The Midwife of Your Potential

art of encore living personal development stoicism Feb 07, 2022
Creative On Purpose
The Midwife of Your Potential

A mentor once told me that a coach turns on lights and opens doors for others.

That never really rang true for me.

Yes, a good coach (or teacher, or leader) helps you see what you don't see. A great one makes it impossible for you to unsee it. The best generously and empathetically amplify and leverage that tension to encourage you to take action and step into your potential.

But how do the best guides create and hold space that invites you to explore the edges of your understanding and ability with curiosity, courage, and commitment?

The maieutic method.*

You could also call it the Socratic method—a question-and-answer approach to self-discovery that unveils latent truths that reside within us.

The etymology of maieutics perhaps provides an even richer definition, "act as a midwife."

The best way to help others see, step into, stay in, and share their power isn't to tell them or show them how. You empower others most effectively when you witness, reflect, and invite them to recognize, embrace, and engage the power already within them.

The best teachers, coaches, leaders, and mentors don't turn on lights and open doors for you. They help you recognize that light switches and doorknobs are available and encourage you to find them.

Where do you seek empathetic antagonism? Who is the midwife of your potential?

* h/t to my LinkedIn pal Amara Rose for turning me on to this delicious word.

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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