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  • Writer's picturePranay Ranjan

Coaching as a Conversational Dance

Coaching means different things to different people and there are valid ways in which people differentiate it from therapy, mentoring, counseling, or training. What I want to write about, however, is not about what coaching should be or how it is different, but about what the heart of coaching is for me.

In all my experiences with coaches I have loved, I have felt deeply held and respected by the quality of their listening, and often brought to a sense of awe. I would leave feeling like something had grown in me through the interaction and made me taller in my own eyes. The new possibilities that arose for me were from this new height I would gain in that experience, so to speak. I could think outside the box because I somehow had moved out of it.

In learning to coach, it is this quality that I hold as one of the most important that I have to offer. I listen with my entire being. This is not just listening with the ears and mind. This is not just to paraphrase or to ask questions about what I didn't understand. These are all valuable listening skills in their own way. But, the listening I am talking about goes deeper than that. It is an alive energetic field into which I invite someone to explore what is true for them at a deeper level and imagine what is possible. This is listening with the whole body, being attuned to my own life history and struggles, and remaining open to all that I do not know. What arises from that space ends up changing not only the perspectives of the coachee but also impacts me.

In a way, it is a conversational dance that becomes a container of alchemical change. I bring listening to this dance, and the coachee is able to step into trust. It is these things that create that alchemical dance.

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