TCC 2021

Practicing Presence

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How would you feel, if you meet a friend and sit for a chat after years only to find you are being heard or seen by the person in front?

You are the audience for a story that has been occurring in someone’s head up to that time, and hence the impact is immediate if you are not totally present. The coaching session devolves into a question-and-answer session, rather than a chance for exploration and the expansion and deepening of a storey. You must prepare in order to be present. This includes both subject preparation and, more crucially, self-preparation. As a completely present coach, you will possess a high degree of awareness and concentration, giving you a higher opportunity of comprehending what is occurring on all levels for both you and your coachee. Your coachee will have the opportunity to be truly seen and heard.

It is also why, Maintaining Coaching Presence is one of eight ICF Core Competencies included in the updated model, which will take effect later in 2021. This is a critical skill and quality that coaches bring to their client relationships.

Any coaching relationship benefits from the client’s complete trust in the coach and the coaching process. It is critical for the coach to have unwavering faith in the client’s intentions and abilities, as well as an open mind to explore and “flow” with the process. This brings Coaching Presence, one of the ICF Core Competencies, to the fore.

The term “presence” refers to the state of being available or existing at a particular location or time. Thus, coaching presence entails being fully present with your client in the moment and, at times, in a physical sense as well.

Conscious Coaching Presence

Coaching is an endeavour that demands a lot. Each hour you provide to a coachee demonstrates your commitment to them and establishes a structure in which they can explore their thoughts and ideas in a secure environment. Your presence’s quality facilitates the telling of a story. You set the tone for inquisitiveness and curiosity. This is what we mean when we say we are present. It’s challenging, and there are no shortcuts. We’ve discovered that you need space before and after a session to offer your best during the coaching session.

As per ICF Core Competency 5: Maintains Presence

Definition Is: Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded and confident.

  • Remains focused, observant, empathetic and responsive to the client.
  • Demonstrates curiosity during the coaching process.
  • Manages one’s emotions to stay present with the client.
  • Demonstrates confidence in working with strong client emotions during the coaching process.
  • Is comfortable working in a space of not knowing.
  • Creates and allows for silence, pause or reflection.

The primary outcome of presence is that a coach develops into a high-performing coach who is in tune with their client and able to maximise the effectiveness of their client’s learning. This has been shown to have a significant impact on the outcome, transforming the coaching experience and ensuring the client’s long-term development.

A significant outcome is also the development of trust, which is critical to coaching’s success. Trust implies that the client participates actively in the coaching process and is completely receptive to self-discovery.

Trust is built on the coach’s authenticity in that moment, fully committed to them and their potential together, while maintaining a deep focus and awareness as if they were both at the centre of the universe.

Additionally, coachees are acutely aware of their coach’s presence during the coaching session, even if many of the coachees interviewed would not describe it as presence. They did, however, perceive this as having a significant impact on the success of their coaching programme. That is, if a coach is not present, a barrier to the coaching relationship will exist.

Practicing Presence at The Coaching Conclave 2021

Are you looking for how to make your own presence strong? The session by Sackeen Jonas is specially designed to cover the presence parameters at The Coaching Conclave 2021. Dr. Jonas says, 

“We have been surrounding over the last two decades with the language and competencies

related to “Presence”:

– Leadership Presence

– Coaching Presence

– Mindful Presence

– Signature Presence

So clearly the idea of “Presence” is intriguing. What makes this so important? What does it

mean to Practice Presence? Presence is not rational, but it is extremely potent; it is deeply

spiritual. It calls us to a place of Shunya and compels us to:

Seeing the whole

– Being in the here

– Holding the Now

It brings about the possibilities that have the potential to shift everything. 

Practicing Presence as a coach strengthens our abilities to cultivate trust and safety, listen actively and maintain presence. During our session we will enter into this topic and emerge with a renewed appreciation for the quinary of Practicing Presence.

About Sackeena

Sackeena founded Transformation Edge Coaching & Consulting in 2011, to help leaders and professional women experience more meaning and fulfillment and less stress and overwhelm. Sackeena Gordon-Jones is a leadership development expert, author, personal strategist, coach trainer, executive, personal and mentor coach. A leader in the coaching field, Sackeena served as president of ICF Raleigh, Past-Chair of ICF Southeast Region and Past Director of ICF’s new Global Board, ‘Coaching in Organizations, as well as, the Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO). Sackeena currently serves on the editorial board of Choice Magazine for Coaches.

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