“If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

As we celebrate, recognize, and honour the International Women’s Day (March 8th), we invite you to take some time out to reflect on what might it mean to honour the feminine in these times and within the field of Coach training?

Culturally and contextually, the idea of feminine might differ, and all genders possess feminine aspects to their personality and mindsets. And yet, if we wish to facilitate and catalyse an equitable and just world, we need to bring our mindful attention to actively integrating feminine aspects within coach training and practices. This can be a significant contribution towards creating greater power balance across genders, cultures and races.

We must challenge our coaches to examine their unconscious bias towards honouring masculine traditions and thinking as superior and those representing the feminine aspects as inferior. Both aspects, the feminine and the masculine are distinct aspects of our wholeness and need to exist and inform our coaching work in balance and harmony.

So, when we think of the feminine aspects within coach training, what are we speaking of?

We believe following attributes of coach training and coaching honour and embrace the feminine within us and our communities.

  • Helping our coaches access their innate heart wisdom and somatic intelligence.
  • Challenging our coaches to understand and make visible the community they exist in and the systems they perpetuate or promote.
  • Learn to hold and nurture ideas that are yet to find prominence but need to be tended. This may be within the coaching practise or how coaching needs to serve those in need.
  • Bring light to our connection to the planet and her needs.
  • The unconscious or willful separation or ‘othering’ we do in order to distinguish our own identities, fracturing our lens around the wholeness in which we exist.
  • Accessing intuitive wisdom.
  • Listening to differences and unblocking energies blocked through patriarchy.
  • Dismantling our inner patriarch as coach educators. Role-modelling leadership beyond the confines of patriarchy.
  • Decolonialising the need for urgency, adhering to external standard of perfection, the need to conform to dominant standards of what is right, and desirable and images of success.

As coach trainers– some key questions in our minds and hearts are:

  • How do we honour the feminine in our work?
  • How do we facilitate the emergence of conscious balance between the masculine and the feminine aspects?
  • How is this work important in terms of contributing to the evolution of coach training?

As coach trainers – we recommend the following steps as ways to honour the feminine.

  • Introduce exploration and challenge coaches to confront their own unconscious bias around gender roles and identities as well as what it means to be successful.
  • Examine the curriculum to notice how it might perpetuate a sense of superiority towards mainstream thinking influenced by patriarchal notion of success, efficiency and achievement.
  • Create psychological safety for allowing differences to emerge and behaviours that embody slowing down, allowance for emergence, relationship and community building.
  • Create an active environment for legitimising different forms of intelligences as part of coach training. For example, Somatic intelligence and intuitive intelligence.
  • Bring in a systems lens as well as a focus on wellbeing of communities as an essential part of coach training and coaching work.
  • Actively examine the imbalance between the masculine and the feminine aspects of coach education and curriculum delivery. Create space for feedback, dissent and learning through adaptation.

We invite you into this dialogue. You may have a different vision and experience of what it means to honour the feminine within coach training. We welcome that your cultural context, lived experience and innate wisdom will most likely inform this dialogue differently. We look forward to hearing from you.

 Vikram Bhatt, President-Elect in partnership with Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, President.