The safe space. The only item on the agenda is you
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
What is it that makes some things more valuable than others? Here's some reasons.
Rare commodities are valuable by virtue of their scarcity. Clients regularly tell me that what they value about coaching is that it involves a conversation they can't get anywhere else. It's an agenda-free conversation. Most conversations involve two parties seeking to get something out of the other. Whilst this is normally entirely legitimate it creates a level of reserve as a result of which the parties hold back on something they might otherwise want to say. In coaching, the client has the final decision on where a conversation goes, when it ends, or if there is a conversation in the first place. It's a conversation where they can be entirely candid, knowing they are in an open, non-judgemental relationship where their confidentially is assured. Some clients, particularly in senior roles, tell me this is the one conversation they don't prepare for in advance. They know they will be guided into relevant areas of focus. Coaching conversations are so value because, in the context of life and particularly in business, they are difficult to find.
We also tend to regard as valuable, something that is unusual or different. If you have even a cursory reflection on the conversations you have had over the past month, you will remember that that most of them involved someone trying to convince you that you should accept their view, sought to provide you with a helpful ready-made solution, or sought some information or resolution from you. All these are necessary for success in life, but are they sufficient? Coaching provides something different - the opportunity to step back, take stock, and explore without rushing to a resolution. The coach provides a space to think, using powerful questions to give you permission to formulate and articulate your ideas. The value of coaching is not just in the rarity of the conversion, but also in its quality. For many, it's the missing conversation that they need to be having.
Coaching is a value-giving relationship in which the coach looks beyond what is, to what is possible. Part of my responsibility as a coach is to work to enrich the value of my clients' experience by helping them to discover significance in their own situation, to discover their best selves, and sometimes to go beyond that to point them to what they may yet discover about themselves in the life they have been given to live. It is for that reason that I apply myself with similar rigour to all my client conversations.
It all adds up to a safe space
We take care to protect what we consider to be valuable. Once clients see the value of a coaching conversation they are as careful to protect the time for it, as I am as a coach to protect the relationship through commitment to its success. If you're considering where you might need a safe space of your own, get in touch.