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My daughter…….my mentor coach!

Rajat Garg 

- Apr 03rd 2018



They say after becoming a parent, you grow as a person.
They say when you become a parent, it changes your life for good (well for the most part!).
I am a mother to a two year old girl and could not agree more. So much so, that when I enrolled for my training to become a coach, I realised I had a mentor at home.
Coaching, as defined by The ICF (International Coach Federation), is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
The ICF also defines a set of 11 core competencies of a coach, as mentioned below for your reference. You may click on this link to know more about ICF Core Competencies –

  1. Meeting Ethical guidelines and Professional standards
  2. Establishing the coaching agreement
  3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
  4. Coaching Presence
  5. Active Listening
  6. Powerful Questioning
  7. Direct Communication Ability
  8. Creating Awareness
  9. Designing Actions
  10. Planning and Goal Setting
  11. Managing Progress and Accountability

My daughter makes me practice many of the core competencies of a coach on a daily basis. She brings coaching to life for me. Let me share how.
A few days ago she got under our dining table and declared it to be her house. She called out to me to do a few things. After some effort I understood what she was looking for.
She wanted me to arrange the dining chairs around her in such a way that it became walls with windows to her little house. For some reason, she was happy jumping in and out of the house through the window and did not require a door. As I was arranging the chairs I kept checking if that’s what she was looking for. After a few rounds, she was satisfied with the outcome.
It did not end there. She then wanted me to blow bubbles into her new little house so she could burst them. There were specifications on sizes of the bubbles – big or small and how to burst them. Some were allowed to fall on the floor while others were actively sought and burst by her. She was happy with the outcome and helped close the session in 45minutes with a big smile.
In this case, there was ongoing trust and intimacy (which is why I was called out instead of others in the household). I established an agreement with her, used powerful questioning, active listening and direct communication to understand what was required and was present with her, playing without the distractions of my gadgets or my mind.  You see, right there I used 6 out of 11 core competencies of a coach.
Currently she is in the phase where she wants to do everything herself. We live on the first floor and she wants to climb up/ down the stairs on her own every time we go out. I create a safe and encouraging environment by letting her do that and at the same time be around her in a way that I can catch her, should she fall. I do direct communication with her on what she could do to not get hurt and help her plan her position for climbing up/ down so she gets support of the railing. Now when we go out and if she finds some stairs too big, she shouts out ‘Pick me up’ or ‘Hold my hand’. She gets a round of applause when she climbs the stairs well or asks for help, at the same time reinforcement of what she needs to keep in mind to be safe.
Each incident of ‘climbing stairs’ requires complete presence, establishing trust and intimacy, active listening, action planning, creating awareness, direct communication, managing progress and accountability. Well that is 8 out of 11 competencies.
While I have to make an effort all the time to apply my coaching skills, the most amazing part is that my daughter effortlessly demonstrates a lot of these competencies herself, on a day to day basis. Her ability to be present, listen, ask questions, integrate information from multiple sources, do direct communication, taking action in the moment and monitoring progress (against promised actionsJ) is phenomenal.
Dr. Seuss said “Adults are obsolete children.”
Stay childlike and keep learning lest you will become obsolete. There is so much to be learnt from these little but very wise ones.

About The Author

  • Abhilasha is an HR professional with over 16 years of diverse experience across pharmaceutical, consulting and IT services sectors. She has been in leadership positions for over a decade and has helped grow and manage the business by partnering closely with the business leaders. She is a travel enthusiast and loves being amidst nature. Abhilasha is currently undergoing the ICF coaching certification program with Coach-To-Transformation.

Rajat Garg

Rajat is a Master Certified Coach (MCC) with over 18 years of industry experience and over 2500 hours of coaching experience, helping people and organizations attain maximum effectiveness. His background includes working with CXOs, senior managers, managers and board of directors of small private companies to multi-billion dollar publicly traded organizations.

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