This past weekend, I spent a good amount of time in our garden. In addition to my usual weeding patrol, I planted over 70 petunias, taking care to consider sunlight, spacing, soil quality, and color composition. Digging in the dirt frees my mind and completely relaxes me. I love the smells, textures, and colors when I’m on my knees, dirty, murmuring to the young plants or seeds as I pat them into their new home. Yet, I have also learned that just planting flowers or shrubs willy-nilly can be a tremendous waste of time, effort, and money. It takes planning (and considerable sweat) to bring a beautiful, harmonious, healthy garden together.
In fact, there is much about gardening that reminds me of my coaching work: creating a vision, considering resources, seeking harmony, planning actions, sowing seeds, encouraging growth, weeding out negative thoughts, investing time, being willing to do the hard work, celebrating the flowering of new ideas, reaping the benefits of new perspectives, sharing pride in the results that clients create out of our coaching relationship. When I take a new client, I first explore his or her strengths, preferences, and perspectives. This helps me to know how to help them grow, and where they might thrive. I look at what resources they have to work with, such as a great team, supportive boss, keen intellect, emotional intelligence, or insightful intuition. We work out specific goals and actions that will move them toward success. Often, I help them weed out things that negatively impact their professional growth; out-dated beliefs, bad attitudes, and narrow perspectives are some examples of things we might dig up. I help clients step back and consider how to sow and then nurture new ideas. We work hard, side by side, to ensure that new behaviors and attitudes take root. Coaching is a lot of hard work, yet often fun, and always rewarding when I see the ways my clients blossom. When I leave, I like knowing that my clients will continue to reap the fruits of their work that took root in our coaching relationship.
Without you, I would not be able to do this work that I am so passionate about. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and for referring others who might benefit from my services as a coach. And, I always enjoy hearing from you about how your garden is growing.
Sharon Keys Seal