During the day I had the wonderful opportunity to review some challenging coaching cases with colleagues. The generosity of those sharing their cases allowed for deeper insights thanks to their willingness to be vulnerable and transparent.
When starting a coaching or group coaching, the coach will have prepared himself as well as possible. But what good preparation is, depends entirely on the individual.
There are a few givens, like revisiting one’s knowledge of the client, his objectives, and the context relating to it. Or on the practical side, to have the material available that will be needed.
There is some complexity in getting to have a good understanding of these as every individual and every group is different. There also is a lot of fantasy about our ability to be prepared, that is to either have an idea of how the work will look like or what is going to be needed.
What the preparation actually is for, is to feel prepared and ready to do the work.
That is, to be in a state in which surprises can remain welcome instead of triggering an alarm mode. Perfection, if it exists, might have been reached when the ability to be present comes along with the willingness to let the work happen.
Reflecting together on the coaching cases and the learning they made possible, it appeared that while everyone has his style, there still is a bit of a ground rule. One aspect of it is to constantly learn but rely on one’s experience while doing the work. Another aspect was to gain clarity on the constraints one has to choose for oneself. They delimit the area within which the work stretches one enough, but not too much.