We are excited to share with you the next interview in our “Meet the Author” series featuring Patrick Chapman.
Patrick is the founder and owner of Inward Action Coaching. He uses his coaching, conflict management, and mindfulness expertise to help professionals design a more fulfilled and balanced work-life.
Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome everyone. I'm Gary Schleifer. And this is a meet the author podcast brought to you by choice the magazine and professional coaching, the ultimate resource for professional coaches in the wonderful arena for professional coaching. We're more than just a magazine choices, a community for people who use coaching in their work or personal lives. We've been building our strong, passionate following in the coaching industry for more than 20 years. In today's episode, I'll be talking with a coach and author Patrick Chapman on his article, coaching presence, how being present evokes client awareness from the recent episode, evoking awareness choice magazine. Let me tell you a little bit about Patrick. He's the owner of inward action coaching. He uses his coaching conflict management and mindfulness expertise to help professionals design a more fulfilled and balanced work life. Patrick is a professional certified coach with the international coaching Federation, a certified professional coactive coach, which with the coaches training Institute and a certified conflict coach.
Speaker 1 (01:15):
And he also possesses 25 years of expertise in coaching conflict management, training, organizational development, and law and weight TC. He's a young man and in the, in the private sector Patrick earned his bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Ohio Wesleyan university and Juris doctorate degree from the university of Cincinnati college of law. He's a member of the state bar of Georgia. And as I got to know you, Patrick, I just felt like we were on similar journeys, although you are decades younger than I am, as we found out and with the coaches training Institute. And we're both PCCs with the international coaching Federation. And the more we talked to more, we realized like landmark education and all that sort of stuff. So, you know, it was really was a simpatico getting to know you. So I'm really thrilled to have you here and welcome you on this podcast.
Speaker 2 (02:18):
Well, thank you, Gary. I'm really appreciative about the opportunity I've been reading choice for quite some years. And so it's really a blessing to have the opportunity to one write an article within choice magazine, and then also be able to connect with you here on the podcast. So thanks again for having me.
Speaker 1 (02:36):
Oh, my pleasure. My pleasure. It was you know, it was quite a joy to read that because you really got right to the point and the heart of the matter in your article and most likely, cause I don't remember the decision-making a year ago cause that's how long ago we'd get through all this. But it, it really struck me as, as you really got down to the core of what it means to, to be present. So let's get into some other things I want to know what inspired you to write about coaching presence?
Speaker 2 (03:09):
Yeah. Well thank you. It was really two different things. One is desire to want to grow. You have to continue to grow myself. I find that, you know, when you get out there from your training what can happen is you can get a little bit dull, you know, you get used to kind of being habitual and doing your coaching. And so that was one thing I saw and I do some mentor coaching. So sometimes I have more experience coaches will come and want to be more mindful and be more present within their coaching. Another thing is I noticed something with based on mentor coaching that I do for new coaches and different coaching programs. I noticed that oftentimes new coaches, I find focus a lot on technique and processes and not being present. They're trying to like help out and they want to fix something because a client wants to fix something. So they get into problem solving. They don't focus so much about what's right here, right now in front of them. And so, you know, your disposition or some fines, people referred to as your orientation, you know, how we show up as coaches really matters. And so, you know, where I put my awareness has a big impact upon what happens within the client coach relationship what skills I employ and then what result comes from the impact on the client? Yeah.
Speaker 1 (04:28):
Well said, you know, you really hit on a point. I remember back when I was first being a coach and it was all about like the big thing. And I think it is still sometimes is the powerful question, you know, it's like, and then in your so not present, but you're present to what's the next question I should be asking that you're not even, not only are you being skilled at being with the client, that presence doesn't even come into the conversation, right. Like into your mind. Right? One of the words that really struck me that I love is the word energy and that, that one really picks on up with me and intuition. So you, you said this about you know, about coach training and the presence wasn't there. What do you w what, where do you think it starts to fit in or where do you think it should fit in? Or I know this is a stacked question and mentors would tell me this is all wrong
Speaker 2 (05:27):
Speaker 1 (05:29):
Okay. So forget that one. Forget that one. So here's coaching. No, it's how, how, and when do you introduce coaching presence properly and effectively into your coaching?
