Thoughts influence emotions, and emotions shape behavior. Changing our behavior requires a change in our thinking, which in turn makes it easier to manage our emotions and behave in more productive ways.
Each of us wants to live a life of meaning and purpose at work and at home, but too often we run into obstacles that prevent us from realizing this goal. One way to overcome these obstacles is with the help of a developmental coach.
My Approach to Coaching
At its simplest coaching is a partnership, forged through presence and the transformative power of human conversation, between two people who share a common goal. It’s also a process through which this partnership or conversation evolves, a process that aims to help clients identify new possibilities for personal and professional growth.
My approach to coaching includes tools and methods adopted from behavioral, cognitive, and contemplative models of human development. One core set of assumptions informing my practice is that thoughts influence emotions, and emotions shape behavior. Changing our behavior requires a change in our thinking, which in turn makes it easier to manage our emotions and behave in more productive ways.
The behavioral dimension of my coaching practice includes a focus on helping my clients change their behavior in ways that make them more skillful in whatever activities they undertake – at home, at work, or in the community. My goal is to give my clients the knowledge and tools they’ll need to observe and change their own behavior, even after our formal coaching engagement ends.
The cognitive dimension of my coaching practice brings an emphasis on how we think about the world in which we live and work and the way we relate to this world on a daily basis. Here my goal is to help my clients sharpen distinctions, correct misconceptions, revise mental models, and exercise greater choice to become more productive, creative, and motivated members of their various communities.
Finally, I bring a contemplative orientation to my work as a coach. Our capacity to create meaningful, lasting change in our lives depends upon increasing our self-awareness and our understanding of the different motivations that cause us to live our lives the way we do. Cultivating this awareness and understanding involves stepping outside the restless distractions of our daily lives into moments of silence that allow us to see our worlds differently, from fresh perspectives – to see new things, and to see old things in new ways. This silence gives us the opportunity to uncover outdated assumptions about the world and self, assumptions that generate unproductive mental models and self-limiting patterns of thinking and behavior.
The Importance of Trust
Central to the success of any coaching engagement is the partnership that develops between client and coach. An indispensable element of any successful coaching partnership – or any partnership for that matter – is trust, which allows each party to communicate directly and candidly with the other. Over time I have learned that my clients come to trust me only if they believe I am professionally credible, personally reliable, unconditionally committed to their professional growth, and maintain complete confidentiality at all times regarding the work we do together.