As a leadership coach, mindfulness is one of the most important aspects of creating a sense of openness and accessibility within a coaching conversation. Making a coachee feel comfortable within the conversation opens the pathway to meaningful discovery and allows the coachee to expand their thought process and yet retain an inner peace for careful reflection.
Mindfulness is a hot topic in coaching. Developing mindfulness skills is an effective way to improve coaching performance, enhance emotional intelligence and help to develop key leadership skills. Mindfulness provide a great deal of value to the coaching session, including stress reduction, the ability to overcome self-limiting beliefs, improved focus, more highly developed self-awareness, calmness and an ability to stay in control of emotions.
As a coach, there are three levels of mindfulness that contribute to the coaching conversation.
A blank mind
While a blank mind might seem like a bad thing in a coaching session, it is actually a state of mindfulness that is most desired for the leadership coach. A coachee with a blank mind is free from the inner dialogue that so often entangles thoughts and attention. A mind filled with extraneous thoughts sabotages the coaching conversation because the coachee is not fully engaged. A blank mind is not just important for the coachee. As a coach, entering the session free from mind clutter signals to your client that you value them and you are ready to fully hear them. As a coach it is important to remember that our role is not to give advice, but to guide the coachee to the answers they are seeking. This means, we must be fully aware and ready to not only hear them but also listen.
A non-judgmental mind
As a coach, judging the client will only serve to break down trust and block forward progress. The client needs to feel supported and not judged by the coach. However it is important to point out that this does not mean that the coach surrenders the ability to judge the situation, but rather being mindful means that the coach is able to provide more shrewd judgment and dialogue about a situation to interpret the most important elements. Being non-judgmental gives the coachee the freedom to explore their thoughts more completely in an effort to come up with the best outcomes.
An open mind
An open mind is one that is exposed to the possibilities rather than focusing on the perceived entrapments of the current situation. It draws attention away from negativity and opens up a dialogue that is focused more on exploring the “what if” from the standpoint of new possibilities. An open mind is focused less on the present state of the coachee and more on the potential for growth and important outcomes.
As a coach, mindfulness is one of the most important elements we bring to a coaching conversation. When we recognize and fully grasp our role as guide rather than problem solver, and take a step back from the situation to fully hear and engage with our clients, we can lead them to wonderful moments of freedom and self-discovery.
If you would like more information on how to include mindfulness in your coaching conversation, please feel free to contact us!