An Encounter with The Naked Truth
An Encounter with The Naked Truth
According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: “It’s a marvellous day today!” The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was quite beautiful. They spent the day together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth: “The water is very nice, let’s take a bath together!” The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth, and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage. The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein, its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbours no wish at all to meet the Naked Truth.
An Encounter with The Naked Truth is often painful, but it could be the most productive thing coaches help their clients to experience.
Self-awareness gives you the capacity to learn from your mistakes as well as
your successes. It enables you to keep growing, especially if it is NOT the self-awareness where you’re limiting and belittling yourself but are truly becoming aware of your own patterns and changing those that do you harm.
Socrates said it like this: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
In practice, this level of self-awareness is difficult. This is partly because we are all naturally defensive – and this is a critical protective measure when we do not feel safe. This is also because most of us have been unduly judged, and even shamed, by the comments and criticisms of others that looked only to our failures, as opposed to our strengths.
As coaches, we want to support our clients to be more self-aware and have regular encounters with the naked truth. This stimulates their growth. And that level of self-awareness will only happen as we create safety by how we communicate for our clients.
Communication and coaching go hand in hand. The ability to effectively communicate is one of the most critical skills in coaching.
George Bernard Shaw said it like this: “In the right key, one can say anything. In the wrong key, nothing. The only delicate part is the establishment of the key.“
Now when you think about communication and coaching, the most essential lesson revolves around trust. In other words, how can a coach cultivate a way of relating that inspires people to trust him or her? Trust is an essential element, perhaps THE essential element in coaching and communication.
As Stephen R. Covey said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
8 Secrets to Amazing Communication for Coaches:
To grow as a coach, you must learn how to be an effective, compelling communicator. Great coaches are intentional about communication, and there are 8 secrets they rely on…
1. They Understand Their Clients
Great coaches don’t worry about sounding important, showing off their expertise, or boosting their own egos. Instead, they think about what people need to hear, and how they can deliver this message so that people will be able to hear it.
2. They Are Experts When it Comes to Body Language
Great coaches are constantly tracking people’s reactions to their message. They are quick to pick up on cues like facial expressions and body language because they know this is the only feedback many people will give them. Great coaches use this expertise to tailor their message on the fly and adjust their communication style as needed. This makes them come across as very intuitive.
3. They are Authentic
Great coaches don’t try to be someone they’re not just because they’re coaching. Great coaches know that when they stay true to who they are, people gravitate to them. They also know the opposite happens when coaches put on an act.
4. They Speak with Certainty
Great coaches don’t try to cover their backs by being ambiguous, wishy-washy, or unassertive. Coaching is about clarity and being focused in your communication. This gives you certainty.
5. They Are Honest
The best coaches know that effective communication must be real. Honesty builds trust.
6. They Listen Deeply
Great coaches know that communication is a two-way street and what they hear is often more important than what they say. When someone else is speaking, great coaches aren’t thinking ahead and planning what they’ll say next. Instead, they’re actively listening, fully focused on understanding the other person’s perspective.
7. They Ask For Feedback
The best coaches never assume that the message people heard is the exact same message they intended to deliver. They check in to verify that their message was understood correctly, and, if it was not, they don’t blame the client. Instead, they change things up and try again.
8. They Inspire
Coaches with the best communication skills don’t waste time always pointing out the problems. They offer solutions. Hope. Vision. Empowerment. They do not deny the existence of problems, but freely acknowledge them in a way that empowers and calls people to action so the challenges can be fully met.
The best coaches are the best communicators, and this fosters safety for our client. When our client feels safe, they will grow in self-awareness, and this self-awareness will propel our client onto a learning and growth journey like never before! The hope is that we can help our clients to have encounters with the naked truth, which though painful, will also be productive.
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Abe Brown is an Entrepreneur, High-Performance Leadership Coach, Speaker, Executive, and Best-Selling Author. He has been called the Coach’s Coach, and is the President of the Certified Coaches Federation, the President of Momentum Coaching, and the CEO of Wellness Innovate. The Certified Coaches Federation has trained and certified over 14,000 Life and Executive Coaches in the last 14 years. Abe does Leadership and Executive Coaching, and works with organizations around strategic planning, leadership and culture, workplace wellbeing, and cultivating fully engaged employees. His mantra is to Live, Lead, Serve, and Matter.