I have lost my voice, but I have found some ideas…
I practice Linguistic Empathy and I expect you to do the same. Please bear with me if my English is not perfect.
A couple of days ago, I completely lost my voice. I caught a bad virus, and after two days of coughing, I was completely voiceless. At the moment, I have quite a high number of coaching clients, and my first thought went to them. How could I continue the programmes if I could not speak?
Of course, the coach must speak as little as possible. All coaching academies insist on this: the coach must first and foremost listen deeply, feel the client, and the situation. Then, once the client has had all the space she needed to express herself, the coach can talk.
This usually translates into an 80%/20%: the client should speak 80% of the duration of the coaching session, the remaining 20% are for the coach. Obviously, we stay away from rigidity. There are clients who talk a lot, others need to be encouraged, questioned, pushed.
In any case, a coach must be able to use his voice. And this has been the first highlight that came to mind. I had never before realized that one of my working tools, actually the most important one, is my voice.
In order to get certified at my coaching academy, I had to create my Coaching Model and identify and work on my ToolKit. I have picked Sharing vs Isolation because I am deeply convinced the sharing is the key to keep on in life.
I have always thought of the ToolKit I use during my coaching sessions as an ensemble or portfolio made up of my natural talents, my skills, my life and professional experiences. I now realize that without voice I can use none of these tools to help my client.
I had an important coaching session ahead, and I was completely voiceless. I wrote to my client and told him we would have tried; if the voice had not come back, I would have written in the chat, but then I understood how limiting this would be. The coaching presence is also expressed with the tone of voice, with the nuances of the language, the warmth or the cheerfulness one pours into the sentences.
I understood how important it is for a coach to take care of her voice. I tried to say something to my husband, and no sound came out. I felt deeply frustrated. I wondered what would happen were I to lose my voice forever. Sure, I could keep on writing articles and messages, and use them to express my feelings that way, but what a feeling of incompleteness!
Anyway, I eventually concluded that the most important thing is not to lose my inner voice: that unbridled passion that pushes me towards people, that makes me think human beings are beautiful and interesting, and that they always have something to say. As long as I’ll be able to make this voice heard, I don’t have to worry. And you need more than a virus to kill it.