EXECUTIVE COACHING IS A DISCIPLINE EVERYONE NEEDS TO BETTER UNDERSTAND

Thinking is what we all do naturally. Too often, however, many of our thoughts lack objectivity, are distorted by our fears and prejudices, remain one-sided, insufficiently or not at all informed, or just plain preconceived.

Thought itself can take many forms, it can be logical or vertical, lateral or creative, oriented towards the future, or oriented towards the past, magico-religious in nature, and so on … How we think is decisive for the results that we expect!

 Usually what we call thinking comes down to questioning our memory to find solutions to problems. The idea behind this approach is that the solutions are in our memory if only we can access them. Retrieving information stored in our memory, and offering it up in conversation, is what we very commonly refer to as thinking. It is a sort of thinking oriented towards the past. It avoids risk and by only producing certainties, keeps us in our comfort zone where nothing changes.

 But what is the point of thinking exactly? Why do we think?

 The quality of our lives, the experiences we have, as well as our concrete productions depend precisely on the quality of our thoughts. Poor quality thoughts cost us dearly in energy, relationships, money, and time.

 Often, we ourselves are the cause of our problems. Human beings make themselves happy, sad, or anxious because of their subjective interpretation of events. Events are neutral. We assign them a value.

 On the road, someone cuts me off, I can get mad because I tell myself that he tried to hurt me, or I can convince myself that he is in crisis mode and is probably rushing to the emergency room. Every interpretation I make is a choice that has its own consequences for me in the moment.

 Problems exist in our minds.

 Two people can attend the same event and tell a totally different story of it because they operate from different mental models. Mental models are the images, assumptions, patterns, filters, experiences, priorities, expectations, stories that we use to understand the world, people, and situations. They affect our perception and therefore our behavior. Two people can have different views of the same scene.

 Our thought patterns contain opportunities and limitations too (limiting images). The way we see the world can help us understand how things work, and can also limit our understanding. Regardless, our mental models influence how we look at the world and how we behave.

 Coaching, far from being a panacea, remains an effective mode of intervention that promotes reflection through a dialogue that helps us to discover our own representations of the world, helps us clarify them, analyze them, clarify what we consider our problems and our conclusions, clarify our purpose, step out of our comfort zone, consider a variety of points of view, seek alternative frames of mind to our traditional frame for interpreting reality, to generate new ideas, to examine implications, to think and act differently.

 Getting a client to develop the intellectual courage to act on their resolutions remains the keystone of the process. Without it, coaching is just an ordinary conversation. On the part of the client, a commitment to act affirmatively is what coaching requires. Without action, there can be no change, nor convincing results.

 A good coach focuses his attention on the way his client thinks, not directly on the client’s problems. A problem is a story we tell ourselves. How does the client think about his problems? The raw material of the executive coach is thought.

 The essential elements of all thought remain: a point of view (frame of reference), goals (objectives, ambitions), problems (questions at stake), information (facts, observations, experiences), interpretations (deductions), concepts (theories, principles), assumptions (presuppositions), and implications (consequences).

 An executive coach helps clients think effectively, connect with their embodied wisdom, all with the goal of generating ideas that drive action, growth, and « success. » The practice of executive coaching is a person-centered (not problem-centered) engagement designed to methodically help a client discover the possibilities available to them, and their own path (the way forward). A coach cannot decide for his client, nor tell him what to do.

 Coaching is a partnership with a client in a creative and stimulating process that encourages them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

 Coaching proceeds from the inside out by transforming internalized helplessness.

 As an executive coach, I support my clients in their progress towards greater assertiveness and greater achievement of their goals.

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