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Knowing what you need to be at your best

Coaching everyday is exhausting. Yes, I said it and not just because this month the weeks have been shorter and therefore there has been a squeeze on delivery hours. It is exhausting to pay attention to every client equally with active listening and to bring the energy to support them to move forward using the skills of powerful questions that make a difference to the client’s thinking. Maintaining our presence in all our coaching work means we need to work hard at knowing how to maintain being at our best.

In my coaching training course over 10 years ago we were encouraged to live an exercise of being late to an important client’s coaching session. We were encouraged to feel the lack of presence and then use the 5 minutes before the session to remember our core coaching qualities and ground ourselves with whatever we needed to do, physically and mentally, to be ready for the session. I have never forgotten the feelings associated with this exercise and to this day have deployed the same methods to get ready 15 minutes before every session. I learnt what I needed to do to be at my best for each client. Over time I have used wider reflection exercises to see the patterns of what else I need to do to coach at my best and more recently, after five years in business, I wrote about how to prepare a self-care plan for our wider needs as a solopreneur coach.

Critical to many self-care plans is knowing what you uniquely need but also finding out how to seek support for those needs from or with others in our network or in our professional directory of support options. Some of the support that you may need will come from the assignment of people to your coaching business boardroom (as we discussed in Community May live) and other roles you will need to invest in as part of your business overheads.

But what are some of the most sought after options for solopreneur coaches who wish to gain support for their coaching and for their business and what are the differences in these options that could help them choose what to prioritize and budget for.

Mentor Coaching: This is a service of additional coaching competency work sought for accreditation as a badge of additional training and preparation to meet coaching professional standards. It is most associated with ICF (International Coaching Federation) applications where Mentor Coaching observation hours were not built into your training hours.

Supervision: This is a continuous professional development support service for coaches to reflect on their client work, client work patterns, coaching strengths and development areas. It will improve your understanding of who you are and how you coach. Supervision is seen as badge associated with maintaining the quality of your coaching over time - applying course correction and accessing restorative support, when needed, to revitalise your energy and commitment to the profession.

Business Mentoring: Often supervision, whilst a place to explore your coaching practice is not a place where you could get direct advice and support for your coaching business, its build and its maintenance. Being able to ask direct questions of those with a sustainable business and an entrepreneurial skillset can be useful to audit your own progress and the development of your solopreneur skills.

Therapy: All of us who work in helping professions need to be aware of our own story and its effect on our mental state in and out of our coaching work. It is not unusual for many of our clients to have a coach, mentor and therapist in their boardroom and the same applies to us as solopreneurs if we need to shift a stuck story from our past.

Peers: Being able to check in with other colleagues in the coaching profession brings so many benefits to managing our state of health. Taking advantage of others’ offers to coach us is one way of ensuring we have the chance to use the reflection space and benefits of coaching for getting back out there.

When you are exhausted who or what do you need to get you going again? For me, it is all of the people above, as well as some good old-fashioned rest from the work, when that is possible. I think it is important to enjoy the extra bank holidays so remember to make the most of them! If you would like to explore any of the coach advancement services which I offer or make me part of your coaching boardroom get in touch! Kate

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