Reflection of observed practice #2.

Observed practices are sessions which take place in groups of three, where one acts as the observer (with camera off) and the other two as coach and client and we take it in turns to fulfil each of the three roles. Our second observed practice in the course, is one which we were to submit as though it was an examination.

I had done some preparation and refreshed my memory of the PAUSE and SOURCE models as well as the co-active coaching skills, namely active listening, summarizing, clarifying, direct communication, reframing, powerful questions, mirroring, metaphors and similes, challenging and interrupting. I also read through the 28 components which I would be reflecting upon afterwards. I reflected on how I would demonstrate all of these 28 components within the confines of a 20min coaching session.

I counted my lucky stars that I had been assigned the observer role first and the client role second. This provided some reassurance as I observed the other two participants and by the time my time came up and I was feeling more settled than I had initially.

I took approximately 8 mins to settle into my coach role practicing some positive affirmations, power poses to ground myself. I walked away from my desk, hydrated and had a snack. Once the 8 mins had elapsed, we started our session and I hit record.

I noticed straight away that I was fidgeting in my seat. I made a mental note to self and settled deeper into my seat to ensure I was more grounded. I contracted with this client, defined the parameters of the session, explored what my client’s previous experience of coaching was and clarified what coaching was and was not, especially in comparison to counselling and mentoring.

With this framing in place, I felt I’d done a good job of building rapport with the client and settling the client. I sensed that the client was somewhat anxious and had been for a number of days and reflecting back, I realise that I should have probed into this a little further before moving onto the client’s agenda for the session.  

I asked the client what they would like to achieve within the confines of the time we had left and it became apparent that the client didn’t have a clear agenda. In hindsight, I should have spent more time clarifying the agenda as I don’t feel we achieved an outcome that was of value or tangible.

The time was up before I knew it and I felt quite conflicted. A part of me was glad it was over, pleased with how I’d set up the session, built some rapport and launched us onto the airstrip. The other part was aware that I’d got in my own way by not clarifying the agenda and overthinking what the client was communicating. I felt a bit anxious and for future feedforward, I noted that I would focus more on self-regulation throughout the session and on gaining more clarity on the agenda at the outset. So although the plane had been prepped for takeoff and taxi, we didn’t quite get off the runway on this occasion!

By Emilie Rousseau

Student, SBS Practitioner Diploma in Science, Artistry and Systems


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