Abraham Maslow

Are you a coach that cares? 2

In a previous coaching post I’ve talked about what a coach can do to prepare for a coaching session. Each coach will develop their own answers and preparation for a coaching session.

As I shared in that previous post I look to answer the following before a coaching session “What can I do to ensure that I show up brilliantly?”

I know that doing “my job” as a coach to the best of my abilities and showing up brilliantly is much easier when I have taken care of myself. Today’s coaching post discusses self-care. As you read I invite you to consider how this works with your approach to coaching.

Let’s start by discussing what I mean by self-care. I once did a web search on the term self care and came across the following:

“Self care skills are the needs to manage day to day life. They include washing, dressing, cooking and housekeeping.”

Admittedly this was in reference to caring for someone else, and those things do all fall under self-care, and in this instance I am talking about much more than physiological need.

You may have seen Maslow’s hierarchy of needs usually represented as a pyramid, with the largest and lowest level of needs forming the foundations for the others to build upon. This theory of needs was proposed by psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1940′s and 50′s.

There is debate about the order that the levels are placed in, or even if there is a hierarchy at all. Rather than get involved in that discussion, I’m going to use it as a catalyst for thought. I’ll invite you to glance at the following synopsis and consider the emotional, physical and even spiritual effects and benefits that taking care of your needs for each category would have.

Physiological – What we, as humans, literally require to survive as a species. Needs that are seen to fall in this category include food, breathing, sleep and sexual activity.

Safety – In today’s society this does not only mean physical safety but can also include employment/financial security, health and security of property etc.

Love and Belonging – This category of “needs” covers aspects of feelings of belonging and building relationships, such as friendship, family and romantic.

Esteem – This heading covers needs such as self-esteem, confidence and respect – both of and by others.

Self-Actualisation – This, Maslow theorised, is the top of the pyramid, and is the section that covers what a persons potential is and fulfilling that potential. Dr Wayne Dyer describes it as:

i) To be free of the good opinion of others,

ii) To do things not simply for the outcome but because it’s the reason you are here on earth.

I include these not because I necessarily agree with every single aspect of Maslow’s theory myself, but to encourage a broader look at the things that when you take care to include in your daily routine you feel more alive and generally have a better day.

I’ll let you decide for yourself if taking care of yourself is something that would benefit your coaching.

If you want to play further with this:

What are the things that when you do them, you have a better day?

What are the things that when you do them you feel more alive and are more productive?

What would the difference be if you deliberately and consciously chose to incorporate more of these into your day?