Speaker 2 (05:44):
Yeah, I actually, it's a beautiful question, Gary. I really think it starts even before I get into the coaching session itself. I really think it's, it's when I come on to, before I come into a call now, am I present? You know, so kind of sitting down might be breathing techniques. It could be a meditation or some other form of mindfulness getting myself present what, what is my intention? What is it that I'm here to do? What is it that my client wants, you know, to kind of align with their purpose and then it gets into them being in the call itself. It mean with the client. So I think it starts again with, with us as coaches and then it moves into the actual coaching session with the client. And the first thing really is just to check in with the client to see what they need. Oftentimes clients are kind of moving into coaching session, coming from something else. And they're often not very present. And so that's an opportunity for us to help them become a bit more aware of the moment and how they want to transition into this moment in coaching.
Speaker 1 (06:53):
Yeah. You know, you're making it sound very easy and I think
Speaker 1 (07:00):
You do, because the way you're suggesting it, it's one more of those things that a coach should be applying right. From the beginning. It's like, okay, you know, have I got the agreement? Do I know what the outcome of the client and I have agreed to, am I present? Right. So I don't think I ever had that in my, they could have taught it to me, but I don't think I ever had that in my view of coach learning and execution in the early days to have that really be there. I really think that that came for me later on in life. So tell me, what do you do personally, to get ready for a coaching guy? Like what, what do you do to get present?
Speaker 2 (07:44):
Yeah, well, I'll, I'll first take a look at my notes from being the client prior and just get a sense and just kind of sit back and think about, well, how are they evolving here being curious about who is this client? Who are they now in this moment compared to some weeks ago when I first started working with them, for example. So I'll, I'll, I'll look a little bit about, you know, the, the notes and reflect back myself. Then I'll put it aside and then I'll just begin to relax, you know, my mind relaxed the body and you're right. It's, it's not always easy to do that as you have yourself, multiple things going on as a coach that you're managing. But I think it's important and I'm not a hundred percent like the expert at this. I find that there's there's days where it's better one day than another, but it's the continual practice of it.
Speaker 2 (08:37):
So I'll sit and I'll sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes if I can. And I'll just focus on an object to buy attention. It could be my breath, it could be imagining the client and what will perhaps happen within the session of, as they come into the session. It could be focusing on sounds in the room. It could be getting up standing and with my body around a little bit, or just standing steady and holding myself in the space of feeling my feet as a good rooted within the ground. Lots of different ways that you can attend to be able to kind of just relax the body and the mind to center so that you can be present in coaching with your clients.
Speaker 1 (09:23):
Well, and thank you. I, I w you've made a lot of suggestions in the article and I, and I strongly suggest that the people listening to this take some time to read your article because you give some great practices, both immediate and a bit more long-term, you know, reading about mindfulness practices and things like that. So but I, I was curious to see what to you, what do you do? You know, cause I'm like you and I, I have one more question to add onto that, but I'm doing the same thing. And I have I live in a condo building I'm on the 24th floor and sometimes it's, while I'm working that this Hawk starts flying, that's what brings me to what used to be present. It's like, it takes me away from the freneticness of whatever I'm doing, because most of the time it's that during the week, and then this Hawk will start soaring. Like, you know, how they are, they just soar on the wind and I, and I stop. And I, and to me, that's one of those mindfulness it's like nature calling to me to be mindful, be mindful. So yeah, no, that, that's cool.
Speaker 2 (10:39):
I can relate to that because I have some Cardinals that you know, when the pandemic hit everything slowed down, everything got quiet. And I remember one of the things that I heard more than ever was the birds. So I have some Cardinals in my backyard that all of a sudden moved by and, you know, the bright color of the red will, would definitely draw my attention. And yeah. And so it doesn't really matter what you place your attention on is the tending that's important to be able to help you get centered.
Speaker 1 (11:09):
Yeah. Wow. Cardinals, I love that bright red. Oh, that's great. You're obviously on ground level.
