Coaching for Identity


What identity do you hold for yourself when you are coaching?   This was the question posed to me from a coach  to reflect on my work.  The question caught me off guard.  As the coach continued I realized that I was concentrating on developing the tools of coaching but I had not defined my identity as a coach.  I often thought about the ‘doing’ of coaching but not about the ‘why’ of coaching.   Through further reflection I explored many of the values and beliefs I hold about being a coach and about coaching others.  My coaching behaviors changed the more I thought of myself as a coach, they became more focused to support the thinking of the person I was coaching.  As a coach I strive to support others to be self-directed in their work.

Last Thursday, January 7, 2016 we explored how identity impacts learning and growth.  Identity is like a nesting cup that holds one’s values, beliefs, capabilities, behaviors and the environment or context of work. Each level impacts the other. Quality of performance is enhanced when the levels are aligned.  ( Robert Dilts)  It is powerful when a student says…. I am a reader…I am a writer.   Teachers prompt identity when they invite a student to …be writer, reader,…to think like a scientist or mathematician…to be an explorer.  What is the identity you hold for yourself…as a teacher-leader…as a coach…as a teacher for students?  How might you invite students or colleagues to consider their identity?

TIPS – Coaching stems related to identity:

Paraphrasing –  It is important to you…. You believe…

Questioning – What is important to you about____?   As you continue to grow as a _____ what  might you need to learn?