I never met a client ….

…..whose potential I couldn’t see.

I’m parodying the advertisement for our local Calgary YMCA whose slogan I just heard on TV “we’ve never met a child whose potential we couldn’t see”.

Coaching is about more than seeing that potential. It’s about reflecting it back for my client  to see it, embrace it and turn it into an action for moving towards their desired state of being – at work and in life.

John O’Donohue (one of my favourite sources of inspiration as you know from previous posts) has this great phrase in one of his podcasts: no human being ever sees their own face. Yes – think about it – all we ever see is the mirrored image back to us. No matter how we try, we physically cannot see our own face with our own eyes.

In the same way, it’s challenging at times for one person to fully see their own potential. I know this to be true for myself, since I discovered it when I was being coached recently. I was exploring with my coach how I might leverage my recent TEDx talk and whether I might be bolder in sending it out and sharing it with a wider audience. As happens in many coaching conversations, I could generate many ideas and possibilities. The question was whether I had the potential to turn those into action.  Turns out I haven’t as yet, since I have yet to implement those ideas.

Potential is about power (same word potent = powerful). And coaching is about perceiving, affirming and enhancing that personal power (as in IAC Mastery #2). Yet it can’t stop there. It has to be about turning it into action so that something actually happens to bring your power into the world and make something happen.

First you need to see the potential. Then you need to do something with it.

And maybe you need to have a WHY for doing that something with it.

As yet I haven’t worked out WHY I might want to put my TEDx talk out into the world more consciously. If you read my earlier post on this topic, you’ll also recall that I didn’t have a big WHY for doing the TEDx talk in the first place. So I might even be flogging a proverbial dead horse on this one?

Potential works in many different ways. I found the potential (power) to do the talk, to get on the stage and deliver it – and then to watch myself on video afterwards. That might be enough.

I can see (or maybe I’m hoping for) the potential of it spreading further, and I can see some actions I might take to nudge it on it’s way. It’s full of potential for sure. Another conversation with my coach would more than likely release that potential into firm action.

I can see the potential in the talk. Can I see the full potential in me?

Can you see more potential in yourself? If you tap into that potential, what action might you take next?





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Aileen Gibb
My work has taken me around the globe and to conversations with people from many different nationalities, cultures and organisations. Wherever I've gone, the power of real conversation, founded on intentional listening and enlightened questioning, has been welcomed. It’s a core piece of our humanity to create the space for conversations that matter and to build connection and meaning with members of our family, our business and our communities.