Plainly put: I grew boobs before most of the other girls in my grade.
But I was in denial. I wasn’t one of those girls who wanted to grow up quickly. Even at a young age, time felt precious to me and I didn’t want to get any older any quicker.
One day, early Autumn of the sixth grade, my mom came into my room without knocking. She was carrying a white plastic bag from the discount store, Marshalls. Very unceremoniously, she dumped the contents of the bag onto my bed. It was three bras…all white…looking pretty intimidating to me.
“Time to start wearing a bra,” my mom told me.
My mother and I had never had a conversation on the topic before. The foreign objects on my bed, in combination with the matter-of-factness of my mother’s voice felt shocking to me. I felt intruded upon, slightly under attack, maybe a little ashamed… and definitely wanted to have nothing to do with those bras. And wanted to have even less to do with my mom at that moment.
I eventually wore one of the bras to school (& total hilarity ensued; that’s a story for another day), but why am I sharing this story with you?
Because this was a GREAT example of what NOT to do when you are working with clients and wanting to Create Awareness for them.
Creating Awareness is a vital coaching skill and coaching competency.
Part of your job as a coach is to support clients to become aware of certain facts, ideas, notions and steps that they can’t see themselves. But HOW you support those clients to become aware makes all the difference.
The truth is that my mother was right. Looking back now, I can see that in terms of how mature my physical body was, I was long overdue for a bra. It really was time.
But while my body was ready, I personally needed to be invited to do so in a way that honored ALL of me. I needed maybe for my mom to create some tenderness and intimacy around the topic first. I needed maybe for her to ask my permission to talk about something sensitive. I needed for her to ask me how I felt about it and what was right for me.
These are all components of the Creating Awareness skill you want to be using with clients.
You may have an insight or piece of information that is TOTALLY vital for your client to hear. You want to be very, very VERY intentional about how you deliver that piece of information, how you create that awareness.
It will make all the difference in the world in terms of how open or resistant your client will be to the new information, how they feel about themselves as they take in the new information, and how they trust and feel connected to you.
So next time you are Creating Awareness with a client, take a moment to think about how you want to do it!