After the US Election - Some thoughts On Coaching In Hard Times

Coaching In Hard Times. Coaching when everything is positive and exciting, filled with love and optimism is great. But it's not the whole truth of who we are as coaches. Who we are - if our work is to be of any real meaning, is only as good as our willingness to do the real down and dirty work:

Coaching In Hard Times.

And times right now feel very, VERY hard.

The US has elected Donald Trump as president. And I, like millions of others both in the US and around the world, am devastated.

Trump is a bigoted, openly racist misogynist and a bully*. Him winning disrupts everything we've been told about justice, decency and right and wrong.

And many of us are struggling to process and wrap our heads around this situation. HOW do we make sense of it AND maintain our core values of grace, love and understanding when hatred and fear seem to be winning the day? And the default coaching industry responses of - 'lead with love, focus on the good, it will all be fine, love and light etc' seem to inadequate right now - but what's the alternative? How do we really apply coaching in hard times? What does this mean in practice and how on earth do we move on from here?

So today I have no answers but I'm drawing on some of my wisest teachers - both from my real and my online and literary life.

Things I'm talking about:

  • How will we move through this?
  • How can coaching add to the process and what are the traps we need to avoid? (spiritual bypassing anyone?)
  • Why coaching isn't all about 'look on the bright side' and is really about the messy, human middle space of tough emotions and an absence of easy answers
  • Why I don't yet know how I'm going to do the really hard stuff yet - but I know what it is and that it's essential it gets done
  • Wise words from Glennon Doyle Melton and Elizabeth Gilbert
  • A wonderful and powerful message from my dear friend Lara Heacock from Kind Over Matter

*I know that not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist. There are many reasons people voted for him - single issues, desire for change (any change),  dislike for HRC, fear etc. And I KNOW this wasn't all fuelled by hate. But right now it's hard to get past the reality that such an unqualified, dangerously unstable racist is going to be the leader of the free world with access to the nuclear codes. In fact, it's terrifying.

But that's the work - to understand, to build bridges and understanding, to cultivate and encourage empathy and to make sure we heal some of this dark and deep divide that exists right now.

That's the work. It's not going to be easy but the stuff that really makes a difference in the world never is. It's time for us all to step up to the challenge.

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