Mindfulness in Coaching with Charisse M. Williams

Lumia Coaching instructor Charisse M. Williams discusses how mindfulness techniques can enhance our skillfulness as coaches.

The Everything Life Coaching Podcast, featuring Lumia Coaching founders John Kim and Noelle Cordeaux, is a deep dive into the experience and business of being a life coach. Subscribe to get new episodes weekly!

The Benefits of Mindfulness for Life Coaches

Our instructors are the lifeblood of our program, and in this podcast we’re inviting you to get to know Lumia Coaching instructor, Charisse M. Williams. 

Charisse M. Williams

Charisse is a leadership coach, facilitator and trainer who helps individuals and teams achieve their goals and thrive. Before becoming a full-time coach, she worked in social justice organizations for 25 years on human rights, education, racial equity, criminal and juvenile justice reform issues. She has taught and facilitated workshops and retreats in settings as diverse as board rooms, college campuses and juvenile detention centers. In 2015, her personal health and wellness journey led her to become a certified yoga teacher. She now approaches all of her work through a mindfulness lens. Charisse earned her JD from Northwestern University School of Law and BA from Cornell University.

Charisse’s coaching practice is at the intersection of leadership and wellbeing. She supports individuals navigating a leadership transition while maintaining work-life harmony. She is also available as a guest speaker around topics related to her book, The Joy of Thriving While Black. To learn more about her work, visit: www.charissemwilliams.com.

What does Charisse teach in the Lumia coach training program?

Mindfulness in Coaching, which includes:

  • What is mindfulness?
  • The difference between mindfulness and meditation  
  • How do mindfulness techniques and practices fit within the practice of coaching, and the Wellness Industry?
  • Enhancing coaching presence and active listening skills through mindfulness 
  • Exercises and tools for practicing mindfulness as a coach
 “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally...in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”--John Kabat Zinn 

Let’s face it: as humans, our minds are constantly active and we’re often distracted. When our minds wander (as is natural), our clients know we are not fully present. We may not adequately mirror our client’s language or we may find our responses are a tad off the mark.

True coaching presence is all about the quality of our attention. In our work as coaches, we’re called upon to clear away some of our own mental clutter so there’s space for our client to fully enter. It’s only when we’re all the way “here” that we can pick up all the nuances of what our clients are communicating.

What this requires is that the coach become a benevolent container. Our role is to create a welcoming emptiness that clients can fill in with their own resources. As professional coaches, we’re expected to keep our own judgment, solutions, emotional responses, and new ideas at bay so that our clients can “walk around” and explore themselves within the space we are holding. 

When we are able to bring this kind of attentiveness into our coaching relationships, it could be radically transformative for our clients.

Oftentimes, the biggest value from coaching that a client receives is the experience of being fully seen, heard, and understood. Mindful presence is not about adding more things to the coaching conversation, or “performing” as a coach. It’s about allowing clients to experience being witnessed in their own genius so they can do what they do best – achieve personal insights and arrive at their own solutions.

Mindfulness Practices for Coaches

Mindfulness can enhance our coaching skills in many tangible ways. What follows are a few simple mindfulness-based strategies to support you in preparing for your next coaching session! 

Tips for showing up fully present at the beginning of coaching calls: 

  • Clear your physical space/desk
  • Take a purposeful pause before beginning the session
  • Move to a different location in your home or workspace
  • Set an intention
  • Take a few deep breaths 

Adding Mindfulness to Your Coaching Services

Mindfulness Coaching has become a popular niche within the wellness space, and for good reason! However, it is important as coaches to distinguish the difference between practicing mindfulness for ourselves and offering mindfulness as an additional modality outside of the coaching agreement. 

Mindfulness practices can be a supportive niche or accessory to your coaching business as a whole. If this area of specialization interests you, it does often require additional continuing education or certification depending on what you’d like to offer and the model of your business. 

Some resources and programs to explore further could include:

Want to Become a Coach?

One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power as a coach, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

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