Facilitating an individual’s search within themselves for the answers and resources they require to be limitless.”
(Michael Duffy)

“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” (Daniel Pink)

Coaching goes beyond the results, it helps clients learn and develop strategies and capabilities for life.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a process where we raise (self-)awareness, encourage self-discovery, expand perspectives, create insights and space for learning.

It facilitates one’s journey towards reaching goals by empowering strengths and internal resources, and decreasing or removing limiting elements, barriers.

As Timothy Gallwey beautifully explained, we all play an inner game, and performance = potential – interference.

 

The added value of the process does not only lie in the results but in the journey one takes towards themselves. This often includes a higher sense of purpose, actions aligned with values, a more compassionate relationship towards self, and a more authentic presence in relationships with others.

 

Coaching is as much about what happens between the sessions as it is about what happens during the sessions.

A coach doesn’t want to change people’s minds, but to help people awaken their own sense of agency and decide on the appropriate changes they wish to make.

When is coaching relevant in our life?

  • We choose coaching when we want to make a change. We may feel stuck at starting or sustaining the process or simply need empowerment and support for a better experience of the transition. We may also engage in coaching when we want to make a difficult decision and need an external perspective that can broader ours, or if we want to engage in a long-term transformation.

 

  • A change can take a variety of forms and complexities, from a decision we need to make, a personal/professional goal or development we want to achieve, to a transformation that extends to all areas of our lives, career, or business.

 

  • Successful organizations and high-achieving professionals use coaching not as a reactive supporting tool, but also as a proactive process for growth and learning. They develop self-awareness in order to respond productively to future scenarios and accelerate growth.

 

  • Coaching, however, is for everyone and is not limited to organizations or leaders. The core human needs for growing and creating fulfilling personal and professional relationships are similar. The differentiator is the unique life experience that shapes the contexts, roles, and behaviors we choose. 

Elements of an empowering experience

Clarity

Coaching creates clarity around the starting point (where we are at now), the desired point (where we want to go), and the gap between the two (what blocks us and what helps us).

It sounds simple, but getting the deepest clarity requires awareness, vulnerability, acceptance of our current life story and what we really want. It can be uncomfortable to stay with ourselves and the coaching relationship offers a safe space to practice it regularly.

 

Purpose

Another essential part of coaching is identifying the WHY that stays at the core of the desired change so that the process can target changing the roots and not just the ‘symptoms’. Most clients are not afraid of taking action, but of not knowing what actions to take next. Therefore, a strong purpose needs to be translated into a goal, objectives, and achievable steps.

 

What stays in the way and what helps

A helpful process should identify and challenge the limitations and empower the strengths. Practicing a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.

Many of the blocks we encounter are rooted in our mindset, our (lack of) emotional agility, and in the pursuit of unhelpful resources, strategies, or behaviors.

It’s not that we can not unblock ourselves on our own, it’s that, too often, we do it in a way that is not supportive, healthy, or sustainable in the long run.

 

Learning and reflection

Learning will happen to serve the client in their efforts to achieve goals and build the habits needed to sustain the work. Habits will stick when we reflect on why they are important and how they build us – an insight that fosters motivation, engagement, and accountability. 

Reflection has a double role: first, it allows evaluation of progress and performance, and second, it creates mental space for inner transformation, for slowing down and returning to our core whenever we fall off the track.

 

Action for experience

Knowing ≠ experiencing – taking action is decisive to the coaching process. We spend a lot of time planning and we turn that into our comfort zone. Transformation can only occur when what we know and think is practiced in reality so that we can learn how it impacts us. Experiences will help our nervous system, emotions and body tell our brain: “Go ahead, you are safe”, or on the contrary, will raise red flags that need adjustments.