By the end of the two days I had coached 10 people. All of them 1 hour meetings. Understandably they were focussed, intense sessions. However rather than being like a fast machine gun burst each had its own specific nature. Some were characterised by retrieving forgotten insights, others by big breakthroughs of thought. There were many laughs and a few tears. The majority of sessions were in meeting rooms yet we also walked and sat by the river, depending on the need.
Working within a mid sized organisation some of their stories overlapped and dovetailed, filling in blanks. It was an unusual glimpse of a workforce but also compelling and beautiful.
With only a little time between sessions I had to be mindful of my own wellbeing, managing my emotional state to be fully present for each client. The intellectual rigour was challenging but rewarding. Like a really tough work out where your muscles ache but in a good way. I was properly, pleasantly tired at the end of each day.
And in the middle of it all I got to attend a group coaching session with another coach. We went to the seaside. I was the only contractor in the group of employees there to learn about “Mindfulness Coaching” I lazily took my turn on the receiving end, building my strength for another long afternoon ahead. Luxuriating in the feel of the sun on my cheek, the wind in my hair and the sense of perspective that only endless sand and sky can bring.
Plenty of people have structures around what coaching is and many more about what it isn’t. I’d agree that this was certainly not a conventional weeks work for me. The only unifying strand was the stated intent of “Wellbeing”. How appropriate then that the experience also left me feeling nurtured and that I had grown a little.