Attending a coaching meeting a few days ago, I was asked the question, “What was the reason you got into coaching and how do you want to use coaching to inspire others going forward?” My immediate response was that I got into coaching because I believe in helping people achieve their goals and empowering them to live their best life. Then realized that was a surface response. I did not dig deep enough. After I thought about the bigger picture and how I want to use coaching as inspiration for others, it brought me back to an earlier time in my life.
When I was an international relations graduate student, I studied Islamic history, took Arabic and minored in Jewish history. As a white Christian young woman, this seemed a little odd to others. My goal back then was to gain different perspectives than my own because I wanted to be a part of bringing about peace and understanding among different people and religions. Taking a recent deeper view into myself, I realized I still do.
There are so many ways our world is divided – whether through politics, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, cultural divisions, etc. When this coach asked me about how I want to use coaching to inspire others, I let myself be vulnerable and let my heart answer. The answer I gave was truly the authentic one.
Coaching can be used to bring about cultural awareness and understandings. It can be used to build bridges so that people come together to work for good. I want to use coaching to create awareness and build those bridges. It starts with the individual – empowering individuals to take a look into their own life and gain perspective about a different way of thinking. This empowerment transfers from that individual to the community – as communities come together to learn and grow from each other. Then it continues from the community to the state level and spreads from the state to the national level. Building bridges so that individuals can embrace who they are and accept others who may be different. Building bridges so that others feel a safe place to have constructive conversations with each other. Building bridges so that peace grows and instead of division there is a togetherness.
That is my authentic answer.
To my coach friends out there, how do you want to use coaching as inspiration for others? What is your authentic answer?