I’m a big fan of doing new things. But that isn’t to say that I don’t find them a little scary sometimes. So it was with not inconsiderable trepidation that earlier this week I joined my first session of a local coaching group.
Now, you’d expect a group of executive coaches to be reasonably friendly and helpful. But I can honestly say that the hour and a half I spent with this small group of people in a local cafe was a real eye-opener. And a fantastic investment of my time.
The session was straightforward enough. After some initial introductions for the benefit of newbies like me, one member of the group introduced a particular coaching technique that she had come across.
She then demonstrated it on another member of the group and we discussed how effective it had been and how we could potentially apply it in our own work. We reflected on our own experiences and shared our thoughts.
It reminded me of how little time we all tend to set aside to reflect on what we do and to think about how we could do it better.
It also reminded me of a book* I have read recently, in which the authors argue that the only way to really interact with people is through powerful conversations. No email. No websites. No LinkedIn. Just two people communicating face-to-face.
Getting together with a group of like-minded peers, then, ticks both of these boxes. We take the time to reflect on our own experiences and we use our conversations to draw on the insights and experiences of others, too. Powerful stuff.
So if you have a group of peers with whom you meet from time to time, well done. If you don’t, then find one. And if you can’t find one, set one up. I guarantee it’ll be one of the smartest things you’ve ever done.
* It’s called ‘The Prosperous Coach’, by Rich Litvin and Steve Chandler.