Speaker 2 (11:17):
I get them,
Speaker 1 (11:19):
You know, and I don't know if we truly covered this. So I'm going to ask you this question is, so what inspired you to write this article? Like what was really, really behind it? Was it observation? What
Speaker 2 (11:30):
Just the observation again within the mentor coaching about the other coaches, I saw his biggest thing, but also it's like, you know, the focus of my business is called end redaction coaching. A lot of people think that action starts from doing an activity from doing something outside of oneself and to get some type of results. I really feel that action starts inward. It's really an inward journey and it's an organic one of growth and development. And in order to be able to really focus on, on the word, you know, to be able to get more of an understanding of what your desires are, your strengths, your goals, your perspectives, limited beliefs you name it. It really requires presence. That's really our natural state. You know, we're, we're really, although we're meaning making people and there's a lot of fixation and focus on the past or, or I find for myself more you know, falling into the future our natural state and like the state of nature, like you mentioned, is the present. That's really all we have and that's really all we need to work with. And that's the practice of continuously remembering that and bring yourself back to this very moment.
Speaker 1 (12:48):
Wow. Well said if that's something we should be present to a little more often, is that all we have with the present, you know? Oh, that's great. Thank you. So what do you plan to write about in the future? More about presence.
Speaker 2 (13:05):
Yeah, there's a couple of different areas I'm interested in. One area that I'm interested in is the connection between presence and resilience. A lot of times resilience is viewed and something that seems like it's more of a hot topic right now in our society, especially based on what's been happening with all the changes from the pandemic as we go through it as a, as a country and even internationally. And you know, a lot of times resilience is viewed as something where you are bouncing back overcoming challenge or change uncertainties. But three, there's another aspect of that. And that's the bouncing forward, you know, the movement from what you've been able to gather and learn and grow from the challenges. And then from that how do you then expand into the future? And I think presence ties into that, and I'll give you an example of that.
Speaker 2 (13:57):
Think of mindfulness again. And we focus on a specific object of our choice and then our mind wanders off some place else. And then all of a sudden we become real. We realize, Oh, I'm, I'm in this thought stream of, I don't know how well, how long I've been in that thought stream, but I've been there for awhile. Now, let me come back to whatever I'm putting my attention to. It might be the breath. And then that happens again in my waters and it goes over and over again. And that continuous effort to refocus and attend to me is what resilience is about.
Speaker 1 (14:32):
I, and I apologize, and I, I, I heard all of that. And part of me was holding something that wasn't allowing me to be present than that is a request, right, for her. We have an issue coming up on resilience in a couple of quarters and delight. If you will, to submit one for consideration, I would love to all our writers, there's no guarantee to be published, but 95% of the people make it through. So so yeah, please consider that. We'd love to have it.
Speaker 2 (15:05):
I would love to do that. The other area I'm interested in writing about also ties in with presences, you know, in the article, I focus a lot on intentionality, you know, you have to be deliberate to make presence a habit you know, through study, through practice and reflection. I'm also interested in thinking about a little bit more about how presence just occurs on its own without making an intention. So it becomes more effortless. I'll give you an example of that, Gary. I think about walks in nature and sometimes I'm not walking, I'll focus specifically in, on an object of attention, you know, I'm the subject, here's the object, the object today might be focusing on the sounds of nature or just the different colors that I see. And that is presence within them. I'm specifically intentionally focusing in on something.
Speaker 2 (15:55):
And in this other times, right, I don't really have a specific object to focus on. I'm just out there walking. And and from that also this presence, I think the difference there is one sphere of awareness where, when I'm focusing much more on a specific object, it draws more towards the mind. And it's more narrow and focus similar to the current set people have when they have a car that they're shopping for, that they like. And all of a sudden they noticed the same car everywhere now, as they're shopping around trying to find that car and kind of like being at the ocean, you know, you can look out into the water and then you can get into the water. And then all of a sudden you're just experiencing the ocean and it's no longer a focus on yourself. And I'm wondering in coaching, how can that be applicable? I'm curious to, to write and think about that a little bit more, because I think it really gets to this whole idea of, of oneness, you know, being one and not focusing and seeing yourself as separate from something else.
Speaker 1 (17:01):
Wow. You know, I really love that. It's, it's funny, you know, we talk about, he set an intention, you went for a walk in nature, and then you just let it all go because you set the stage, if you will, you know, and it's not like your intention, isn't still there, but it's, it you've let go. You got yourself to the spot where you need to be to just be with nature. I I'm so inspired because I, I was thinking of, I keep, one of the things I have in my view is the Niagara escarpment and the tip of the Niagara escarpment is Niagara falls, but I can see that about 30, 40 miles away. And I know that that whole area has walking trails and I don't know why I don't take the time to do it, but I'm going out that way on the weekend, I'm going to find a walking trail and going to go intentionally, find the walking trail and then just walk yeah.
