The origin of safe spaces can be traced back to the bars used by the gay community in the 1960’s. These bars were physical safe spaces to socialise and express your true self. Over the decades the concept of safe space has been adapted and is now commonly used in coaching. One of the goals of coaching is to create a safe space for clients to openly share and be their authentic self.
Coaching can be an intensely personal experience and to be effective it frequently requires searing honesty and vulnerability.
When done properly, coaching involves dealing with someone’s true values and beliefs. How they see both themselves and the environment in which they operate. For many it can be a process of self-discovery, stopping the ‘do’ and exploring the ‘why’.
In an increasingly overloaded world coaching can provide a critical time-out to reflect. Stopping the constant input and allowing our minds, our central processing units, to evaluate the data and make considered decisions.
The relationship with the coach is a crucial part of this safe space. The coach provides the boundaries, creates a sense of security and non-judgmental listening. Due to the potential intensity of this relationship at the start of any coaching process it is important to focus on the rapport between the participants. A coach is neither a friend or foe, but a supportive guide. An asker of questions and an objective listener.
Coaching is also frequently time bound to avoid long-term dependency and ensure that people have the tools to manage their own journey independently. The focus should be giving people their own time and space to grow.