COACH: Sarah Jack
CLIENT: Bill Findley
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.
Watch the full video below and read the transcript.
Observe the ICF Core Competencies in Action
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Video Timestamp – 4:54
B. Co-creating the Relationship
3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
Video Timestamp – 11:19
C. Communicating Effectively
7. Direct Communication
Video Timestamp – 21:25
D. Facilitating Learning and Results
9. Designing Actions
Video Timestamp – 26:09
D. Facilitating Learning and Results
10. Planning and Goal Setting
In this transcript Merci identifies elements of Lorna's coaching 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
Sarah: Hi Bill
Sarah: Aloha. So, Bill how would you like to use today’s session?
Bill: I really just want to discuss this new transition from my traditional role as a consultant going into the mind-shift, for the lack of a better term, of pure coaching as per the ICA model. This goes against the grain a bit as a consultant – [and a looser definition of coaching with all my clients] - so it has been a little bit of a struggle and hopefully we can get some kind of resolve about how I can continue moving in the direction utilising the ICA model of coaching.
Sarah: Okay, so where do you think you are struggling a little bit and where are the sticking points for you?
Bill: Well, I am paid as a consultant to talk and to offer solutions on my expertise, which is leadership, and I feel like we do that very, very well. However, as a coach you are paid to listen, to some degree, well to a large degree, and I think that is a bit of the struggle for me because when I am hearing the conversations many times I just want to jump in and say ‘blah, blah, blah, here is the solution’. Next. And so therefore just learning that patience of being in the moment, step by step with the client, is not a struggle but I need to keep working on it as I find myself taking two steps forward and one step back.
Sarah: And when you are in those moments are you aware of it?
Bill: Yes that’s the crazy thing. I am. I can hear myself do it and some of the sessions seem to go okay but then there are a number of times where I start going down the road and maybe not feeling quite confident enough about the question - and it is not that I am offering solutions - but it is lack of experience obviously, and it is kind of a bother for me that I am not getting on board as quickly as I think I should be. Not comparing myself to anybody as we have been doing this for 6 weeks now or something like that, so I am hardly a pro at it, as opposed to 25 years of being a consultant, but it is still one of those things where I go ‘come on, I know I am not a bone-head’ but I just can’t seem to find that consistency in terms of asking the right questions or being in the moment like I feel like I should be.
Sarah: I am hearing you say that you feel like you should be getting results more quickly or demonstrating your value or your worth to your clients. I don’t know if that rings true when I say it back to you?
Bill: Yes, I think that is a strong part of it as well. I think I demand such high expectations from myself. I am a type A personality, driven, I feel like I am a high performer and then when I take on something new like this which is a totally different mind-shift it just seems like I am not quite getting it consistently in my mind. When I listen to some of my colleagues who I admire greatly and are instructors who have been doing it for fifteen to twenty years they make it seem so easy, and then when I do my peer coaching or supervised coaching or whatever I find myself going down the road of just not – I know we are not supposed to be performing - but when you are in that mindset of delivering on some of the basic coaching agreements and establishing the contract, those kind of ideas, I feel like I just start wandering off down a rabbit trail and I am not sure why I do that.
Merci: Okay right, there are a couple of competencies I notice there. First this is a great example of the coach speaks around 20% of the time and the client speaks around 80% of the time so in the first few minutes what we have seen is a lot of expression; clarity. Our client is getting closer and closer to what is happening for him in the event. The event is he wants to be coaching at a certain level and what we are seeing about the person is that he has got some perspective that is holding him back. So, we got there because first and foremost Sarah, our coach, established some nice trust and intimacy with the client, which is a core competency. She really allows Bill to fully express himself and part of also what I am noticing is the active listening. She is picking up on different words or how Bill is describing something and then probing a little further and that also is a key competency after listening. Alright, you guys can resume.
Sarah: So Bill, I would like to ask you a question if that’s okay?
Sarah: You mentioned that you have been in training for six weeks now?
Bill: Yes, since November 1st.
Sarah: Okay. When you started what were your expectations of what your skills would be at week six?
