by Susan Power, MBA, ACC, CHRL Founder & CEO of PowerUpLeadership
Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself. — George Bernard Shaw
There is no better way to spend an evening than fine dining, a nice bottle of wine, and then heading off to the theatre. In high school, I discovered acting and immersing myself into the inner world of another person to tell their story. Learning how to empathize with another character to communicate using their words, thoughts and emotions on stage has shaped me into who I am today.
Coaching Involves Deeply Understanding and Empathizing with Another Human's Mindset and Motivation
Many years ago before getting certified as a coach through the International Coach Federation, I attended Acadia University to study Theatre Arts to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree. During these formative four years, I was privileged to be trained by Michael Bawtree and Colin Bernhardt (the founders of the Atlantic Theatre Festival). The daily practice of voice training, movement training, acting, studying and performing Shakespeare was an amazing education. The daily exercises of meditating and connecting with all "my energy centers" - feeling, thinking, and spiritual - served as incredible guidance to become a future leadership coach.
Theatre involves empathy at its deepest form to temporarily transform yourself into the life form of another character. It involves connecting with the audience to improvise and play up what is working during each performance, as no audience is the same. This has come in handy during many coaching and training facilitation sessions!
One of the things so helpful about a foundation of theatre arts training was finding "my voice". Improvisation training of reacting in the moment to the offering of the "other actor" helps today during the "dance of insight" with coaching clients to support my clients in finding their voice. There is more than one way to get to New York, and the client always knows best the direction to get there.
My role as a coach is to ask meaningful questions to clarify the client's goals, support them in reaching insights and develop the right mindset to get there faster. Each client is different and keeps me on my toes to best support them in reaching their goals.
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