I’m feeling lost, scared, uncertain. I’m worried about elderly relatives. I’ve had to close my business and I don’t know what the future will be? Will I have a job? What happens when the increase to Universal Credit ends? These are some of the comments that I’ve heard during the pandemic. In a matter of a few weeks everything that was familiar in the world changed. Weekly routines changed, shopping shortages, fuel shortages, activities ended, isolating, furlough, face masks, all became a new unexpected reality. As a coach and coach educator, I was struggling to find my place; what is the relevance of coaching in this global crisis? At times I felt that the thing I’d dedicated the past 20 years of my life, was no longer relevant. Creating and rolling-out vaccinations, looking after the vulnerable, securing the supply chain, that was important.
But recently I’ve realised that coaching is now more important than ever before.
The familiar things which we hold onto for certainty were no longer there. The simple daily routines which provided comfort in their regularity had gone. There was significant worry and uncertainty. As I stayed confined to my house, with my daily walk round the block, avoiding people and maintaining social distancing, it was easy to forget what’s happening outside my field of vision. I have friends in Milan, Italy, who were in total lockdown for weeks. Friends in Melbourne, Australia, are ijust coming out of lockdown, again. The scale of this crisis is mind blowing! Days like these are unprecedented, never seen before.
In this massive crisis that has engulfed the whole world, I’ve wondered how I can contribute, what’s my place? But I realised that this is a time when coaching is even more important than ever. The importance of human connection is vital and being listened, even if via Skype, Zoom or phone.
Last week, I was struggling with the shock of this changing new world, the speed of change, the easing of lockdown after 18 months. Although vaccinated, I felt uncertain. Then on Friday morning I participated in my regular group coaching supervision via Zoom. This was great, I felt listened to, supported and valued. A weight was lifted, and this week I’m sleeping better and have a much more positive perspective.
This is my small example of the value of coaching in times of crisis. Being listened to, being acknowledged without judgement, feeling connected, and being able to drop the facade. These are simple things, but their absence tells us of their value.
Who can you connect with today? Who can you listen to? Who can you coach in a time of crisis?
Find out more about the power of listening in module 1 of our Postgraduate Coaching courses https://warwick.ac.uk/study/cll/courses/professionaldevelopment/careerstudies/cdcs/