Being hospitable is a necessary attribute of a coach. An ancient symbol of hospitality and later a symbol of compassion is the pomegranate that bursts open at the right time and place to give of itself completely. And so does the effective coach who listens attentively, allows the client to set the agenda, asks difficult questions, and affirms the client’s strengths, growth, and processes.
The coach can only be present or hospitable and therefore empathetic and compassionate, if there is openness to the experiences of the client. To be hospitable means to be present in such a way that the client discovers the capacity for and the possibility of growth and an increase in human dignity through the trusting encounter with the coach. And concurrently, the coach in partnership with the client rediscovers new learning and teachable moments.
Being hospitable is listening to the story of the client. Only in listening does the coach create the space for the client to discover their inner strengths and insights to make appropriate decisions. Another level of hospitality, where real healing and transformation occurs is how both the client and coach reflect on their experiences together. A new relationship develops because of this interaction with the client and the coach.
The most skillful caregivers are those who have learned from their experiences. The experience of compassion fatigue can lead one to a greater sence of self and compassion.