How does coaching work?

Working together has one paramount aim: to facilitate your growth. Each stage and nuance of the coaching relationship is designed to help.

The four stages of the coaching alliance

Stage 1: Relationship

The most powerful tool of coaching is the relationship between coach and client. Creating an empathic environment where the client has enough trust to open up and create solutions is crucial to positive coaching outcomes. I will listen, curiously enquire, and encourage you along the windy way of change so it doesn’t have to be too daunting.

Stage 2: Information gathering

Whilst coaching focuses on the future and on solutions, there needs to be a clear picture of the client’s past relationships and upbringing. I will work with you to collaboratively paint a canvas of how your beliefs shaped the way you look at the world.

Stage 3: Insight

The “Aha” moment. The penny drop. The opening of the curtains. No matter how you want to call it, we will use the data gathered from the previous stage to faciliate your enhanced understanding of purposes of behaviour and core beliefs.

Stage 4: Reorientation

Now that you have deepened your grasp of your story, what is it that you can do right now to change it? We will curiously look into solutions and strategies, as well as concrete actions, to take your life further. One step at a time.

These stages are more circular than linear. It often happens that a coaching session goes through all of these stages. No matter where we might be in the circle, your individual goals sit at the forefront.

Psychological principles I work with

The order of birth can have an impact on one’s personality. For example, the firstborn in the family receives all the attention in the family, to later on be “dethroned” by the arrival of a sibling. The parents can also expect the firstborn to take care of their younger sibling, which can lead to unconscious rivalries and alliances in the family. Consequently, the younger sibling lives in a constant state of “catching up”, striving to reach the older sibling, due to the perceived state of inferiority in the family.

At the same time, birth order is not an absolute certain predictor of personality, as individuals create a unique understanding of themselves, others, and the world.

We all grow up with areas of ourselves that we perceive to be less than ideal. These are called inferiority feelings, and they start developing very early on. We then create strategies and movements aimed at getting us from that “felt minus” to an advanced state of being, a “perceived plus”. Those strategies and movements are called compensatory behaviours. In balanced doses, these are perfectly normal and healthy. But when the individual is very discouraged, the compensatory swing becomes bigger, thus creating friction.

Private logic, as opposed to common sense, is our subjective and biased view of ourselves, others and the world. It is the schema, or cognitive part of our personality. It provides a lens through which we can develop compensatory movement for our inferiority feelings. An example would be the adage “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Behaviour serves one ultimate purpose: finding safety, security, and belonging. We choose the best way to do this, and that becomes our goal in life. People create, sometimes out of awareness, specific strategies to reach the final goal. Working with me will help you understand how you came to employ your unconscious strategies.

Man is a social being, with an innate potential for social interest, or interest in the interests of others. The better our social interest, the better our mental health.

A useful question for ourselves is “how much do others gain from my behaviour? Do my actions enhance others?”. The opposite of social interest is immediate personal gratification, personal power through dominance, insecurity and dread, or competitiveness.

This is just scratching the surface when it comes to the coaching toolkit. Together we can gently peel off the layers of your angst, to understand the subtle nuances that make your story unique to you.

How working with me can help you

Understanding yourself is the key to understanding your relationships with others. It is only when you know your values, beliefs and emotions that you can truly connect with those around you. Whether it’s your spouse, family, or colleagues, self-awareness is essential.

I can help you gain the clarity you need to understand yourself better and start changing the dance in your life. You will notice more harmony, increased flexibility and different energies on your life’s dance floor.

If you want to find out more about the vast universe of self-awareness, have a look at my articles