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Coaching is X-ing: Things I Do When I Coach

 1. December 2017

i’ve got more to say about interactions between humans at that level just above behavior and just below openings, lots more. but i’m going to jump ahead, then circle back.

i want to list a bunch of things i do during my coaching days. it’s likely only a partial list, and as always, i reserve the right to change my mind pretty much at will. this list is made of gerunds. gerunds are verbs turned into nouns for grammatical ease. that choice is willful. coaching (a gerund) is active, not passive.

there are a lot of them. that represents the fact that there are a lot of different kinds of work i do when i’m coaching. i mentioned yesterday, and reiterate today: none of these things i do to. they are things i do with. words around this distinction are not easy and obvious. i will do my best, and i ask you to give the benefit of the doubt if my terminology can be interpreted both ways.

one more thing: some of these words are unusual in this context. again, not an accident: tho they name actions that in some cases have other common labels, i prefer a slight sense of jarring. okay, blah-blah-blah, no further ado.

these are things i am likely to be doing on a day when i’m coaching.

wow. that’s a long list, and i’ve little confidence i hit the most important things!

i don’t do all of these things all of the time, but i do them all a lot, and i regard them as an ordinary part of my work. they are flickery. i jump back and forth between them. i don’t for the most part schedule them. rare indeed is the day i do just one or two of them all day.

from here, i will later circle back. these words capture some of the kinds of interaction i do during coaching days, but i want to connect it all back to that mission we discussed, creating openings. soon, soon.

narrating, canalizing, moderating, water-winging, view-merging, fish-eyeing, joking, scouting, backfilling, celebrating, grasping, jarring, ignoring, failing, truthing, hand-sitting, resting, pronouncing, complaining, debriefing.

for me, this is all coaching.