Tips for “Centering” before a Coaching Session Eileen Pisula

Grean leaves over zen stones pyramid on water surface

My little contribution is a little centering exercise that I do before I begin coaching,
assessment debriefs and anything that requires me to be calm, objective, purposeful and
mindful. Depending on the time I have, it can be from 5 to 15 minutes although I admit
that I prefer having 15 minutes.

The purpose of this exercise is to help me let go of my personal prejudice, agenda or
concerns of the moment, and concentrate fully on my client. I will share what I do, but
remember that we are individual with different styles, so do adapt it to suit your
situation and temperament.

I normally start by finding a little quiet place (normally, my office) and time where I can
be away from distraction. When this is impossible, I will just withdraw into a little corner
and find the quiet inside myself. To get there, I do a slow deep breathing exercise which
helps relax me further, and I reflect on my current state of mind and soul. To release the
egocentric self, I concentrate on the fact that that the next hour or so, it is about my
client, not me or my agendas. If I am having a good day, this is really easy, but if there
has been tension that day, it can be very difficult. Nevertheless, I believe it is still better
than going into a session feeling tense, angry and miserable.

Next, I review my role in the coming session, what is required of me to fulfil that role.
By focusing on the “humanness” of my client and myself, a shift takes place. I become
conscious of the need to be gentle not only with my client but also, myself. This shift
also helps me to refrain from being judgmental of others and myself. I have personally found this “self
talk” very powerful as it has kept me centred through many difficult sessions and situations by making
me very mindful in my intentions, actions and speech.

This may or may not be your style, and I just hope that some of you will
find this somewhat useful.

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