How I discovered Story Coaching

I attended the ICF Global Conference in Las Vegas in September 2011 and was looking to attend sessions that would stretch my coaching skills and to explore areas of coaching that I had not previously had exposure to – the topic on story coaching caught my eye!

But as all good stories go, a marvelous sequence of events and personal discoveries shaped my introduction to story coaching.

As adventure would have it, I didn’t initially have clear goals for going to the ICF Conference which is very unlike me! I felt like I should have set business outcomes and planned meetings and business contacts to “maximise my time in America”. But alas the best I could do was: that I knew that I had to go overseas; I had to find out what was happening in the coaching world outside of my box (Australia) and I knew that I HAD TO GO to America!

I had to explore, find out new things, expand my skills and learn.

Eventually I narrowed it down to a simple goal: Find my “next big thing”.

So I find myself at breakfast, scouring the program for “story coaching”, only to hear the announcement that the session had been cancelled. I was a little disappointed and headed off to opening plenary – Sir Ken Robinson.

What a privilege to once again hear Sir Ken Robinson speak. He spoke about one of America’s greatest male gymnast Bart Connor and how as a young boy he described stepping into the gym for the first time to be “intoxicating”. The ropes, the horses, the bars, the rings, everything about it – he loved and he had discovered in this moment “his element”. Connor’s bio can be read here:

I will post the full story that Sir Ken shared about Connor shortly! Suffice to say that Sir Ken wove a story throughout his talk that inspired and truly made me happy to be coaching, to be alive and to be living in my element!

At the end of the break, another announcement – the story coaching session was back on the agenda, but it had been moved to a new location, a room at the far end of the building – I found it eventually!

The story coach leading the session was Lisa Bloom. You can find her website here.

Cut a long story short (if you pardon the pun) by the end of Lisa’s 90 minute presentation I felt a sensation that I had experienced only once or twice in the past 8 years. Well the first time I felt this way in my recent history was when I discovered coaching, 8 years ago now. And more recently when I delivered a keynote talk and workshop in Malaysia (in March 2011).

I knew, in my heart and body that I was awakening. To what, I’m not sure, but to something that I knew for certain would be my “next big thing”.

For me, discovering story coaching was like in the words of the young Bart Connor “intoxicating”.

I introduced myself to Lisa at the end of the session.

I felt emotional.

I hurriedly told her the story shared by Sir Ken.

And I told her, I just had a “gymnasium moment”.

What is your gymnasium moment? Share here!