Last year, I registered for WBECS’ Narrative Coach Program with Dr. David Drake. I had been hearing about David and Narrative Coaching and was curious about how we might apply his approach to help coachees make meaning of their EQ Profile results.
For the uninitiated: The EQ Profile provides a snapshot of one’s internal experience under stress in relationship. It reveals the patterns of thinking, feeling, and wanting that are triggered within us during interpersonal conflict. And because we often aren’t fully aware of our internal experience, it can sometimes be challenging to relate to our EQ Profile results.
After debriefing EQ Profile results with hundreds of coachees, I’ve learned that we are all, always narrating our internal experience (whether we are aware of it or not). And one of the best ways of helping a coachee see the aspects of their internal experience that are hidden to them is to ask them to tell a story about a specific interpersonal conflict.
I’ve found that as I listen deeply to a coachee’s story, I can hear the dimensions of their EQ Profile in their language. (Which is what our Master Class: Insight Mapping course is all about.) Because this is now second nature to me, I was curious what more I could learn about a coachee and their story through Narrative Coaching. And learn more I did.
I’m now moving from the Enhanced Narrative Coach program to the Certification program, and one of the first assignments is as follows:
“Write a letter to a friend who coaches about what you learned in the Narrative Coach program, in which you share:
This gives you a pretty good sense of what the first seven months of the Narrative Coaching (NC) Program were like. Exhaustive and exhausting. And incredibly rich, brilliant and challenging.
While I entered the NC Program to learn more about how we could help coachee’s make meaning of their EQ Profile results, what I came away with was a dramatically different view of coaching overall.
In Narrative Coaching, I’ve found a much more organic, natural approach to working with coachees that feels less formulaic than what I’d been taught previously.
I’d like to share with you what I learned from the NC program, so you are now my “friend who coaches”. 😊 And because I want to stay friends, I’m not going to cover all of the bulleted items above. And I’ll cover several of them over the course of this multi-part post. I hope you find it useful.
The NC program began at a particularly challenging time for me. A month or so into the program, my father passed away. And while my dad’s passing was incredibly hard, the aftermath was even harder. (Perhaps one day, when I have some perspective on it, I’ll write a blog post about it.)
The birth of my understanding of Narrative Coaching came at the time of the death of not only my father, but also a part of my identity. (And I’m still wrestling with that.)
So all of that is context for what I learned about myself, as a coach, as a human, over the duration of the NC Program. Also, it had been a while since I’d stepped back and observed myself as a coach, so that is reflected here, as well.
The insights I gained about myself as a coach during the NC program include:
Having a client feel like our work is fun is its own reward. Because when my clients are having fun, they are experiencing something different, something new, and they are more likely to see something different and new about their situation and themselves.
I hope that my reflections about me encourage you to reflect on you. Because what I get about you, my partners and colleagues in this noble work we do, is that you, like me, want to be better, do better, learn more, love more, be more for your coachees. And that can only be good for us, our coachees, and the ripple effects on the world.
Stay tuned for Part 2 next week on Reflections on Narrative Coaching. Until then, have fun!
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President | Learning in Action
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