Slow Coaching my way out of a paper bag

Have you heard? Following last year’s immensely successful remote peer-to-peer coaching pilot, Slow Coaching is building momentum! The other week I took the plunge and signed on – it’s already been an amazing ride.

First I should come clean and admit I had put off jumping aboard sooner because… well… [insert convenient pretext about time / priorities / preconceptions of business coaching]. However, now with a handful of sessions under my belt I have to say it’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve recently had.

Picture it: bright and early on a Tuesday morning, listening to Skype’s cheerful startup chime, I found myself compulsively reading through the session script for the umpteenth time. I was about to start my first ever Slow Coaching experience – and no one could ask for a more sensitive and open-minded guide than Beth Jennings. Phew!

My role for this session was Speaker, and Beth’s was Listener. It’s the Listener’s job to practice deep listening and hold space for the Speaker. It’s the Speaker’s job to communicate authentically about whatever they choose to talk about for that session – be it a current business challenge, ideas for a new direction, or just to take stock reflectively of where they’re at.

Sounds pretty easy, right? But even with the script there to walk me through every single step from intro meditation to sign-off, I found it hugely challenging for internal reasons. I suppose that’s the point though, isn’t it? I survived my first go and came away with incredible insights I’ve already put to great use launching my brand new website. Thanks so much, Beth!

Session two for me was with Matt Perfect, that brilliant powerhouse behind our entire Slow Coaching program. Matt wrote the book (well, the script) on Slow Coaching, and it certainly showed. Once again I came away with a lot of food for thought, and a few more bricks removed from my wall (what is this “Pink Floyd” of whom you speak?).

My most recent session was with the Great and Powerful Oz– I mean, Carolyn Tate. This time I finally got to be the Listener, and felt so grateful to hold a safe space and be a sympathetic ear to such a dear colleague and friend. Of course, what goes on behind the curtain stays behind the curtain in Slow Coaching. It’s rule one, you might say.

Only a few weeks in, I can already feel my outlook subtly shifting as a result of insights gained through these sessions. I’m looking forward to learning what else Slow Coaching will unlock – within myself and within my coaching peers.

Genevieve Sovereign
Community Manager – The Slow School of Business

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