Meditation - Listening to Your Quiet Inner Voice
Mindfulness can be very helpful during coaching sessions. Both in the form of a brief mindfulness meditation and also as a practice of paying curious attention. In my experience, spending 3-5 minutes on a mindfulness meditation at the start of a session, significantly increases the impact of the conversation. The coachee and I get more present, we see things more clearly, we are more willing to step into hard, challenging but important topics.
This recording is of a mindfulness meditation I sometimes use when a client’s attention seems hooked by ‘loud’ thoughts (often relating to fear, anxiety or self criticism) and they are struggling to recognise that other thoughts are present. Often those quieter thoughts are wiser and less reactive. Of course, sometimes they aren’t! But even these quiet but unhelpful thoughts are worth bringing to the surface and exploring.
Broadening attention in this way can be a useful step in both lessening the power of those noisy thoughts and also can help the client to get a sense that the wise answers they are seeking may already be present but are being drowned out by more attention grabbing and aversive thoughts.
If you are interested in how to use mindfulness in coaching sessions to help clients to achieve their goals, I will be running a series of workshops on Applying ACT to Work-related Coaching around Australia in May. You can read more details here.
PS This meditation is adapted from a meditation described by Kelly Wilson. I highly recommend his book on how to apply mindfulness in therapy conversations – Mindfulness for Two – his suggestions can be adapted for coaching conversations.