Coaches often share with me the struggle of maintaining the duality of “present”. That is, the challenge of staying simultaneously present themselves as they co-creatively work to find that same state with their client. I would offer that coaches need to think about “present” differently.
In a recent yoga class, the yogi shared her view of the value of being present. This was great. Then she shared her definition of present and I became…well, challenged. Blanket statements followed. “Let go of all of your past. Do not worry or care about the future and what is expected to be done or completed.” Neither appropriate nor easy to enter debate from child’s pose, but it did prompt thought, and for that I give her thanks.
Think of being “present” as simply being aware and balanced in this moment. I like to use the analogy of the sailboat and that “present” is the keel of the boat. The keel properly insures that the force of the direction (past or future) is weighted to the base of your journey’s vehicle and that the power coming from leaning in balance against that force creates the proper, balanced energy to forge ahead on your journey. Both as a person and as a coach, great positive energy can come from turning with sail into the energy of our past or future. The key is the weighted keel – the balance of the “present” and the place from which we find the stability to harness life’s force into our progress.
Chris Osborn is the President of Coach Training Alliance. His lifelong learning includes experience as CEO of a large financial services company and founder of several growth oriented service companies.