The generative or aha moment in a coaching conversation is like reaching the summit of a mountain: you've been toiling up up the mountainside and all of a sudden you reach a vista where you can see things that just before were hidden by the trees. This insight helps you to discern new pathways and to move forward with confidence.
An Aha! moment can happen at any time, but how do we get there? In a practice coaching session with fellow coaches today I tried to use our WellCoaches coaching manual to get there. This resulted in a lot of awkward questioning and responding...we defined the problem, explored what it meant, strengths we could harness, and how it would feel to get there. Then we started to brainstorm ideas.
And then, I let go of the manual and tuned into my coach's intuition. That's when things started to get interesting. Without judging our ideas, my client and I started throwing out possible pathways to solve her problem - we dreamed big, we dreamed small, and everywhere in between. After about 90 seconds we'd thrown out maybe 20 ideas. Were they practical? Most of them were not. But that wasn't the point. Somewhere in that brainstorming, we found a gem. An insight connecting her stated need and one of her unique strengths. Then my client said in a new voice filled with energy, I like that one, I could see doing it, I'm excited to try that.
The two of us, together, collaborating, reached a new vista. A new jumping off place where we could see through the trees to a new mountain beyond.