This past weekend I went to a 2-day intensive course on coaching people in relationships and my first words are “Wow!” Now, it is certainly the case that every coaching and leadership course that I have taken from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) or related group elicited the “Wow!” response from me. But I think this one was a different type of “Wow!” The course was held by ORSC, an offshoot of CTI so there is some overlap in the style of training. Lots of experiential learning, lots of immediate connection and closeness to the others in the course and lots of emotion and introspection! But what I hadn’t really thought about so much before going to the class was that relationship is most of what life is about. We are in relationship to our parents, children, spouse, friends, and any and all business colleagues. And guess what, we are even in relationship to ourselves and—this might seem to be pushing it—we are in relationship with things like money, food or you name it. So the “wow!” factor is that this course applies to all of my life and everyone’s life.
I signed up for the class because as I have been working with couples designing their wedding ceremonies, it became obvious to me that I had a wonderful opportunity to coach them about their relationship. For over a decade I have been coaching individuals in business and life coaching. Being a celebrant is in so many ways just an extension of my coaching work. I already ask the couples to explore their relationship so that I can capture their connection in the written words of the ceremony. How fortunate that I get to work with couples when they are just beginning their married life together. My hope is that I’ll get them thinking about their relationship in a way that leads to them creating a more fulfilling life together.
We take for granted so much in relationship and I find that rarely in life do we step back and actually discuss the relationship. Sure we talk all the time with whoever we are in relationship with. Yet for most people it is a rarity that they set aside time to talk “about their relationship”. Some couples do that naturally but most often the only ones who take a step back and look at the big picture are those who are having troubles in the relationship and seek council. I suppose it is not a startling concept to consider talking about the relationship before there is great conflict. Perhaps what is startling is how few couples (and I use the term couples to refer to ANY relationship) do that.
So I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that everyone have a look at the relationships they have. Make time to have conversations with whoever you are in relationship and you will be greatly rewarded with understanding and connection (and love depending on the affiliation). If you are having big conflict, consider having a coach or therapist facilitate. I certainly plan to have those conversations now that I have some relationship coaching training under my belt. At the very least, I plan to have a heartfelt conversation with myself about what I want and need in my relationship with life.