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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Do you have presence in coaching?

Blog in draft form and unfinished at this moment in time ...... (wonder how that relates to presence ?!? it's certainly the first time I've done it hmmmm )

Whilst attending a coaching CPD session at the weekend we discussed presence, and what presence could bring to a coaching session. This blog is an outcome of my thoughts / ruminations on the subject. Writing it is certainly helping me corral those thoughts - even as yet unfinished.

What does presence mean to you? Is is helpful? Are you able to achieve it when needed? What difficulties do you have in embodying it? You may wish to consider your answer to these questions before reading my own exploration, or not.

Before starting this blog I wrote a Landscaping Your life blog to discover what insight there may be from presence in nature. The outcome of that blog feels like it's made the original intention of this blog a little redundant - in that for me it's provided the essence of presence.

I wonder however what does presence look like in real life - how would I know when I have it and when I don't.

After the workshop I was sent a wonderful poem the Clearing by Martha Postelthwaite

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

Over the weekend of coaching sessions, and an action learning set I wondered if presence was just as this poem describes - that sense of holding the space, and only acting when then time is right, in the moment.

So many times the urge to speak came, and as the conversation continued I held onto to that thought, and listened as the conversation went in a variety of directions. I listened and also waited for the time to share that thought. The problem was when I shared it it felt like it was jarring the conversation - like a spring being asked to come back to an earlier shape.

I failed to fully be present, and observe the words that could adequately express the thought in that later moment.  My words falling misunderstood on ears that may have heard if only I'd tuned into the new moment, and expressed the idea that was live in that new now.

I listened to the following video as part of my engagement with ULab a MOOC run my MIT. It shares the 4 levels of listening, and presence feels like it fits in with the 4th level of listening. See what you think...


That's me off to catch a flight so I will leave my ruminations there and come back to them and your comments then ...... Perhaps like the conversations over the weekend this blog can emerge from the field as we explore it together? As yet unfinished because others have something to say in order for the journey of discovering to continue.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring change Inside and Out

Two books mentioned at the weekend were Presence and Presence - the first by Peter Senge, Otto Sharmer et al, and the second by Patsy Rodenburg.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your thoughts both in the blog and over the weekend Alison. I've been trying to be present and hold the space for myself. I'm at a crossroads and the decision I've taken is to hold that position for a while - Difficult as I'm keen to getting moving on down the road Susan

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