Bill: I don’t know if I looked that far ahead. I did not think that this would be an easy road but I don’t know that I expected it to be as challenging mentally for me as it has become. When I say mentally, not that the concepts are difficult to understand or the competencies are rocket science but reading them and understanding them and executing them have been somewhat of a disconnect for me that’s why I kind of scratch my head after a session and go ‘Bill, you are making it much more complicated’. So, I don’t know if I am overthinking it, because when I am in my consulting role on a day to day basis with executives from around the world it is a piece of cake, it is what I am good at, it’s what I do. Then I look at the ICA model of coaching and the competencies and I wonder why am I not able to read these and understand them and learn through the different sessions from other coaches and be able to demonstrate the same quality of delivery when I am coaching someone instead of making it so complicated. When I listen to Merci and Lorna, as examples, and yourself now, you ask these questions which are like six or eight words, or maybe ten words and when I ask a question it is like six, eight and ten paragraphs.
Sarah: (Laughs.) So, I would like to play back some language you have just used. You mentioned the word complicated or over-complicated a few times and you also keyed into a very important part of the coaching competencies which is that they are not rocket science, they really are very basic and you know there is a saying that something can be simple but not easy.So, how can I help you remove complication from this coaching?
Bill: I am not sure of the full answer to that. It may be just a lack of confidence because it is so new but I am certainly not someone who needs re-affirmation or a pat on the back or I am coming at this with a victim mentality or anything along those lines. You know I just finished my Doctorate degree in Organisational Leadership with five years of long, detailed and complicated scholarly research and study - and so I keep looking at myself in the mirror and going ‘okay Bill, you have finished that and so you can certainly…’ not that this is any less of a scholarly pursuit by any stretch of the imagination. In my mind this is just at the same level in trying some new skill sets and deploying these but I go ‘if I can achieve that, certainly I can do this’. But yet I seem to have a little bit of hesitation, a little bit of a lack of confidence which is surprising me not from an arrogant or egotistical standpoint but in that I am good at building relationships. That is one of the cornerstones of my DNA skillsets so why I am not able to consistently execute on these competencies. I think it is a bit of a lack of confidence and a little bit of gun-shy because it is still so new. At the same time, I am jumping in, I am volunteering to do all the coaching that I can. I am not afraid of assessments, I love hearing feedback no matter how harsh it is and I am taking it like a sponge and I keep thinking ‘okay, next time, next time’ and then the next time it is like I revert back to being not quite sure how to navigate through the conversation. Again, I am probably embellishing a little bit but it still a little bit of a lack of confidence and that may be what you can help me with.
Merci: Again, this is creating awareness. I like the coach saying, ‘I am going to play back what I heard’. Sometimes when we play back something or reflect back to the client it helps them think a little bit more thoroughly and that is really what coaching is about. So, I am hearing some awareness being created. The coach is inviting the client to tell her what is going on for them. She lets him speak, there is no interruption and she shared an observation, which is under direct communication. Something that you get really adept at as a coach is sharing your observations without any attachment to them being right or without any attachment to getting the client to see your way. It is just basically for the client to consider and so two great competencies there. Okay, you can get started.
Sarah: Okay, so Bill I am hearing that you have been working really hard, you have been working feverishly as a consultant, you are probably used to you doing the majority of the talking.So, I could imagine that coaching may feel a little bit quiet, maybe the pace feels slower and I am wondering if there is any discomfort with the quiet or with the silence and the slower pace?
Bill: I don’t sense that is the issue. I feel that as soon as someone starts sharing with me a concern, not a problem, not an issue, just starts talking, as an example if in a coaching sessions someone says ‘I am really struggling as I just can’t wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and I have to get up at 6 o’clock but I just can’t’ and in my mind, and maybe that is a poor example, but in my mind I hear that and I just go ‘well just get out of bed, I don’t need to talk you through this, I mean this is just y’know, get out of bed’ because that is the consultant side of me right and there may be some underlying issues underneath that that I need to investigate and because I am that type A driven, you know I really just want to help and serve, well I think I can serve you better by just saying ‘well, just get out of bed’. The pace, um it could be, but maybe it is just that confidence of trusting the process that I am not quite in tune with yet that I need to embrace more and have confidence in that process because here’s the deal, when I listen to it from other colleagues and some of our tremendous professors I just think ‘holy smoke man, why didn’t I plug into this twenty years ago because there is so many people that perhaps I could have been of some assistance to’ and again so the process, the confidence.. I really am okay with the quietness, I just want to tell them ‘this is what you do A,B,C,D’ and of course that is not the role of the coach.
