful.
Aleka: So, what strength within yourself that you call upon to get through the challenging moment?
Merci: I'm going to stop us again Darcy, what strength? Hang on to that thought. You know, we often in coaching, say, you know, we're looking for the aha moment. And so here we captured one. There's not one in every session, but how can I let that go.So,how did she get there? Well, Aleka allowed Darcy to think. The first competency, I noticed was coaching presence - really being there for the client.Presence is an interesting word. It's just being extremely, fully conscious to create a spontaneous relationship with the client.And employing a style that's open, flexible and confident and that's exactly what we witness here. Now, of course, powerful questions aided in that as well. But that's the competency that stands out right now. Alright, Darcy back to your strength.
Darcy: I think that's trying and I don't know. I don't think there's, I don't know what words, you're gonna get a phrase.Desire to improve and, you know, since we've worked together before you know that's a bit of a driver for me. Yeah, like if I find out that I'm not good at this thing. I'm inspired to do it and maybe because I was in that class setting. She literally took a block and said, now stand here. I'd no idea what she was going to do. Maybe I've built up some drama or something about this. I don't know but my desire to get better at something rides me through it.
Aleka: So, a couple things I’m hearing is your tenacity, you know that grittiness, the part of you that goes, ‘because I want to’, you know, and ‘I want it’. And then the other part that I hear is, I didn't get a choice but you know, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but it sounded sort of like ‘because she put me there so …’
Darcy: What I meant was that I didn't get a chance to think about it and like It was right then, thank you for that.
Aleka: It was just - do it, right? So, using those two strengths, you know, your tenacity and your desire of wanting it and this part that I just have heard, I'm hearing is that I just kind of have to do it. I just have just do it because that’s what I'm hearing ‘is that ‘I just have to do it’ through your story it was not like I was afraid and I waited to not be afraid, you know, and then I did it. I was…Is that an Ok word to use - afraid or apprehensive, or nervous. One of those words?
Darcy: All if that's okay.
Aleka: That I did it anyway. So, applying that same kind of principle to this particular issue, what, what do you think would be a good action step, or forward step to meeting that goal?
Darcy: To make the commitment to myself.Really, you know, this one hour block by not picking anybody up from practice. I'm not rescheduling anything and committing to that. I thought I was doing that by giving myself the March 6th deadline.It's given me too much wiggle room because I'm already doing the, like, did you ever do that in college where like, ‘okay, yeah, I can get, I can go as low as a C and get a good grade on this test”…like counting down the days and the number because I have the mentor classes all listed in my day planner.So, I think I just need to make a commitment and I haven't done that.
Aleka: So, your first step to doing that was to create this March deadline. Right? But I'm hearing you say that that's not necessarily as effective as you were hoping it would be. So, what would be another commitment that you could do?
Darcy: I think to commit to a very specific teleclass like this coming Thursday. They seem to be for my zone, Tuesdays and Thursdays at or 7 or 8pm and then there's like a mid-morning Saturday.
So, but I feel like I need to, instead of just jotting them all down off the computer and like, ‘oh, I could do this, when I could do that’.Now, I find myself thinking in the morning that I'm going to do that one tonight. And then ah I'm like, well, I can just, I can just not do it and I've done that a couple times now like kind of kicked the can down the road, a few times.
And I think just being reminded of the experience of teaching on the block for some… I'm not able to put words to it, but that feels,I need to give myself my own yoga block to stand on, this is the day you're going to stand on the yoga block. When you get into that call room.You're not gonna wait for everybody else to volunteer, because that's, I've done that as well. Like, I've gone into a call intending to volunteer to coach and then I wait and I wait and oh they got three.I’ll do it next time.
Aleka: I don't know. I really appreciate that, you know, and the fact is, you've done this, you've done this, you have it in you to do it.And something you said a second ago was maybe I've traded a story around that or, maybe you used the word drama. ‘Maybe I've created drama.’
That answer when you're talking about the yoga block. You seem very clear there doesn't seem to be much drama there. ‘I've done this’.
Aleka: Do you feel like there's any other story or any other drama that's attached to this issue?
Darcy: Hey, that's what I meant by wiggle room like why March 6th wasn't motivating and that is,I have created story around failure that’s what I've done when I think about it. I've done all the things that I can't really get graded on, not that I get graded on the mentor calls, but I'm going to get immediate feedback and not that it’s going to be bad, but I just don't want to not be really good at this.But I also know that to be really good at this,you've got to get that feedback. So,you know me.Every time I think I've messed something up.I reach out to you, like, how could this have gone differently or so it's unlike me to resist this… to get feedback.
Aleka: Yeah! I so appreciate that you're using two really important parts, you know, one is feedback and one is failure as I hear those two words, one has a much bigger story it, you know. So, when you go to think about this ICA mentor call which word are you connecting with?
Darcy: I don't want to fail.And you can't fail right but…
Aleka: Yeah. Well, the thing about story is, it’s not always accurate. Yeah, we can we can play with, we can change it. So, what would be more true around that?
