No one I’ve coached has ever signed a contract on the day we were introduced. Usually, a seed is planted, I water it frequently via contact through blog posts, e-newsletters, online offers, networking attendance and occasional phone conversations. When the client’s need arises, having stayed top-of-mind, I get the call.
Sometimes it takes several seasons for that to develop. This week, in fact, I began coaching relationships with two people whose seeds were planted well over a year ago. Whether it’s busy-ness, fear, timing or the economy, each person has his/her own timetable for readiness. People have their own rhythms and bandwidth. I respect that and work with it.
This pattern of individuality was driven home to me during a coffee date last week with a friend in academia. Carolyn, who had been my practice client while I was in the midst of my coaching certification program, is a highly trained artist who often puts her own practice on the back burner in order to earn her living teaching and advising at a university. She made great strides in our work together–drawing daily, exhibiting her work and ratcheting up her self-care by getting to bed earlier than her usual midnight and allowing herself 8 hours of sleep.
I’d asked her for a testimonial after we completed our coaching sessions. During this coffee meeting she verbalized her gains from our work:
“I’m a muller. I wouldn’t be your poster child for dramatic transformation, but over time, the transformation has been profound. What was uncovered, with cymbals clashing, was that the question you would ask would break a thinking pattern and open up a new space and perspective. And what has evolved over the past few years I can trace to those aha–opening moments.”
I respect each person’s unique style from the quick-out-of-the-gate client to the muller. It’s what makes you successful. My mission is to foster your growth. I know that time, sunlight and nourishment are my allies so I’ve become a patient and optimistic gardener.