During my first dialogue with my coach, we explored some of the key processes of coaching: listening, mirroring, summarizing, questioning and catalyzing. Our conversation mostly focused on the first two, listening and mirroring. The former requires a coach to help people see their situation and themselves better. The latter involves inviting them into a period of reflection, diving deeper into the information they’ve shared.
When it comes to public statements, I shared that I’m more of a writer than a talker. As someone who’s successfully managed international public affairs programs, and recently completed a state-level public information officer course, I’m confident in suggesting that I’m more comfortable with carefully researching and writing talking points than speaking them. When making statements in public forums, I prefer a shoot-from-the-hip approach. But I shared a contradiction in my conclusion with my coach. On one hand, I prefer deliberate dialogue; on the other, I’m comfortable with rambling without constraints. My coach weakened my claim of a conflict by suggesting I’m simply most relaxed with developing ideas, relating and connecting.
As a conversationalist, I’m more at home sharing what I understand, sharing my experiences and assumptions. Pardon the jargon but I enjoy spilling the beans without worrying about making a mess. I respect dialogue as a generative and reflective activity, and not a precursor to a permanent record. I’d rather engage in inquiring and solution-finding conversations, more than skimming the surface by talking nice or tough. As a public speaker, I perform best by sharing information I understand, more than repeating the conclusions of others. I’m most comfortable acting genuine, straightforward and non manipulative. I prefer not to sugarcoat statements, or agree to disagree just to please someone. I offer my opinions and understandings as-is for discussion.