Speaker 1 (17:54):
Resin to nature. Right. I know what it does for me. And I'm sure a lot of our listeners are thinking the same thing, especially the ocean. What really resonates with me above and beyond is your introduction of the concept of oneness. And, you know, I, when you say that, I think I've had that experience, but I never had a, you know, I never thought of it. And as oneness it just thought of, Oh, wow. Where, you know, you know, it's kind of like one of the days like that one is, you know, so that's something I'm going to keep an eye out for. When I'm doing these kinds of things and just being present and doing some more work on it, myself, I have to admit I'm not the best at it. I'm a, I'm a big doer. And my goal is to be more intentional about presence
Speaker 2 (18:47):
Yeah. And beautifully. And I encourage you to play with both. There's the intentionality of it. And there's also the kind of just hang out. And I think other modalities even beyond coaching, help support building a presence. I think about a couple that I've been involved with past year which are like micro movement exercises Feldon Christ another, one's called Hanna somatics. And, and they really work on that mind, body connection. And they're really about making less effort. And so it's really teaching me how to be in a different way where it's not so much about trying to strive or get some place or putting a lot of force and energy behind something, but more like just kind of sitting back allowing things to come and watching as things are happening. And that takes, I think, time patients and just letting go,
Speaker 1 (19:46):
That's a tough one for a lot of people, but you know what it's practiced. Right. All of it is practice and maybe that's why they call it a practice of always practicing and introducing, like now the concept of intentionality and also oneness are going to be, you know, it's, it's those things that you can't unsee or unhear, right. Like, Oh, that's, Oh, there's that thing Patrick was talking about. Great. Well, Patrick, is there anything else you'd like our audience to take from this article and from this conversation like immediate, sorry, immediate to do's around presence. Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Speaker 2 (20:25):
Yeah. Well, I think the last thing I would share would be as far as you know, moving forward for people look for the opportunities, you know read different books, articles, workshops, things to help you get present. And it would say just like you said, the continuous practice of it, whether it be nature or coaching, other types of modalities and exercises but make it daily. I find that that's has been the most rewarding for myself. And it's something you can always come back to and make it fun. You know, it's not, sometimes we can make it like a another check Mark things to do. But I find that just a brief moment within the day a little walk something I'm eating maybe a nice piece of cake or something, or some chai we'll, we'll help you. And those moments will give you the, the motivation and the, you know, joy to move through other challenges that come up. And so I think it's important to just slowly practice patients and bring care to whatever you do presence.
Speaker 1 (21:41):
Oh, what a great word care. Yeah. You've brought up so many great words, Patrick, in a context that is just a little bit different and a little bit more serving. I really love it. I want to thank you so much for joining us for the meet the author for submitting and allowing your great words to be published. What's the best way for our audience to read.
Speaker 2 (22:04):
Oh, thank you. A couple of different ways. I'll give you my email address. It's Patrick Chapman at inward action, coaching.com and you can also go to him reaction coaching.com by website.
Speaker 1 (22:18):
Awesome. And we'll put that in our, in the below this video. So thank you very much.
Speaker 2 (22:25):
Thank you, Gary opportunity. Again, really honored to be here with you today.
Speaker 1 (22:29):
Hey, and who knows published another article? We might meet up again for another one.
Speaker 2 (22:33):
I would welcome that. Yeah. We'd love to do that.
Speaker 1 (22:37):
Awesome. Well, folks, that's it. For this episode of the meet the author series, sign up to our email list at choice dash online and subscribe to your favorite podcast app. We're going to be there. We're working on that. So, and don't miss any of our other informative episodes. If you're interested in getting a free digital issue of choice magazine, head over to choice and click the sign up now button, and you'll get a free one too, to look at. So I want to thank Patrick one more time. It's been an absolute delight. I've learned a lot myself and I hope our listeners have too. I'm Gary Schleifer and invite you to enjoy the journey to mastery.