The Contemplative Coach


Exploring Solitude and Silence

Coaches are often called upon to help others discover the best within themselves. But how can a coach do this if they lack self-awareness and practices that care for their own soul? Active listening, providing presence, creating awareness, and establishing trust are just a few of the core coaching competencies coaches need to bring to their clients, none of which are fully possible without a coach who is in touch with their being and actively caring for their own soul. Too often, coaches are starved for intimacy, quiet and rest, not realizing how this jeopardizes work effectiveness, relationships and decisions.

This course integrates insights from Ruth Haley Barton's book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence. The course delves into the transformative power of solitude and silence, while bringing to the forefront our real fears and challenges of being in silence and in solitude. Participants will learn the ins and outs of this deeply transformative practice through reading, journaling, practicing, reflecting and community (via peer groups). Participants will be invited to discuss their journey and any challenges discovered along the way. They will be able to put into practice simple steps for caring better for their own soul, thus improving their impact as a coach. If desired, participants will also be able to bring knowledge of this gift to their clients to help them be better human beings instead of human doings.

This course is composed of 14 sessions with the beginning class and ending class one hour and the rest 1 ½ hours (90 minutes)

Participant Learning Outcomes

As a result of this course, participants will understand:

  1. The role of solitude and silence in personal, spiritual and professional growth.
  2. The personal and communal benefits of intentional alone time.
  3. Practical steps for incorporating solitude into a busy lifestyle.
  4. How to use silence as a tool for self-discovery and discernment.
  5. Through group reflections, how to offer empathy, active listening and sitting in silence with others.

Teaching Strategies for Participant Learning

This class will include class discussion, peer group process, reflective reading, journaling and practical exercises.

Required Textbook

    Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton

    Course Prerequisites