I arrived at coaching the roundabout way, which is likely the way most people get there. I spent the first 15 years of my working life as a journalist, most of them as a foreign correspondent. I spent the next 15 years inside large companies, as an executive. I got pretty high up. But there is always another rung to climb if the game is climbing ladders.
I have run my own business for the past 5 years. I consult, mostly with sales, marketing and technology teams. I also continue to write for a living. Over the years, I have learned how to write speeches for CEOs, video scripts, essays, value propositions, brand statements, annual reports and in-app user experiences. I guess writing for me is what French cooking was to Julia Child. Her take?
You'll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.
I do love writing. But there is something special about coaching. It is such a privilege. Whether my client is a workaholic CEO, a reluctant retiree, an expectant mother, or a frustrated executive, I get to bear witness to their lives. I also get to learn about life itself, and all the ways we show up, as humans.
Metaphor is a powerful tool in coaching. Metaphors engage the creative and resourceful parts of our brain. They help us find the truth in things when literal language fails us. Sometimes the coach might offer a metaphor for a situation, or feeling. Sometimes, the client suggests the path to explore (so to speak). In the creative collaboration between client and coach come new insights, and new actions.
Each week I plan to explore a life metaphor that has touched me in my coaching. Subscribe to get my scribblings every Sunday morning. You can also follow me on Medium, or on LinkedIn. Feel free to forward this to a friend, colleague, or loved one, or anyone you think might benefit from reading it.