George - A work of art

22 Apr 2021

I have a friend called Marcus Chapman. He is a talented artist and truly a good friend who I value immensely. He recently shared a story of how painting for others feels so much more challenging than painting just for himself.  In sharing his story he reflects on an early conversation with his old friend and mentor, the late George Busby.  George believed that at some point painters would hit a moment of crisis in a commission which would require them to hold their nerve in order to eventually make the painting a success.


This really resonated with me. That sense as a coach and as a tutor of the stakes being upped when doing something for others. That feeling of being stuck, of failing to deliver. That moment of crisis.  David Mezirow (1991) offers some reassurance that feelings such as puzzlement and a disorienting dilemma are our friends - they are the darkest moment before the dawn. Being stuck is exactly the feeling we need to move forward.


Do you know what really caught my attention in Marcus’s story though?  George. That’s who.  This trusted, wise and kind friend who offers reassurance that to be stuck is not only normal, it’s necessary.  He shared his knowledge and offered his presence as a way of letting Marcus gain perspective and ultimately move forward.  Gain perspective, move forward. Sound familiar?


Every week I have the privilege of tutoring on our ICF accredited ACTP flagship coaching programme.  I regularly witness the awe and fascination as delegates develop their coaching skills.  This isn’t always easy – as our programme asks some big questions: who are you, who are you as a coach, what difference do you want to make in the world with your coaching? This voyage of self-discovery culminates in multiple moments of feeling stuck followed by forward momentum and learning. Ultimately, it creates a sense of fulfilment and pride amongst our delegates to have weathered the storm and done it together. 


Continued thanks to all of our delegates, past, present and future – for bringing yourselves wholeheartedly to your learning, to almost 4,000 trained Barefoot coaches for are out in the world making it a brighter place through coaching.  Oh, and thanks of course to George for teaching us so much.

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By Andy Chandler PCC - Director of Coaching at Barefoot Coaching