Coaching a singer to realise how good a writer she is.
So this is a blog post about a blog post about icebergs. But it helped one of my clients discover how to create great blog content without even realising it.
I mentor singing teachers in different countries and had a coaching session online with Franka van Essen in the Netherlands. You’ll have heard Franka ask great questions on our This Is A Voice podcast like this one here.
In our coaching session Franka started to talk about how she sees her own work with singers and speakers – like an iceberg. I was so intrigued I paused the recording (I always record sessions because of moments like this) and said “You need to transcribe exactly what you just said, it’s gold. Your homework is to write a blog about it”.
Franka said “Challenge accepted” and delivered her blog post the same day.
I love this process of helping people discover what they don’t realise they already know, and I love this blog’s concept. Here is what Franka wrote in full
The Iceberg, by Franka van Essen
“Iceberg, straight ahead!”
Last week I took my 11- year old daughter to see the iconic movie, which was in theatres again, because of its 25th anniversary.
Apart from the fact that it made me feel really old ;-), it also made me realize what an incredible thing an iceberg is. Majestic, a force of nature, that could destroy a seemingly unsinkable ship and most of its temporary inhabitants. And, what’s also important: part of an iceberg is visible, and an even bigger part isn’t.
In coaching we are mostly interested in the part of the iceberg that’s under the water: there lie the hidden answers, the shadow sides, the beliefs, the painful stuff that people don’t like to talk about or show to the world. Or that they are not even aware of!
It’s my job as a coach to gently guide my client into taking a peek under water. Only then, can I get clear what it really is that a client wants to solve.
A straightforward question from a coachee that I recently worked with was: I want to use my voice in a way that my colleagues will listen to my ideas. This was her ‘above the water’ iceberg speaking.
We could start working with all kinds of voice techniques to help strengthen that voice. But, instead, we took time to dive under the frozen water, explore what’s there, leading to a deeper understanding of the question: I want to learn to express my opinion and ideas, knowing that my inner critic voices will discourage me to do so and knowing I am afraid to be ignored or rejected by the other when I do so.
Now we’re talking!
Getting the coaching question right is such a important part of the process and it may take some time. And then, as we go along, it is a beautiful journey, witnessing some of those hidden bits and pieces fall into place.
After we finish up a series of coaching sessions I will ask the coachee in a feedback form: how do you now feel about your coaching question?
Here is what my coachees have said: ‘I feel so much more confident about my own voice. I am speaking up more often, sharing my ideas and thoughts.’
And: ‘I feel that I can sing! And that my whole body can be involved.’
And: ‘my work as a professional speaker has improved so much. I am aware of my body and breathing now, daring taking up space so that my message comes across.’
What’s your coaching question? Would you like to explore this further? Leave your name in the booking form and I’ll get back to you!
You can contact Franka here, or watch her interview with us on the VocalProcess Youtube channel Accreditation Playlist here
PS What was Franka’s reaction when I said I would be blogging about her blog?
“Great idea! It shows so well how you work in the moment with what IS, and making me CONSCIOUS of what it is that I already do, but have no idea that it is really valuable.”
If you want a mentoring session with me to discover your unconscious valuables, click here now and book a session now