The Rhythm of Coaching
Our biological rhythms are the symphony of the cosmos, music embedded deep within us to which we dance, even when we can’t name the tune. ― Deepak Chopra
We all move to our own rhythm, and accomplish goals in our own time and at our own pace. Lets consider for a moment some of these familiar phrases that describe our sense of rhythm:
- Feeling out of synch
- Marching to the beat of a different drummer
- Walking in rhythm
- And the beat goes on…
Have you considered how rhythm fits into coaching? A coach has the opportunity to support a client when they wish to connect, or re-establish an inner rhythm to regain balance in life.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, rhythm is defined as “movement, fluctuation or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements.” We all have an inner rhythm that keeps us moving forward in life. When establishing a professional partnership with a client, a coach acknowledges the client’s rhythm and adjusts their rhythm to match the client during the session. In other words, the coach meets the client where they are at, and the client determines the pace.
Spending time in nature can help restore natural rhythm. Walking outside, gardening, hiking, kayaking etc., can often help re-establish rhythm when it has been knocked askew by the stress and strain of modern day living. When a coach notices a client “feeling out of synch,” inviting more nature into their life can be a useful coaching tool.
A coach can also invite clients “feeling out of synch” to connect with their inner rhythm by offering a few minutes during a coaching session to listen to the ticking of a clock, the regular beat of a metronome, or their favorite music. Clapping hands, stomping feet, chanting, toning, or drumming, can also be helpful to re-establish rhythm for a client.
I recently attended a drum circle facilitated by a music therapist who uses music as a therapeutic tool for patients diagnosed with dementia. As a group, we circled our chairs and pulled out our instruments. Our facilitator began to drum a beat, and we joined her in our own time, using our own instruments, in our own way. I was amazed how each person in the circle created a unique sound, but the sounds blended together to create a unified and synchronized beat. As the time progressed, our facilitator slowed the rhythm and quieted her drumming; we all did the same. Following her lead, we all stopped playing our instruments simultaneously. In the stillness, the rhythm continued on inside of me.
Do you feel the rhythm as you coach?
Diane Shaver, RN, MSN, NC-BC, is a Registered Nurse and graduate of the Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. Diane has over 35 years experience caring for adults and children in acute care hospitals and community health settings focusing on patient education, health promotion, and holistic nursing. http://www.shaverdiane.com