When clients come to coaching, I'm often amazed at how they hide their talents and stay in the shadow of their lives. Only rarely do people come with a ‘look at me, I want to be famous’ mentality: they are much more likely to be modest and restrained.
While being out there in the spotlight all the time is clearly not appropriate, seeing clients step into their own spotlights on the right stage for them can be very satisfying. As my creative writing teacher David says when encouraging his students to be more adventurous, ‘I want you to paint on a larger canvas.’
People have blind spots about their talents – and their weaknesses too. By hiding their light, these talents stay in the dark. Many people fear inviting feedback in case they hear something that's too critical or they fear the vulnerability that comes from revealing information about themselves. Yet when they do, they're amazed at the positive benefits that come out.
Invite clients to get into the habit of asking people whose judgement they trust to give them honest and impartial feedback. By encouraging your clients to invite feedback and take risks around their vulnerabilities, they grow more self-aware and confident, and the blind spots get smaller. Check out Chapter 14 for more on receiving feedback.
Coaching begins with encouraging self-awareness, and the Johari window illustrated ...