THE SUBTLE TRANSFORMATION – A JOURNEY BEGUN AS A COACH
- Sep 01st 2022
PART 1- THE UNLEARNING
In a world that is fast changing, ‘the quest for learning’ is the only constant besides change. But what is learning?
“We define learning as the transformative process of taking in information that—when internalized and mixed with what we have experienced—changes what we know and builds on what we do. It’s based on input, process, and reflection. It is what changes us.”
–From The New Social Learning by Tony Bingham and Marcia Conner
I wonder, however, if learning is possible without unlearning first?
Webster’s Definition of unlearning
- to put out of one’s knowledge or memory
- to undo the effect of: discard the habit of
Unlearning, as per my understanding, is the process of replenishing, replacing, and re-applying what you already have within. It’s a process of conscious shift and perhaps sometimes unconscious too, a shift in our thoughts, beliefs, values, stories, narratives and identity as individuals, and the different roles we take on in our lives. And it is a subtle process that gradually impacts our ways of responding, behaving, and interacting with people and environment. It makes us question and put out of memory what we already know as a result of our upbringing, culture, experience, and unique personality traits, and replace it with new experiences/learning’s and more importantly making a choice.
The choice of Unlearning as a stepping stone to Learning is mindfully choosing the path to decide what stays with us as integral and what needs to be replaced or replenished to get on that bus of self-discovery!
Embracing and welcoming the new by emptying some space/clutter/chatter of the old in our minds is never easy. And I realized this as I was in the middle of Level 1 (ACC) of my Coach to Transformation Program. What began as a journey for me with the awareness that some things will need Unlearning, proved to be a huge challenge because I am still trying to figure out what resonates within me to be a Coach? At one point, I struggled to let go of some aspects of myself which is being me, till I understood that my unique abilities don’t need to be stripped off me in this journey of being a Coach but, yes, I do need to understand better how best to leverage them in my process of unlearning to learn.
Thus, what I have understood is that the transformative journey to becoming a coach begins with a self-reflection, we need to change and transformation before enabling/ facilitating anyone else. And the fact is that it is not easy being in this position of not knowing at a stage in life when we believe we know enough! And that’s where the challenge begins when we need to empty our cup of stale coffee to brew a fresh one. It’s a challenge because we have so enjoyed the taste of our old cuppa coffee till this moment!
So for me, the Level 1 Training has been like a scriptwriting process, not overwritten but perhaps watermarked/shadowed on the foundation of a narrative in time that has existed for me a process of accommodation, addition and deletion! And I am still trying to find comfort in the space of discomfort that has opened its doors for me.
I would like to quote Lao Tzu as a conclusion,
“To attain knowledge, add things every day.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
— Lao Tzu
About the Author, Arnaz V Bhagwagar
Program Attended with CTT: ACC26112021
I began my journey as a counselor in an NGO that worked around Mental wellbeing. I have been able to have an instant connect with people at deeper levels since that time. I have also worked with differently abled children and their parent’s post which I took a sabbatical for raising my kids and then got into HRM. Recently, more specifically, post the first pandemic Lockdown, I instituted a charitable trust towards animal welfare. I am also spiritually inclined and value all things important in life, especially the importance of giving back in ways that can enrich lives around me, thereby, contributing in creating a better world. My greatest skill is being intuitive and empathetic to people and the environment and this has enabled me at every place, be it professional or personal. I also very strongly believe in the power of gratitude which enables me to focus on what I have now rather than what could have or should have!
I feel we all are connected to each other and do not exist in isolation….. and thus believe in The concept of “Ubuntu” that makes us do what we are doing – “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
I resonate with what the South African Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes Ubuntu as: “It is the essence of being human. It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours. I am human because I belong. It speaks about wholeness, it speaks about compassion. A person with Ubuntu is welcoming, hospitable, warm and generous, willing to share. Such people are open and available to others, willing to be vulnerable, affirming of others, and a knowing that they belong in a greater whole.”
Reason for taking this program:
Through this initiation into the world of Coaching, I wanted to enhance my ability to connect with people in more focused ways that could facilitate, enable & empower them, while achieving the same for myself as a symbiotic process.
The journey of a life coach would keep my drive to learn continuously while enabling people and deriving a more meaningful purpose to life.
I also wanted to earn a parallel income to support the activities of my Charitable Trust while engaging in this process.
What benefits you got
The detailed discussion of the competencies in our classes have been very engaging that has certainly enabled a lot of reflecting, learning and equally, unlearning. I have questioned and reconfirmed my position on several thoughts and it has all been very enriching whilst also challenging.
While I understood the need to prepare ourselves for a session in our own personal ways, I have also learnt the importance of words less spoken, the momentary pause and the non verbal cues and to be comfortable in a space of “Not Knowing”.
The most important learning has been the understanding our own selves in a different light in the journey of learning to be a coach.