Sarah: Yeah, you mentioned confidence at the beginning when you started the session and at the time I was feeling and I think you were expressing that you didn’t have confidence in your coaching skills but I just heard a little bit of a shift which was maybe you don’t entirely have confidence in the coaching, the process. Although you have witnessed that it is effective, maybe you still have not internalised the belief that you are still going to get results for people without sweeping in and giving them instructions.
Bill: You are probably right on and by this conversation and hearing myself talk through where my beliefs may be, or lack of beliefs may be, maybe this parallel concern in my mind between confidence and not quite confidence in the process itself. I wonder how I am trying to execute - and therein lies the struggle. Again, I am probably embellishing somewhat but I am trying to be harsh on myself because I have such a high standard for myself. I don’t want to just be mediocre, I don’t want to just get by. I want to be of the most good and the most benefit for people and from that perspective I am not going to go in with my arms tied behind my back and just sit there and not be most equipped to the best of my ability. And therein lies the dilemma for me, how do I get there – I need to trust the process and I need to be more confident about this new skill set I am trying to learn.
Sarah: And how would you suggest to one of your clients how to build confidence with a new skill set? I know you been a consultant to many leaders. Have you been in a situation where you have been consulting for someone who is in a similar position, learning a new skill?
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Bill: It’s funny because one of the key phrases that I have said for many, many years is – and I just said it to you - no matter who it is, it could be someone sitting behind a desk of a billion-dollar company or somebody that is struggling with trying to develop their team, it is this comment right here – ‘trust the process’. I say it non-stop. And here is one thing I have said to Merci, and I think I have said it to Lorna, it is so easy to say these same things over and over again to other people but then to look at myself in the mirror and follow the exact thing that I am saying, or the concept that I am teaching or mentoring is very difficult. I think that is a human nature part of all of us but in this case, I know that I am just not trusting the process enough. Not the process of ICA of teaching me, or our instructors guiding us but the actual coaching process. I don’t know that I have the confidence yet and then as a result that is interfering with my ability to execute some of the core competencies, right now especially at the very beginning.
Sarah: So, now that you see that, what would you like to do for yourself in terms of your own development?
Bill: That’s the million-dollar question right. Slow down, take a step back, assess. Not only the process but my role within that process as a coach to be most effective for clients and future clients.
Sarah: Okay. And are there any resources that might help you in that process. How can you make sure that really happens?
Bill: Perhaps continuing to immerse myself in being involved through ICA with my peer coaching, with all the course work, the classes. All the coursework is basically done so now it is just the tons and tons of hours or pure coaching that we are doing and I am reading non-stop a variety of coaching books. When I do something, I immerse myself in it, not to get through it as quickly as I can, but so that I can be the best that I possibly can be. So, I am trying to position myself in a number of different arenas or situations that enhances my learning. Again, that is very helpful but executing it when I am in the coaching seat, that is where I have got to ensure that I am fully engaged and there is not a disconnect. Because I can have all the knowledge in the world, right? I can sit and you can coach me but if I am not able to execute it what good is it. Therefore, that is where I need to make sure that I continue to build the confidence and trust the process.
Sarah: So I am hearing you say that you need to coach other people more and you need to be coached more and actually live the process in addition to obviously studying but really execute.
Bill: Yeah, one thing that has been most helpful is when I have gone online and talked to other professional coaches, even in this area around here, and being able to watch somebody that is a skilled masterful coach - not another student who is learning, although I learn tremendous things from everybody – but watch a masterful level coach who has been doing this for ten or fifteen years and they are spot on with what they are doing. I find that to be absolutely the most beneficial assistance for me. I do learn in the pure coaching, I do learn in the classes absolutely.
