By Amy Shuman
UC Davis Professional Coaching Student

Editor's note -- This is part three of an ongoing blog series written by Amy Shuman, a current student in our Professional Coaching program. 

Amy Shuman

Weekend three was where the magic started to really spark for me.  We explored some new coaching models that incorporated positive psychology and appreciative inquiry (yes!).  We spent time trying to articulate who we are as coaches, and what matters most to us.  We reviewed sample coaching calls and practiced giving feedback. 

I’ve been trying to pick just one thing from weekend three to write about and… well… there were too many excellent things to share to be able to choose just one.  Ten pages of personal notes, to be precise. I went back into my notebook to see if I could find some inspiration. 

“A coaching conversation is a professionally managed conversation.”

“The only thing we are an expert on is listening.”

“A question is always the answer.”

Good stuff.

The thoughts and ideas began to spiral around in my mind, and then I saw something I jotted down about something called “in-between coaching.”  The concept is that sometimes the a-ha moments come during sessions, but sometimes they come in-between coaching sessions.  There is value to check in with your client on what new discoveries they made in the in-between.

This is an area we might overlook or skip over as coaches in the hurry to get to the intentions of the day and start tracking toward a coaching outcome.  However, there is a lot to learn based on what was retained by the client after they left the call and what discoveries or actions they took based on the insights gleaned in coaching.  Allowing for space for the client to share is valuable and can help create a sense of continuity through a multi session engagement.

I’ve experienced this myself as a client.  Shortly after a call ends I might find that my brain starts coming up with all sorts of new ideas on the issue.  I wonder why I couldn’t have said those awesome things during the call.  I used to look at them as lost moments or lost opportunities since my coach wasn’t there to hear my new (and improved) thoughts. The takeaway is that if the coach understands that a lot of discovery can happen in-between coaching, they can help salvage and expand on those ideas, feelings or thoughts.  This also speaks to the value of having an ongoing coaching engagement.  Coaching can be extremely enlightening even in only a few minutes, but there is tremendous value in a series of sessions that can account for those in-between epiphany moments. 

Personal development is a fluid process.  Be sure you pay attention to your expanded perspective and awareness, whenever the thoughts might come.