This credential highlights the high standard coaches follow which includes following a code of ethics, remaining in line with the scope of practice, and utilizing coaching best practices and techniques. Having this vigorous standard allows coaches to practice according to these guidelines ensuring that coaches are aligned on the main principles of coaching.
Even with these guidelines, all coaches have their unique niche, focus, and approach while working with their respective clients which helps individualize the client experience. Similarly, coaches vary in the types of techniques and modalities they choose to integrate or not integrate into their coaching practice. One of these modalities is mindfulness.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is defined as being present in the current moment which allows an individual to pay attention and remain aware of their thoughts, feelings, and/ or external environment. It is often used to help individuals manage stress and anxiety, be more present now, and enhance their self-awareness. The core mindfulness principles include concepts such as: letting go, beginner’s mind, patience, nonjudgement, acceptance, trust, and non-striving. Mindfulness can be used in various ways in a coaching practice. Coaches can use mindfulness as a governing approach and philosophy while coaching clients. Additionally, coaches can weave mindfulness techniques into a coaching session as tactics and tools that accentuate the session. In either situation, mindfulness can enhance the client experience and help clients in a variety of ways.
PUTTING MINDFULNESS TO WORK
In the first example where coaches use mindfulness as their governing philosophy, they incorporate mindfulness into their core belief of what constitutes coaching. For instance, mindful coaches believe that people are naturally whole and resourceful and that clients are their own best guide as they work to change behaviors. This approach lends nicely to core elements of coaching such as coaching being collaborative, client-driven, and that the coach is merely the guide to help a client tap into their inner resources and resilience. Coaches who utilize mindfulness in their coaching philosophy keep mindfulness principles top of mind before, during, and after a coaching session. For example, they will practice nonjudgement, keep a beginner’s mind while working with their clients, let go of their agenda or ideas during the session itself, and remain present and now. Keeping mindfulness as part of the coaching approach can accentuate and positively impact the client experience. The second way that mindfulness can be used in a coaching practice is through tools and activities that a coach weaves into the coaching session itself. Instead of just being an overarching philosophy, mindfulness becomes the tactics and tools used to make a bigger impact. For example, a coach can incorporate breathing techniques, meditation, body scans, visualizations, and more to help a client tap into their self-awareness. Incorporating these types of mindfulness techniques can have an array of benefits. These include grounding a client into the present moment, increasing awareness of their thoughts and feelings, and reducing stress and anxiety.