If you’re a coach and you want to transform your coaching practice, mindfulness is a powerful coaching tool. Regular mindfulness practice offers a myriad of science based benefits for you and your clients. Mindful coaching can make an enormous difference to your coaching practice. Here’s how.
“The agent of transformation and healing is called Mindfulness.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
What is Mindful Coaching?
Mindful coaching is a combination of mindfulness, present moment awareness and coaching skills. Liz Hall, author of ‘Mindful Coaching’, describes it as “Intentional focused awareness in the present moment, without judgement and with curiosity and compassion”
It’s that special blend that will transform an ordinary coaching session into something distinct. Mindful coaching helps us to slow down, becoming fully present in the coaching moment. When you introduce mindfulness to coaching, you create a powerful, unique connection with each client.
The Benefits of Mindfulness Based Coaching
Mindful coaching produces a multitude of benefits. Research has demonstrated that regular mindfulness practice increases the area of the brain responsible for positive emotions. Evidence also shows that a daily mindfulness practice improves memory, decreases stress and builds empathy. Here’s what you can expect to see as a result of mindful coaching.
When you practice mindful coaching it will change the way that you relate to the world and your coaching. Mindful coaching will develop the ability to;
- Disrupt the state of autopilot
- Focus their attention
- Manage stress and build resilience
- Self regulate
- Increase their self awareness as a coach
- Improve their emotional agility
- Be more fully present with their clients
- Manage their reactivity to events
- Control their ‘advice monster’, moving into listening mode more effectively
- Improve the relationship between coach and coachee
- Observe thoughts without judging or becoming attached to them
- Develop emotional resilience
- Coach intentionally to maximise performance
Mindful coaching enables clients to;
- Better manage their stress response
- Recognise autopilot
- Develop self awareness and self regulation
- Identify real or hidden emotions
- Develop self compassion
- Improve performance
- Recognise roadblocks on their coaching journey
- Increased self acceptance
- Improved awareness of automatic, habitual responses to events
- The ability to respond rather than react to events
- Increased emotional resilience
Why Mindful Coaching?
Mindfulness based coaching helps us to step outside of the parameters of ordinary conversation and explore what’s really happening. We can bring a curiosity to the process of coaching without becoming obsessed with an outcome or wanting to push things in a particular direction. It involves moving away from every day pressures, to create space, examining what is important without being sidetracked by peripheral issues or mental clutter.
Mindful coaching presents an opportunity, to become the observer, the see the components of an issue more clearly. Often in coaching conversations this leads to the exploration of previously undiscovered avenues, new options and improved decision making.
How to be a Mindful Coach
For coach and client, mindful coaching has enormous benefits but it’s not enough to learn about mindfulness. Mindful coaching can create powerful and lasting change, but you need to practice it to truly experience those benefits. Remember that the more regularly you practice mindfulness, the greater return on investment you’ll see. It really is true that the neurons that fire together, wire together. So, how can you begin to be a more mindful coach?
- Develop a regular mindfulness practice
- Practice a mindful minute together before commencing coaching. Create a separation between the rest of the day and coaching.
- Start each coaching session with an intention.
- Commit to being tech free before and during coaching.
- Bring conscious attention to the session.
- Become aware of non verbal communication during coaching conversations. Think of non verbal cues as data.
- Practice non judgement and acceptance (for yourself and your client)
- Create mindful pauses and employ the S.T.O.P. practice in your sessions. Step back. Think. Observe your thoughts. Ask, what’s here? right now? Organise your feelings before you proceed.
- Practice mindfulness during routine activities e.g. walking or eating to get more mindfulness into your day.
- Use prompts to be more mindful throughout your day e.g. post it notes, a mindfulness app or alert on your phone.
- Model mindfulness for your client.
Want to know more about mindful coaching, executive leadership coaching or mindfulness at work courses? Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. We work internationally with Fortune 500 companies on leadership coaching skills & mindfulness corporate coaching. Were International Mindfulness Teachers Association members and masters qualified UK Mindfulness Teachers Network Registered.