Merci: Alright, sorry to cut you off there Bill but I couldn’t’ wait. So, we saw a couple of competencies here. The coach invited the client to explore what he would do with this awareness of trusting the process and we begin designing actions. Sarah engaged Bill to explore what else can he do. She reflects back so he can hear what he is saying and perhaps even committing to and it so begins the planning and goal setting part of a coaching session. So, we will go back to it now.
Sarah: So, we are getting close to the end of our time and I would like to ask you what is the next step you would like to take on this journey towards this goal?
Bill: Um. What I am finding most advantageous is continuing to immerse myself deeper and deeper and deeper in coaching sessions. I can read about it. I can review the coursework. I can replay those themes and ideas I am hearing. But to experience it, not only from the standpoint as a coach and a student coach, but listening to somebody coach me - I am finding that is by far the most beneficial and especially people that are coaching me that are masterful coaches. So, seeking out professional coaches while I am going through the programme has been very, very helpful to me. I don’t mind paying for the time because you can’t put a price on it. Sitting under the guidance of someone who has been doing it for ten or fifteen years that have the PCC or the MCC that has been a tremendous asset for me. I have to be able to make that connection going through those sessions and making that mind shift and then weaving those in my own learning process. That continues to be the most beneficial way I am learning so far on what is going to allow me to grow as a young coach, well I am an old man but a young coach in terms of this whole coaching industry.
Sarah: Great, good. And what are you taking away from our session today?
Bill: I think it has been a little bit of good reflection that yes there are some confidence issues there, but I don’t necessarily find that unusual. Any time we take on something that is outside of our comfort zone – and I love being outside of my comfort zone – but when you are dealing with somebody’s else’s life such as what we are trying to learn how to do –I take that very seriously and I just don’t want to go about it like ‘someone is talking about getting out of bed at 6am’ well to me there could be a serious issue according to what is going on behind the scenes there so it might not just be the confidence issue. I think those ideas will work themselves out as I continue getting more experience but I am coming away more with the idea of what you brought up and had me - actually you didn’t bring it up - you brought it up with me - you have made me aware of it and be in tune with it - which is ‘trust the process’. I don’t think I had really thought about that until this conversation that I have got to practice what I preach here and the process is very detailed, the process has been in play, there are coaches around the world who are doing it and doing it very well and I see it every day just through ICA. I need to make sure that I trust that same process that will deliver results for people that are going to improve the quality of their lives.
Sarah: Okay great. Well Bill, it has been a pleasure coaching you, thank you so much.
Bill: No problem. Thank you and come and see us in Honolulu.
Merci: Thank you Bill and Sarah. I noticed towards the end certainly planning and goal setting. The coach invited the client to state or to consider what they have learned so far and we heard quite a nice mantra there, ‘trust the process’. Is there anything you would add regarding the competencies Sarah?
Sarah: I was aware of trying to model being quiet and listening and really just playing back what I was hearing because Bill had mentioned he was coming from a consulting background and he was used to offering solutions and so I was also trying to model the flip of that which is not offering solutions. And that is not easy to do. So, I had that in the back of my mind.
Merci: That is great awareness to have. In coaching supervision, we talk about the conversations that are happening with ourselves while we are coaching and the more we are aware of them the more we can adjust, let them go if they have to be let go, the thoughts, or to see if we can mine them for gold. Because, even our initial thoughts have information. We just don’t want to inform our client, we want to inform our questions or observations. Well thank you both for a great session.
About Sarah Jack
Sarah Jack is an executive coach who helps her clients to develop organizational strategy, focus on leadership, manage change, and improve performance. She coaches executives, individually or in groups to help them improve their ability to lead their organizations to growth.S
Sarah also provides consulting services to diagnose business challenges and creates evolution plans that may include...
*Organizational change to align with business goals
*Coaching for collaborative leadership and alignment of business goals
*Improved employer branding
Lives: New Jersey, USA
Graduated: December 2011
To find out more about Sarah, visit https://coachsj.com/