Amidst all the chaos of our very surreal life at the moment, we stopped for a while on Tuesday to have a zoom meeting with our partners Mayday Trust.
We all work in a person led way through the PTS (personal transition service) and felt it necessary to ask ourselves the question about the reality of remaining person led through the current lockdown situation.
The outcome was that yes, we can. Just in different ways than before, making us think about our interactions with people, the mediums we use and that are available to us.
Many of the people we work with already feel a sense of isolation, whether that is driven through social anxieties or situationally because they do not have much interaction within the community. Our job as coaches is to build meaningful trusting relationships and empower people to make better choices developing a sustainable framework for the future. By putting the control back on a person and actually listening to the response, this situation gives us the opportunity to move away from the ‘go to’ meeting’s in cafes and question what is actually better suited to a person on an individual basis.
Have we ever considered people would feel more comfortable with a text message or an email, are we actually failing shifting the power dynamic by meeting in the same place at the same time – do we then fall foul of what we are actually trying to achieve and become completely person led.
It is often easier to suggest somewhere to meet, but does this then become our office? Are we then being viewed as another ‘service’ which is in direct opposition to the paradigm shift we are striving to achieve by working in a person centred way.
By us as coaches, completely relinquishing control, people can flourish. Relationships can take on a new level, decisions are being made about how they would like to be contacted, and how often. I already feel like I’ve learnt so much from this experience, and feel in turn this will make me a better coach.
Technology provides us with multiple ways of communicating, be this video calls, playing online games together or being part of a forum. Not forgetting more traditional approaches such as letter writing, or sending a card to let someone know you care and that we are still here.
I have found however, that people now have more time to talk. Without distraction they have time on their hands to build relationships and assess what it is they want to do, how they want to get there and how they wish to communicate.
We can encourage people to build on their assets. For example, gardening, crafting, writing or drawing. One person I am working with is keeping a journal. Another person, we have decided to buy the same paper on Friday and do the crossword together. Something we may never had done had the situation not been what it is, but this is something he would probably enjoy more than having a chat in a coffee shop. It’s about bringing something meaningful into each session, which will in turn mean that meaningful conversations will follow.
Although hard, we cannot allow our anxiety’s to manifest into our coaching or project our feelings onto others. So no matter our views on the current situation we must remember that our views are relative and we are each experiencing the pandemic differently.
Let’s get creative, let’s build on assets and let’s see just how much positivity can come for taking some time out the breath, concentrate on things you love and develop new skills.