It's a Creative Conversation
A creative conversation is one through which new ideas, perspectives and insights come into being.
In the coaching conversation you get to share and explore your experience. You also have the situation reflected back to you (by the coach) in such a way as to afford you opportunities to see more of what-there-is-to-be-seen.
The skill of the coach comes in the area of facilitation. If you don’t know what you should be talking about, or how to talk about it, their job is to skilfully invite information and tease-out the main themes.
If you find it easy to share, but sometimes get lost in the storyline, it is the coach’s task to manage the flow, listen, test understanding and simplify in such a way that things become clearer for you both.
When the coach does it well you might not notice what they are doing at all. Yet ideas will flow, connections will be made and options will become clearer.
Career Coaching is a Process
The focus in career coaching is usually on change of some kind.
This can mean external change, such as changing circumstances e.g. job, location, field of work etc.
It can also mean internal change. Such as changes of perspective and inner attitude.
Internal change could involve finding a new appreciation for what is in the current situation. Or changing your mind about certain priorities. It can also relate to changing the types of thoughts you habitually think in response to certain types of events. Having this ‘change of mind’ can enable you to move beyond your usual barriers.
An example of perspective change is when someone starts to appreciate the opportunities found in a particular challenge.
For example, you might begin to see working with an exceptionally difficult set of colleagues, not just as a pain-in-the-neck, but also as an opportunity to practice and really fine-tune your interpersonal skills (or learn new ones).
Pain or Possibility?
At the start of the process you might be mainly focused on alleviating the pain. Through the coaching conversation you might begin to feel more curious and ready to explore the possibilities.
The type of change that is relevant to you will become obvious in the conversation. Often for external changes to occur, internal shifts in perspective are needed first. And sometimes, when internal shifts have taken place, the need to change the external circumstances changes too. There is a chance it will increase, if this is what is needed. There is also a chance it may disappear altogether.
It can be a wonderful experience to have an issue dissolve itself in this way.
A process usually involves a series of internal or external events leading from one point to another. Although the amount of time may vary between people, because it is a process, you can expect it to take a bit of time.
It takes time for new thoughts, perspectives and learnings to percolate through to action. It takes time for actions to reap benefits.
For this reason career coaches usually include a few sessions as part of their offering.