Knowledge is the Past.

Knowledge is the Past

A typical hurdle my clients face at the beginning of our coaching engagements is having to acknowledge that all their experience, skills, abilities, and knowledge accumulated thus far only reflect their past.

There is usually trepidation when I direct them to look ahead, to their professional future, to higher goals, to new objectives. There is usually hesitancy. Many times, a blank stare takes over their face.

It seems as if the self-assurance, the confidence, the bravado they exhibited when listing their accomplishments, experience, and professional standing, just dissipates into thin air, replaced by the trepidation I mentioned before.

That is the sweet spot when coachability can be determined when a professional sees the limiting value of their “past” experiences and begins to contemplate the potential in acquiring new knowledge, experiences, abilities, skills, and a new future.

When a professional individual acknowledges the limitations of past experiences, recognizes the potential and value of new learnings, and takes the plunge into a sea of possibilities and opportunities, it is a critical and important step that they are taking.

When Michael Jordan was asked what his best ability was, he replied:
“I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn.”

In the title of my book CoachAbility, I ask the question:
“Are you in the state or condition to be coached?”

What would be your answer?

Amazon link for CoachAbility: Are you in the state or condition to be coached?

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Coaching Conscious Conversations 

What is a Conscious Conversation? 

To become better people in society and better people in the workplace, having conscious conversations can help in how we connect with each other and how we understand each other. By doing so we are then able to bring together ideas and bridge the gap between different perspectives which leads to transformation. 

A conscious conversation goes beyond the ordinary conversation where one person speaks and the other just listens, it is a conversation that requires engagement and commitment from both parties to understand each other and although perspectives may be different, there is mutual respect and honesty in communicating with each other.

The Agile PeopleOps Framework organization offers its certified members and other professionals an introductory coaching program called the Coaching Conscious Conversations Program which gives individuals the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of having effective meaningful coaching conversations.

What are the Important Traits a Coach should Possess to have Conscious Conversations? 

Open Mind 

As with most things in life, more especially Agile HR or Coaching practices, it takes an open mind to be able to fully embrace certain ideas. With an open mind, one can listen without judgment or discrimination. It allows one to open to the perspectives of other people even if they may not agree with them. 

Having empathy enables one to fully understand what someone is trying to communicate and the person on the receiving end of this information can appreciate what they are saying because they are committed to putting that person before themselves and are not selfish about their intentions. 

Empathy or Compassion  

When engaging in a conversation, one of the core traits involves having a good EQ. The level of emotional intelligence one has, combines all these traits – an open mind, respect, empathy, and compassion – because it helps people put themselves in someone else’s shoes for a moment. 

A sense of care and compassion is needed in conversation because in certain instances people may be vulnerable and honest when communicating, having a safe space to do that helps in problem-solving, understanding others, and becoming a better coach. 

When engaging in conscious conversations, we ought to think about how we would feel if someone responded the way we do ourselves and if we are not happy with it then we must adapt and change to be better at effective listening and communicating. 


Have you ever tried listening to someone communicating something and you don’t particularly agree with them so you almost disengage or you start playing a game on your phone or texting or perhaps your body language speaks louder than what you would verbally say as you begin to roll your eyes or fold your arms and look away or you might even interrupt someone whilst they speak? Well, those gestures are ways of communicating and sometimes speak louder than words.

At times this may be the response to something we don’t necessarily agree with and in many ways is actually quite disrespectful. However, when we show that we are listening and are committed to hearing the other person’s opinion and fully engaging them, it shows a sign of respect, and this benefits all the parties involved as it can bridge the gap and help find common ground.

How to have Conscious Conversations 

  • Be fully present and stay conscious  
  • Listen without interrupting  
  • Pay attention to body language 
  • Your own body language – avoid eye rolling or texting whilst someone is speaking, nod or manifest your interest and active listening in the dialogue. 
  • The other party’s body language – read between the lines, try to understand what someone may not be saying entirely with their words 
  • Do not judge or discriminate  
  • Be authentic  

The Benefits of having Conscious Conversations in the Workplace

In the workplace, it is important to have effective, meaningful conversations with clients, team members, and other members of the organization that would lead to a better work environment and increases the rate of growth in people and the company at large.

Conscious Conversations are beneficial in the workplace for various reasons that include: 

  • Improved communication skills which lead to team members working better together at common goals because they have intentionally tried to understand each other’s ideas and respect different perspectives 
  • Increased Productivity  
  • Feedback within the organization also becomes better and it creates an environment where people are more engaged and want to be more involved
  • Empowered employees that can be vulnerable and have meaningful conversations without fear of judgment or unkind criticism. It provides them the self-assurance and drive they need to accomplish their objectives
  • Deeper professional connections that lead to healthier, more effective work environments
  • Improves leadership skills. A leader or coach can be a better example to look up to because other individuals are able to learn from the empathy maintained throughout conversations, their authenticity, and accountability 

The ICF Continuing Coach Education presents a great opportunity to create deeper insights into the goals you need to work upon with clients and organizational members. Through the Conscious Conversations program, there are core competencies that will be explored when it comes to the art of coaching and what it takes to have meaningful coaching-conscious conversations. Becoming a better communicator can help in every aspect of life and is an important trait of being a good leader and professional.