Coaching Pro-Tip: Sometimes it's just chemistry. One advanced coaching skill is understanding when you're not some team's cup of tea, and seeing when the right thing to do is help them find someone they can relate to.
As we've already noted, agility depends on relationship, so naturally, coaching agility depends even *more* on relationship.
Relationship is, of course, always already in progress, meaning that it's changing, usually in two somewhat different ways, all the time. It changes because we're actively changing it as we go along. It changes because we're sensing it differently as we go along.
Of necessity, then, we always begin by leaning in together, to let these changes play out for a while, to discover where it might go. By "leaning", what I mean is, we are trying on variations of our selves, team and coach alike, consciously or unconsciously, seeking relationship.
When we're leaning, we're actually becoming someone other than when we're standing up straight, when we're totally safe, surrounded by completely trusted and trusting individuals, free to be you and me, if you're old enough to remember Marlo Thomas.
It's like wearing a Halloween mask, only it's a mask of oneself. It's subtle, this. It greatly resembles one, but not quite, not exactly. It's a kind of gameface, not the face when one's at home, or with beloved friends, when one feels most nakedly oneself.
Imagine, in my case, me wandering around wearing a GeePaw mask, pretending to be GeePaw, even as, in fact, I am GeePaw. Most of you, most of the time, wouldn't even know the difference between me leaning and me standing straight up. Sometimes *I* don't.
And those two sets of changes are changes to our individual "oneself" masks. And from time to time, those little tweaks to the mask cause the mask to become quite different from the naked self. When that happens, one has to make a choice, either to grow, or to let it go.
If one decides to grow, one is essentially saying that one is changing to become more like the mask. It is accepting the insight and the concomitant behavior ochange that, essentially, lets us become a new person.
If one decides to let it go, one is essentially saying that one's mask is no longer close enough to oneself to be lived with.
Remember, it's not just the coach who's doing this, it's each individual in the team. We're all doing it, all the time. And we all face those decision points, consciously or unconsciously, at various moments across time.

That's what I am calling "chemistry".
Becoming the mask is neither a good choice nor a bad one, and letting go of it is neither a good choice nor a bad one. Both can result in considerable growth. Both can be fraught with pain or filled with joy.
In my early days as a coach, though, I associated the letting-go with pain and pain only. And I fought ferociously to hold on to the mask, at times stretching it far outside the shape of myself.

It's easy to see why. We're talking here about being love-worthy, really.
Or anyway, I thought we were talking about that. :)

Over time, I came to understand it a different way.
Here's why this came up: I was asked about an acquaintance in the trade, B. And B is an excellent coach. A strong geek, decent, kind, very smart and very thoughtful, first rate. I've worked with B, and I know this.
I believe B feels mutually about me. But there's one other mutual belief we have: we neither of us feel the other is our cup of tea.

We have no chemistry.
And when I first realized these two ideas:

1) B is an excellent coach.
2) B and I don't have chemistry.

I had to rework my ideas about coaching and about chemistry.
So when I work with a team for a little while, & realize that we're just not clicking, that my oneself-mask is stretched too far, I don't want to become it, and have to let it go, I'm okay with that.

Sometimes it's just chemistry. An old hand comes to a place of accepting this.
I move on. But I don't storm out. I know a lot of coaches, we're a surprisingly small and tightknit community. I seek to find them someone who can help them more than I can.

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More from @GeePawHill

8 Jun
When you're privileged, hard-working, lucky, but not stupid or blind, assume good faith as part of your humility.

When you're not, when the ducks aren't all lined up for you, well, do you.

You're allowed to be suspicious. You'd be stupid to not be.
Do your best. Be kinder than you know how to be.

And remember, anger and kindness aren't opposites.

Say what you need to say. The world can, I can, we can, take the hit.

My only advice: sit with it as long as you can.
I hang with lots of people who say the most outrageous and awful things about old white cishet (-ish) men like me.

Sure, I get pissy about it from time to time. Everybody gets pissy sometimes.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jun
Here's "At The Ballet", from the original Broadway cast.

I remember the day I heard it the first time. My mentor T took me and a couple others to see B, who'd let our community theatre scene. And we drove some hours to go to B's house.
I was just a kid, maybe 15? And B's house was exquisite, far classier than I'd yet encountered. And I adored them both, of course, mentors. And she had a pre-release tape. None of us had ever heard or seen the show.
Read 10 tweets
6 Jun
This is Amy Winehouse, "WIll You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

Amy's my Patsy.
When I need to be reminded, I turn to Amy, crazy bork Amy.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
Patsy Cline, "Crazy".

I use this to introduce the kids to jazz, cuz of that piano.

But. Alone. At night.

I just sing it to the trees.
Mom, ya know, mom was a pretty hurt cookie, not well at all, tho decent, I'm not saying any abuse-like shit. And of an evening, she'd have a beer, and would put a record on our record-player. It wasn't a stereo, we were poor as fuck, but a record-player.
Read 6 tweets
6 Jun
Tony Bennet, "The Way You Look Tonight".

Bennett was a better singer than Sinatra, and his production -- don't kid yourself, major league players control production -- was stunning.
Sinatra was *always* about more instruments is more better. I think he was third-rate at best.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
I'mo not bust someone cuz they sibling was fucked up. My sibling was an abuser. I done some bork things in my life, but not like that. Having a family member who committed evil is not a legitimate criticism.
Yeah, I know, awkward.
Predators live in the spaces where we don't talk about it. Cuz, you know, it's awkward.
Read 4 tweets

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