Friday 14 December 2018

Tango and Coaching

I have blogged before about Tango and Leadership, after a session run in 2017 by Sue Cox for Cumbria Coaching Network. Today, she led our CPD session once again, and it was as enjoyable and thought-provoking as last time.

This time, however, I was focusing more on how the lessons applied to coaching, rather than leadership. And there were many.

One of the points that Sue emphasises is that dance - or at least the type of dance she is interested in - is not about the steps, but about co-creation and relationship.  Whilst knowing some steps (or coaching models) is useful, what really works is the moment by moment interaction between two people, in the service of the dance.

Then there's the preparation: turning on your core. As well as the obvious physical meaning of that (and being physically ready for coaching is worth attending to) the metaphorical meaning - connecting with your values and intentions as part of your preparation for a coaching conversation - is also powerful.

Likewise, we attended to being grounded. That combination of being led by your core and being grounded enable authentic movement - both for the coach and the coachee.

At the heart of this style of dance is co-creation: invitation and response, attention to the other, to the context (other dancers, for example) and the ever-changing environment (the music....) Such co-creation requires real engagement with each other, and a shared intent.

The role of the one leading the dance (though that word and many of its implications don't sit happily with this type of tango - see my previous post) is to create the space for the other to shine: what a wonderful perspective for the coach! Indeed, when the dance is going well, it is often impossible to say who is leading and who following: the roles interchange, the dialogue is on equal terms. 

So an excellent, practical and thought-provoking session by Sue, leaving me with lots to think about and seek to apply in my coaching practice.

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