Once upon a time there was a space before words when we did really know what we needed for ourselves. Coaching reminds us that we are our best resources and that the solutions lie within. The key coaching principle of self directed learning or know thy self not only reinforces and unearths the potential within the individual but also creates a path towards a greater authenticity of self and thus the possibility to be fully known, felt and seen.
Coaching is not only a dynamic tool but also a way of relating and inhabiting society with greater self-awareness, humility, and empathy towards others. Coaching acts as an antidote in a time when there is a need to embody and accept the specificity and diversity of needs, experiences and identities. One size does not fit all: the whole is made up of all and we are all accountable and essential.
Good coaching offers a truly bespoke experience tailored by the coachees themselves. The techniques of coaching create value by virtue of being unobtrusive and yet highly interactive: engaging the creativity and ingenuity of both coach and coachee. Akin to the writer and the reader relationship, a symbiotic exchange occurs where both parties witness and engage with the other. Increased awareness becomes a byproduct, often an outcome is greater responsibility: the ability to respond more effectively to the given situation.
The ability to work intuitively is vital for both writers and coaches both disciplines embrace the value of not knowing. The coach acts as blank page; the poet is an open vessel, compared to the all knowing editor or mentor who may unwittingly undermine the writer. The literature sector is a place of competition, prizes and positioning and yet often the toughest battle is not just with the blank page but also within the writer, the inner game. of writing is already lost even before the writer has put pen to page.
The poets John Keats when illustrating the genius of Shakespeare.s creativity described this genius as Negative Capability…that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries and doubts, without any irritable reaching for fact and reason.. .This emotional state could be compared to a state of transition or conflict where indecision and tension arise out of incompatible needs or drives of equal intensity.
Coaching offers the coachee- a whole-minded approach that utilises their senses and intuition, accessing the physical as well as the spiritual. In practice where there might be strain and procrastination, a coaching approach may offer ease and a sense of flow. Thus the insight and clarity gained may facilitate the conditions to access the space beyond imagining or knowing and achieve a resonance with the unknowable space within the self that allows intuition to find meaning, purpose and self-realisation.
By focusing on the writing self and the creative process coaching provides the space for a writer to be held and listened to, thus enabling greater long-term development as well as short-term gains. I have always believed the writer is the best judge and editor of the work and possesses the necessary insight for the work to move beyond stagnation and mediocrity. Coaching has enabled me to have a deeper sense of the barriers in my own process and continues to inspire and offer a meaningful and genuinely graceful way of working with writers.