Communication is three things: spontaneously expressing oneself, providing information, influencing others. Plus: being-communicated-to, of course. Look closely and you see coaching.
When people really communicate, they coach each other and themselves. They invite some deeper meaning to be considered. They motivate towards change from inside out. This is not hard or heavy. On the contrary, it is quite light. And it can show everywhere. It can be a gesture. It can be small talk. It can be a dance. Nonverbal communication. It can be a glance. A smile. People communicate in innumerate ways and these can all be a kind of coaching.
What is needed for it to be coaching, is openness. Looking at each other without preconceptions that fill the space in between. It’s always OK.
The other person can communicate whatever he or she has in mind. And you too, as ‘coach’, can do so. Because you respect each other, you will not try to hurt each other. You both will try to let the other grow, even if it’s only a very tiny little bit. This comes naturally.
A true coach is someone who takes this natural human inclination a step further. He or she makes himself or herself into a kind of coaching instrument by heightening inside what is naturally already very much there. Making oneself truly open is to the coach the main work to do. Of course, this goes together with a lot of baggage, intellectually, emotionally.
The idea is not to become like a child again except in what the child has not yet unlearned: the openness towards others and towards the surroundings as all new.
To the young child, everything is new. To the adult also, everything can be like new. Even in situations that the adult has already lived through many times. The adult coach will through this not forget himself or herself. All the memories may be consciously there or may play an unconscious part in shaping experiences and communications. That is not a problem. It is even a big advantage. Through openness, the coach can come very close to the other person, maybe someone who is explicitly seeking advice. Through lots of background, the coach can show alternative ways to be with the issue that the other person needs to work on, or to live with. This is the case in an explicit coaching situation. It can also be the case in life in general. I think and hope that we evolve towards a world in which this will be increasingly present and appreciated.