The Path to Coaching Mastery (and what new coaches get wrong)
In a world where coaches are inundated with possibilities for more training, what actually fosters coaching mastery?
In this conversation with executive coach Toku McCree we dive into what coaching mastery really looks like, the most powerful coaching tool and what new coaches get wrong.
The Secret of Mastery
Toku believes that mastery is about not knowing anything; knowing that you don’t know. To be the best you can therefore, is to stay in beginner mind. If you think you’re a master coach that thought will be the thing that stops you from being master coach.
A master coach is not in the question of “How good am I?”. The master coach lives into “How good can I get?”. Only new coaches ask themselves how good they are, which is not a question that has much value; you are as good as you are and only your deep desire to be of even greater service will foster your growth and ability.
The other important part is who we’re being; our state of being makes a huge difference in how questions land, so having a spiritual practice is just as important as having a solid understanding about coaching tools and techniques.
Staying in The Tension
Many coaches live in the fallacy that they need more preparation; more tools, more techniques, better sales abilities, but Toku’s perspective is that the one thing you need to work on is to get good at being in extreme tension; this is the crucial piece in becoming a masterful coach.
Being able to stay with tension means fostering that ability first and foremost within yourself, and then getting comfortable holding it with other people. It creates the space for the client to not know what they want and for that to be ok, so that in that shared not knowing new possibilities can arise.
This approach allows you to stay in the question of who this person is and what they want. It means coming in and asking yourself what is special about them, what makes them amazing and what’s getting in the way of that being expressed; tuning into the truest essence of that person and then asking why they’re not living what is possible for them.
The Room Where It Happens
Mastery involves developing the instinct to know when to be silent and when to speak. One is holding (sitting in silence, perhaps in tension) and one is leading (taking the client through a process).
Coaching can be seen as creating tension, following the client has an insight that releases some of that tension, after which you create more tension, and so on. Coaches can learn how to build the tension in a session in order to facilitate client breakthroughs.
The concept of “We’re in the room where it happens” is a powerful one for creating tension. This involves creating awe in the session, which helps the client begin to open to bigger possibilities for their life.
The way of the superior man, David Deida
Toku’s book: The Samurai Coaching Devotional
(Toku has generously offered a link to access his new book for free when it releases on 1/31/21)