How many times have you heard self help professionals say, don’t spend your time with negative people. Surround yourself with positive supporting people who help to build you up rather than sap all of your energy every time you see them.
I certainly adhere to that belief and I am careful about choosing who I spend my time with, ensuring that I surround myself with strong leaders, people who are working on their personal growth, people who are setting goals and achieving them, people who inspire me.
On Monday evening, while I was in a meeting, I found myself starting to jot down words on the paper in front of me. They were things that I was feeling or observing at that very moment.
Support – Guidance- Acknowledgement- Vulnerability- Personal Growth- Friendship - A sense of belonging- Safety
You might find some of these things in certain areas of your life but we don’t often find them all in the same place, or can we? If you’ve ever worked with a coach you will know that these things are all present in a coaching relationship, and they are many of the reasons why people come to coaching. But I wasn’t working with a client when I was writing down these words.
So where was I? Well some of you may not be surprised to learn that I was at my weekly Toastmasters meeting. As I watched fellow members speak, and later as I myself stood to speak, I realized that these were all things that I either felt or I embodied when I attended my meetings.
This club is where I give support to new members and receive it from more experienced ones. Here is where I give acknowledgement to others and work to teach my club members how to acknowledge someone so they too feel seen. Rarely do you find a place where there is so much vulnerability going on, some of these speeches are tearjerkers as members pour out their hearts when sharing their struggles and successes in life. Right before your eyes personal growth happens every as you see members dig deeper into their well of courage each time they speak.
Friendship is all around you, members hug each other even though they only saw one another a week ago and smiles and handshakes are shared with guests who come to check us out. People say they felt a sense of belonging from the first time they walked in because they were spoken to and included, how many times have you gone to an event or meeting and been ignored only to leave early because of not feeling like you belonged?
And finally safety, if someone doesn’t feel safe in an environment the last thing they are going to do is stand up in front of a group of strangers and try to speak, again a safe place allows people to consider being vulnerable, to take a risk.
As a warm feeling started to envelope my being I realized that I loved coming to my Toastmasters club because what I was sharing and getting back from my members were many of the same things that people come to coaching for, the same reasons I myself have a coach.
No wonder I got a high here!
As coaches we acknowledge our client’s, give them a safe place to be vulnerable, help them with their personal growth by working to set goals and holding them accountable. We offer support and occasionally guidance while making them feel as if they belong because we show them how much we believe in them.
Coaching doesn’t just happen on the phone with a client; it’s a way of being, a way of showing up in your life. Coaching skills are also life skills that can be used in a coaching relationship, or outside of one.
The awesome thing about these skills is that you don’t have to be a coach to use them!! Anyone can do it!
So every week I show up to my meeting, to once again surround myself with the type of positive people that will help me on my own journey to be the best me I can be. And in turn I do the same for them.
If you’re searching for something this fulfilling in your life but aren’t prepared to put yourself out there yet in front of a group of strangers, then maybe you’re ready for coaching. And hey after several months with your own coach, maybe you’ll be ready to take that first courageous step into a Toastmasters meeting.
Ya never know!!!