The final of our 7 C’s of purpose is capability. Apparently, we use very little of our brains, meaning we often never reach the limits of what we are capable of. But there are also factors that hold us back further still whether that’s academic, social, financial, physical, mental, or emotional. One of the jobs of a coach is to help identify and remove/overcome barriers that could potentially stop coachees from achieving the future that they can so clearly envision. Sometimes that’s as simple as guiding coachees to take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective, and sometimes more exploration is needed.
Therefore there is an element of challenge in coaching, I’ve said this before and I will say it again, the trick is balancing the belief I have in my coachees and they belief they have in themselves so as not to tip them over the edge of their capabilities, real or perceived. But challenge in any form usually provokes some sort of emotion, especially where coachees have had negative experiences in the past; this is where some of our other fundamentals such as connection, compassion, and confidence come into play.
My own capabilities are also continually subject to review, both from myself but also from my peers, tutors, supervisors, mentors, and my coachees themselves. I am hard on myself and I know that, but I’d much rather be that way and practice consciously rather than have no regard for the quality of the work I am doing, or the thoughts, feelings, or health of my coachees. Whilst feedback can sometimes be hard to take, I try to ask for it as often as possible and take on board the suggestions that are made to me.
My biggest point of learning here is that I do not have to be an expert in everything, it is ok to just be great at what I do. Instead of trying to be everything from a personal trainer to a financial advisor and back again, the better use of my time is to find other people who are experts in their own field, create strong working relationships with them, and refer, signpost, tag team, and collaborate, as and when necessary and in the best interest of the coachee.
I struggled to chose what word to use for the last of our 7 C’s and had toyed with credibility, consistency, and competency, before settling here. It has been my experience that we often don not understand just what we are capable of until we are in a situation where we have no other choice. Whilst it is not, and never will be, my intention to back my coachees against a wall, I do believe in each and every one of them, often far beyond the way they believe in themselves, and I will not apologise for that. We are capable beyond our wildest dreams and that excites me.