This is a medium length article for a corporate coach client who wanted to illustrate best coaching principles with her audience in a professional psychology journal. She wanted a medium length, well crafted Presentation-of-Expertise article with a “Top Ten” type format, including quick, easily-digestible thought-points, tips and contrast pieces. These article elements can typically be mixed and matched to provide greater penetration of learning, enjoyment and information for your audience.
Word count: 1167 Reading time: 6 minutes
Presets of Effective Leaders, Healers & Coaches
You and the clients you work with may be living in the same world, but you undoubtedly come from different neighborhoods, cultural backgrounds and other frames of reference. To begin work with them in the most effective way possible, set down the parameters of operation to enroll their most Resourceful Selves.
A great example that helps you empower your clients are a set of “presets” I call the Pre-Coaching Agreements. In keeping with empowering the client as much as possible to take charge, teach these Pre-Coaching Agreements in the first client session. Coach and Client agree to be guided by the following presuppositions in our work together:
1) People are inherently perfect. They are not in need of “fixing”.
Corollary: People are infinitely resourceful and limitless in their powers and abilities. Every person has all the resources they will ever need to solve the problems of life, already.
2) People may feel unresourceful around certain problems or blocks in their life. They are able to resolve these unresourceful states easily, once they know how.
Corollary: Most people are two correctly-asked questions and one hot tip away from the answers they need.
3) Every behavior has a positive intent. Sometimes this positive side may not always be visible to the person themself.
Corollary: This positive intent may not be obvious to onlookers or people the person is interacting with. It may in fact be quite hideous behavior on the face of it, but something inside the person doing it is getting fed, satisfied and validated.
Imagine a baby whose mother is often absent. The baby learns to become fractious whenever mother is away. To mother, her baby is crying for no reason. Baby’s rattle, bottle and doll are all within reach. Baby is not wet nor should she be tired at this hour.
All Mother wants is a few moments to herself, but still Baby cries.
To Mother, it’s frustrating because she cannot understand Baby’s intent. To Baby though, such behavior gets her what she wants – Mother’s presence upon demand. Once you know what the positive intent is, you can identify resources on the positive side of the equation more appropriately.
4) The mental “map” or way a person represents reality to him or herself is not in fact, Reality itself.
Corollary: The Coach takes the neutral position of seeing the objective reality of a situation, and works through knowledge of the client’s map of that reality to effect change.
Remember the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant? One grasped it’s trunk and declared it was a thin, squirmy thing like a snake. Another felt it’s massive leg and swore it was more like unto a giant tree. A third feeling the flapping ear, claimed it was nothing more than a gigantic fan. Each person had a grasp on a piece of the picture, but not the whole.
The Coach stands for that “whole” in the client’s life, and bringing the client to an awareness of that whole (the whole ‘map’, including the client’s view of reality and Reality™ itself), which is the ultimate Resource State.
5) There is no failure, only feedback.
Corollary: This is my favorite of the Coaching Presuppositions. It instantly turns forehead-smacking bitterness and intense shame of failure into an opportunity to consider new data and revise strategies towards success.
6) Anything can be accomplished if we break it down into small enough pieces.
Corollary: Some people are “large chunk” processors and want to see the “big picture”. They can see a finished painting and be able to reproduce it exactly, stroke for stroke just by examining the whole thing all at once.
Others however would be terrified at this as an assignment. They prefer first to know how to make certain brushstrokes, what brushes to use, how to mix pigments and the process of painting a human being, the tree she is standing next to, and the valley both stand within.
These people are called “small chunk” processors.
Know which strategy your client prefers to aid them in working to their best advantage on the problems they come in with.
7) People always make the best choice available to them.
Corollary: Although it may not seem that way at the time, and though the choice made may be a self-destructive or negative choice, they were doing the best they could with what they had. This is a good one to bring up when clients are working on parental issues. Their parents did the best they could at the time with the resources they had.
If a parent misbehaved towards a client, it may not seem to the client that Mom or Dad “did their best” which is an excellent time to go back, re-imprint the particular memory with your chosen therapy, and add the resources Mom or Dad needed to make a better decision.
8) It is better to have choices than no choice.
Corollary: The element in a system with the most flexibility will be the controlling element. Think of a client who loves to dance and will willingly go into debt to afford new dance shoes, clothing and admission to clubs.
The client comes to you for help with sticking to a plan of meditation, but their dancing side always wins out and they eventually find an excuse to ditch meditation practice to go clubbing. The client’s “dance element” is the one with the most flexibility and it controls the client.
Dive under the “need to dance” to see what other needs are getting satisfied by the dance scene. Once you have this, you have that “hinge” that opens and closes the door to the client’s aspirations.
9) The thing that most people lack is Awareness of the resource they need at the moment.
Corollary: Coaching is as much about raising a client’s Awareness Quotient as high as possible, as it is about anything else. This is the central motivation of Coaching as a discipline. This awareness has a spiritual component in most people’s lives. It is up to the Client to determine how the spiritual expresses itself for them.
10) The Spiritual component is an indivisible part of the Client’s (and everyone’s) Ultimate Resource State.
Corollary: Be comfortable dealing with spiritual expression in the coaching session. As the client gets closer to their goals, they will come more and more in line with, as Wayne Dyer says “the intention of the mind of God” (or however the client designates a Higher Power) where blocks, distractions and burdens will fall away of their own accord.
This effect is in direct proportion to the client’s personal spiritual evolution. If you don’t keep up with them and co-evolve together, the client will outgrow you.
This is a normal part of the lifecycle of the coaching relationship. Know when a client is evolving beyond you, and have a list of coaches, therapists and other mentors you admire as your teachers and colleagues, to refer such clients to.
About The Author: Maryam Webster is a veteran psychologist, marketer, published author and writer for social justice, healing and consciousness revolutionaries. She writes magnetic, high converting copy for articles, mythic bios and sales pages, key converter web pages and signature programs. Like targeted copy like this written for your business? Get in touch: