My first ‘chemistry check’, back in 2004, made me very anxious indeed.
Not only was I new to coaching, a coaching stance and process, but I also believed I had to try and convince this potential client, my first potential client, that I was the best coach for him. That this session was going to be about me.
As we sat down I became aware of two things. Firstly that my anxiety was much less than his and secondly that this meeting was not going to be about me or my recently acquired coaching qualifications at all. That enabled me to relax and reset my whole approach.
So, I focused on him, his life, work experience and what he wanted from a coaching process. In that moment I switched from trying to ‘build chemistry’ and started coaching. Rather over reliant on my brand new coaching ‘technical skills’ at first and then very gradually with more intuition and presence.
I was privileged to work with him for over a year as he transitioned into a completely new career. Little did he know that I was on a similar journey.
It took many months, perhaps years, after my first chemistry check meeting to fully occupy my personal stance as a professional coach.
It was informed by my mentors, training and experience and is now built around a persistent intention to acknowledge the truth of a situation and to work from that truth towards clarity, resolution and authenticity in role.
Further supported and informed by the openness, presence and non-intentionality I learnt to find within myself through my experience in systemic constellations I consciously remember that I am there in service of the wider organisational health, not just the individual in front of me. That that individual also belongs to multiple other systems – family, cultural, political and social.
Stepping back and seeing the whole, whilst ‘walking alongside’ the coachee on their journey is what makes this work such a privilege.
Something that made my anxiety around that first chemistry lesson, a very worthwhile experience indeed.