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First and foremost, keeping space for your client is a mentality that stems from your coaching influence. 

Any space in the beginning is filled with nothingness. 

“Nothingness is the source of everything. But if you want to take an apple out of it, so many other things will come out along with apple: The farmer who produced it, the farm, the seed shop, farmer’s family and ancestors… a whole new universe will come out with apple.”

― Shunya

When we partner with the client from this space of almost nothing, then only we can create a space where they share. We do nothing here. We don’t judge, condemn, or try to fix them, we don’t give suggestions, we don’t make the customer wrong, or we don’t care about them.

Instead, without an agenda or the need to monitor what is in the space, we enjoy this space with the coachee and provide unconditional support.

How to Hold Space?

From the viewpoint of being silent for the client while keeping space can be more appreciated as a way of taking time to think and process what’s coming up during the coaching session. While in practice you will find holding space to be much more than just being good as listening.

As far as holding space is concerned, with time you will feel more like it is time to play with versatility, borders, emotions, new mutual interests, to be present and ready for whatever unfolds. It is a chance to respect the patience and activities needed to work through the method of coaching. You will also find that keeping space was just as important to you as the coach as it was to establish the coaching relationship with the client. If you actually keep space, whatever happens then can be without attachment or a need to speed up to match your coaching model.

Designing a Trusting Space as a Coach

As a coach, training for coaching is important to ensure that you are tuned in to your client when you start your session and can concentrate fully on them without being distracted.

The client’s understanding can emerge organically in this space and initial steps can take shape beautifully. The presence of peace, which brings great protection to a client’s heart, is a key element of a trusted space. A mutually trusting, vulnerable, transparent and truthful partnership can create an atmosphere that causes the confidence of the client to increase. This form of space often energizes a client, encourages advancement and increases their level of devotion to the coaching process.

For the coach, in order to build a trusting and respectful atmosphere, the co-creation of the relationship with the client includes the development of trust and intimacy. On the coach’s part, this is a professional duty and responsibility. The coach will then be in the moment and linked to complete confidence.

Designing a trusting space for a client requires 2 important space setups:

1. Create a trusting space within yourself.

‘Creating inner space’ is a concept used to represent the process of clearing the mind of ideas, feelings, memories and perceptions so that fresh knowledge can be accessed and processed in your mind. You will be able to concentrate more deeply on your client in the session by creating inner space, listening more efficiently and helping them work on their agenda rather than your own.

2. Create an atmosphere of trust in your client.

Trust that the individual is able to access their own instincts and has their own wisdom. We take away their decision-making abilities and their willingness to move into their own power when we believe we know what the client’s decision should be.

When we communicate that our way of doing things is the right way, we teach our clients to rely on us for the answers and step out of coaching and into teaching or mentoring. To make their own decisions, clients need control and feel motivated to take chances and actions that drive them in the direction of their desired performance.

If it is a mentality to keep the space for the consumer, what attitudes, assumptions, and values would we need to explore within ourselves that are getting in the way of keeping the client space? What adjustments could help us cultivate this practice from “doing” to “being”? Perhaps one place to start is to think about your own “holding the space” experiences and how your customers could evoke that experience.

Bear in mind that the coaching room is not about showing the client what a fantastic mentor you are by showcasing your coaching abilities, but rather an opportunity to collaborate with the client, their thinking, their perspectives, and their wisdom, and put your full attention to them.