Darcy: Feedback. I want to be seeking and receiving really good feedback because that's all I've ever heard.
Aleka: Yeah. Me too. I remember my days there …yeah, important feedback so what does it take to change that story? I know we get it up here (head). Right?What does it take to change that story here (heart), you know, bring it into our truth?
Darcy: I think just stopping the story. Yeah, when I start the story and I can feel the hesitancy rise.Because I can find myself like fooling around in the kitchen or starting a load of laundry or something that's going to take me too close to the call time. I think I'm unconsciously in story at that time.
Aleka: And you have such, you’re very aware that you're able to identify that, you know, the awareness that it takes, a mindfulness to say, I know that I'm doing this thing. I think is huge part of it.
And how can I support you, because these are huge steps, what, what can I do to support you in this really important goal?
Darcy: When you see me at work, say,“How many mentor classes have you done?”
Aleka: Perhaps, are you open to creating an action step with, you know, holding, let allow me to hold you accountable, like the date and the time of the class in the call, so perhaps you can tell me how it went?
Darcy: That would be helpful. Yeah.
Aleka: How's that feel?
Darcy: Okay, so because I'm more afraid of you. (laughs)
Aleka: Perhaps you could email me, perhaps the date, the time of the call. If you don't know and we can. I can check in with you. Process it and go over the feedback. You can check in with me.
OK, so when I finish this I'm actually going to revamp my schedule and then I will submit to you at least two dates, like in the near future that I'm going to commit to being a nearly volunteer.
Aleka: That's awesome. And before we close, can we just take a minute to imagine how that's going to feel when you've reached that goal? When you write that email or when you've gotten off that call. And you hang up that phone.
Darcy: No, I think it'll be, I mean, I have nothing but good expectations.You know, I think it's going to be useful information. Yeah.
Aleka: Absolutely! You’re phenomenal.Thanks. Yeah, will remember that. So, we will connect moving forward, and I look forward to hearing how amazing it was and how the feedback was
Darcy: Great, thank you.
Merci: Thank you so much. Darcy. That was great.I think everyone has been in Darcy’s shoes one way or another. Amazing. And I'm sure Alexa has been there and you notice like she didn't bring anything of her experience, she focused on her client.But you could hear the empathy and you could hear the, you know, that sort of encouraging. This was something clearly that Aleka didn't make unusual. So, the last two competencies kind of go together planning and goal setting.You know the coach supported the client to develop a plan that was, you know, really driven by the client and then managing progress and accountability here the client asks to be held accountable to her new plan and then the coach doesn't just say will call me you invite what would be helpful. Would that be helpful? And I want to appreciate also the lightness.You know, we could hear the significance in the beginning and then Darcy kind of lightened up and Aleka went right with it. She didn't hold back from her lightness, if there was a chuckle there, she kind of leaned into it and, I think, we often think of coaching as something that has to be super serious and here it can be, can have an aha moment, it can have all the aspects of good planning and good goal setting and still be light.So, I'm just going to wrap up here. SoAleka what did you notice in regards to the competencies in this coaching session?
Aleka: Will you, I think you're probably better to judge that than I was since I was in it, but it's been a while since I was able to do a laser session. A lot of my sessions tend to be just longer just by nature. So, it was fun to create the contract, create the agreement of what are we going with and then get to it really quick. You know, I forget sometimes that, like you,I don't always need long sessions, so it is great to, kind of, I felt that we got some pretty good closure through the whole thing with some really important action steps.There was some good questions. And that really opened that up. We did have that great moment where I love it when clients go ah.
Merci: It's a sign of a powerful question when they don't have a ready answer, you know, often we've already asked ourselves that obvious question and we have a pat answer when someone pauses and I think Darcy did that two she was thoughtful and then ahhh…That's a very, very powerful stuff. That was good. Yeah. 27:57 Yeah.
Aleka: Like we did have … I honestly feel that even though we've worked together before like this was actually a coaching session, we will follow up with this. So, it felt good that there were some clear action steps. 28:11
Merci: 28:12 Thank you again. I can't say thank you enough for letting people see what live coaching looks like. So, thank you very much.
Aleka and Darcy: Thanks for having us.
About Aleka Thorvalson
Aleka Thorvalson is a true holistic life coach bridging the gap between mind, body, emotion, spirit, and science to assist clients on their own paths of understanding, discovery, healing, and transformation. Her passion is uniting this world of form with the more subtle one of energy dynamics, intuition, and soul work. Aleka is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) trained through the International Coach Academy in the Advanced Coach Training Program. She is a member and a Professionally Credentialed Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). Additionally, Aleka is a certified professional hypnotist and a professional astrologer. She is a member in good standing with the American Alliance of Hypnotists and International Association of Counselors and Therapists. Recently, Aleka has expanded her practice to include a dynamic mentorship program for helping professionals where she offers support, guidance, and expertise to those that want to expand their coaching practice. Along with hosting a popular podcast, The Holistic Health Hour, she writes a much-anticipated bi-monthly astrology blog, and is a contributor at Best Kept Self.