Discover more from Like person, like coach by Iacob Bacian
'23 Weeknotes #15: Coaches - Astronauts for Human Growth
You are reading ‘Like person, like coach’, a newsletter at the intersection of personal narrative and relational, integrative, anti-oppresive coaching practice.
It all started with my sister, my loyal supporter in training to become a coach. From the very beginning of training, she said to me: you will need to train like pilots do, it will take hours and hours and hours of training.
During these two weeks of holiday I spent a weekend with her and she gifted me a book to celebrate my recent coach accreditation. It’s ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’: a personal account of Chris Hadfield’s life and training as an astronaut and what this lifestyle has taught him about life on Earth. I’ve been loving reading it, it’s probably one of the most hopeful books I’ve read. I want to share a couple of wise nuggets with you and how I see them connected to coaching practice:
’The ration of prep time on orbit is many months: single day in space.’
- Chris Hadfield
1. ‘Sweat the Small Stuff’ : Chris’s definition of being an astronaut fits like a glove for what I feel it means to be a coach: ‘An astronaut [replace with ‘coach’] is someone who’s able to make good decisions quickly, with incomplete information, when the consequences really matter.’ Of course we’re talking about very different consequences, but not less impactful at the level of significance to someone’s work, life and wellbeing.
2. ‘The Trip Takes a Lifetime:’ Chris trained decades to go into space for months. Going to space was never a guarantee but it didn’t stop him from dedicating his life to preparing for the possibility of it. This was inspiring to me and I feel it transfers beautifully to coaching. If you end up holding a coaching session, you should know it’s a huge privilege that you get to. And also, that it takes months of practice to run one hour’s coaching session well enough to support someone to direct personal change.
3. ‘You are Made Into an Astronaut’: Chris also talks about the fact that you don’t become an astronaut, you are made into one, by the people who believe in you, the people who invest in your training and by your own crewmates. It’s the same with coaching, becoming one isn’t a fixed state. I become a coach when my clients trust me with their process, when my supervisors help me learn from my mistakes and when my colleagues show me the angles I’ve missed.
This holiday I thought a lot about how the coach I become is influenced so much by the people in my life whom I learn from the most. And my sister is one of them. She’s lived and worked on three different continents and continues to inspire me with her determination, courage and optimism in pursuing a career in human rights, international development, researching and influencing policy across Europe.
As we go into autumn I am excited to focus more on this learning from others that happens across life rather than in just the formal, professional areas of life. And I look forward to sharing these learnings with you.
In the meantime I’m available for new coaching clients, roles and projects. If you’ve been thinking something along the lines below, this is for you:
- You want to connect to how you honestly feel about a situation and use that knowledge to move forward in your work and life;
- You want to get clearer about and grounded in the values that motivate you now;
- You want to hone in on your confidence, your trust in yourself and your vision of what will bring you a greater sense of fullfillment and purpose;
- You’re looking for a coach who can listen well, partner with you and challenge you into new territory;
- You’re looking for a reliable structure of accountability and encouragement.
Find out more and get in touch on the website. I’d love to hear from you.
Hello, I’m iacob, an ICF Associate Certified Coach working independently and with NEON. If you enjoy reading Like Person, Like Coach, please recommend it to others who might find useful, too. If you have feedback and suggestions on how I can deepen my learning please write me on email@example.com.