See if you can relate to this ...
I have a really great friend. I'll call him "Derek," because that's his name.
We've had a lot of "coffee shop talks" over the years. And every single one of them has been helpful to me.
I adore and appreciate Derek on so many levels. One of his greatest gifts is that he's a kind, patient and thoughtful listener.
In addition to that, Derek has the ability to help me see what, deep down, I'm pretty sure I already know.
But my view of myself is cluttered with all the other things I'm constantly thinking about, wondering about, assuming and projecting.
Derek sees right through all that. He doesn't have to grapple with all the "made up stories" that I've created in my own head. His is a different perspective so it's easier for him to identify the threads of what's really important and then show them back to me.
The elegance of it is that it's all pretty fundamentally simple.
Derek helps me to trust myself. He doesn't tell me what to do or how to live my life. He simply listens, asks questions about what matters most to me, and then helps me to see it more clearly.
It's validating and empowering.
Of course, like most good things, I didn't fully realize what was happening or why it was helping until many years later. It wasn't until I explored and completed a "Life and Executive Coaching" certification that the light went on about how familiar the process felt.
At the same time, I began to hear many of my podcast guests (whom I would interview and listen to) say things afterward like, "Gee, I've never thought of it like that before, but you're right," or, "I felt so comfortable talking to you that I shared things I've never talked about before."
Of course, I thought I was just doing a "bang-up job" as an interviewer. And maybe I was. But do you know what I now believe has really been going on?
I've learned to be more like Derek.
I will listen. I will question. And then I'll show people what, deep down, I think they already know.
That's the power of a good "coffee shop talk." And if you take it just a little bit further, and work together to put some very simple steps in place to move you forward on whatever it was you were talking about, and then set another date for another talk to follow it up, well ... that's pretty much what "coaching" is.
Simple as that.
I think we tend to forget:
a) We know more about ourselves than we think we do and ...
b) How incredibly refreshing and empowering it feels just to be heard.
Sometimes, we just need a safe space and a supportive pace to be listened to and supported.
Well, I know a place ...