The Coaching Relationship

Connection comes first. Nothing happens without connection. Fierce love and unconditional support build trust and a flourishing relationship. The coach and client share power equally. This relationship is a space for experimentation, alchemy and human evolution. In every moment, transformation is possible for both the client and the coach. In the space of deep connection, intuition blossoms for both the client and the coach.

The Three Levels of Coaching

At Leadership that Works, we support three levels of coaching:

Level One coaching supports transformation at the personal level.

  • Creating a healthy relationship with self 
  • Honoring internal wisdom and trusting intuition
  • Moving from awareness to alignment to action

Level Two coaching supports transformation at both the personal and the interpersonal level.Read more

Self-Care for the Coach

Allow your work and your recreation to be one and the same… Serve others and cultivate yourself simultaneously… Understand that true growth comes from meeting and Solving the problems of life in a way that is Harmonizing to yourself and to others. —Lao Tzu

What are the ways we care for our mind, body and soul? How much meaning, inspiration and purpose do we want in our lives? How regularly do we exercise and take time for spiritual practices? How does diet support our optimal functioning?

Using a journal to reflect on our own self-care, we can ask:

How is our energy level?… Read more

Turn Unproductive Behaviors into Productive Interventions

Approval and disapproval: Instead of sharing your evaluation, reflect what matters.

Comparing yourself: Instead of thinking about who is smarter or how your experience is different, or what you would have done, stay focused on the uniqueness of your client’s experience.

Evaluating or analyzing: Instead of interpreting or psychoanalyzing, reflect the content or the emotions and needs.

Ignoring nonverbal cues: Listen to the essence of the content, but also name the body language, tone of voice, rate of speech and energetic cues.

Jargon: If you notice you’re using words and phrases that your client wouldn’t use in a casual conversation, that’s a sign you’re using jargon.… Read more

The Coach’s Stand

One of the ways to access our commitment and energy is to develop what we call the coach’s stand. By that, we mean a solid foundation from which we coach and a courageous, empowered attitude that inspires clients. The coach’s stand is a set of physical, mental and spiritual qualities that we embody when we coach. As we stand in our power, we call your clients to step into their own power.

We divide the coach’s stand into three parts:

Physical stand or movement

Metaphor for the coaching relationship

Commitment to what we care about

Physical

Our energy and impact in the world are affected by our physical being.… Read more

The Coaching Relationship

“In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?” – Carl Rogers

Extensive studies in psychotherapy have shown that the most important predictor of client outcome is the therapist-client relationship, as experienced by the client. Studies from the last couple of decades confirm that the Importance of the relationship applies to coaching as well.

Even though we put effort into learning the CFT skills and pathways, they merely serve as a scaffold for building and deepening the relationship.… Read more

Where to Put Our Attention

With so many options, what do coaches look for and where do we focus?

Key Words—The first words spoken can be very revealing, so pay attention to the very first things said. When phrases are repeated, pick them up and get curious. Notice which words have energy behind them.

Yearning—In every moment, we listen for what the client wants. Even if they continuously talk about what they don’t want, or what’s not working, we can listen for what they do want.

What’s Not Said—Focus on what the client is protecting. Sometimes they’ll come right out and say, “I don’t want to talk about my loss,” an indication they are protecting something of value.Other… Read more

Presenting, Deeper and Transformational Agendas

Our role is to support our client’s agenda. How do we do that? What is the client’s agenda?

Asking what our clients want coaching on puts the ball in their court and allows them to reflect on and speak about what they want. Their answer is often the tip of the iceberg.

For example, a client wanted to know how to proceed with an important meeting. She wanted more clarity about what she wanted to say, how she wanted to prepare and what she wanted to have happen in the meeting. That’s her “presenting agenda” and a goal for the coaching session.… Read more

The Essence of Calling Out the Power

Calling out the power refers to the ways we engage with clients to move them toward stepping into their creativity, wholeness and sense of possibility. We support transformation when we help clients explore their deepest desires before solving immediate problems. Their natural power awakens and grows when they connect with the wisdom of their bodies, their emotions and their intuitive knowing. They naturally evolve from connecting to their own needs and desires, to discovering what’s needed in the world.

Once clients are connected to their power, they perceive, choose and act in ways that are productive for themselves and for all.… Read more

Problem Solving or Possibility Seeing

In coaching parlance, we have a phrase, “coach the client and not the problem.” This means that the client’s problem shouldn’t be the center of gravity in coaching, the client should be. Problems are finite, often relatively limited in scope and duration. Clients, however, are infinite sources of wisdom, depth and knowing. Life itself is at the center of the client.

As a new coach and trained attorney, I wanted very much to help clients resolve their issues. Who doesn’t at heart want to help people, to give them a sense of relief? This desire, unbeknownst to me, had me coaching problems, not clients.… Read more

Working with Needs and Values

A father wanted support to connect with his teenage daughter who repeatedly accused him of being rude to her. He was in pain, having a hard time remembering his love for her—all he saw was her hostile face and her demanding attitude.

He didn’t have easy access to his feelings so I asked what his heart looked like, if viewed from the outside. “It’s all tied in barbed wire,” he said. I stayed silent while something worked in him. “Well actually it is there to protect, but it hurts me as well.”

I asked, “What makes protection so important?”

“This heart is very, very fragile,” he said and at that moment, tears came to his eyes.… Read more