To Be or Not to Be

View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers
The coaching training I have received has been extraordinary. I have learned from talented instructors and practiced with courageous colleagues. There have been books, exams, practice sessions, conference calls, and loads of homework. My training and certification program were rigorous and, to this day, my learning continues. What I know is I can coach!

But what is it to be a coach? What is it to be anything? Being a coach. Being a parent. Being a son, a spouse, a neighbor, a citizen. I have come to know what it takes to do any of the roles, but to be any of those roles touches the unexplainable.

For me, being a coach is about the way in which I deliver the skills and tools I have to my clients. Essential to my being a coach is truth, integrity, rigor, humor, and a bit of pushiness. Being a coach is about connection with my clients and trust. When we connect and trust is present, there is a willingness to get a little bit messy, to explore more deeply. After observing my coaching, a friend noted my coaching skills are “insightful… they allow you to reveal the sacred cows your clients hold” and, with a gleaming eye said, “yet it is your soulfulness as a coach that stays with your client as they elegantly ride or boldly skewer the sacred cows!”

Think about your own doing and being continuum. Do you fulfill the role of board chair or do you embody being a board chair? What do you notice about being a volunteer or doing the role of a volunteer? Most professional staff members of non-profits reject the idea that their work for a charity is only “a job.”There is something deeper there… there is skillfulness and something else not as easily named. On the flip side, I once heard a philanthropist describe why fundraising skill building, in addition to passion, was so essential to a non-profit: “You cannot fuel a movement for change by good intentions alone” he said. It is not even enough just to be; some doing is required!

Think about it…

What about doing/being lights you up? What about doing/being feels most challenging? What does integration of doing/being look like to you? What do you notice when there is (or isn’t) balance? What are you most aware of?


Meet Gary Groth. Experience a coaching session. Get your questions answered. Let’s see what we can create together!

Gary M. Groth, MS, PCC, CPCC

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