'What lies beyond': my latest article in Coaching at Work

I recently had the sad experience of attending the cremation of a former client.  As I sat, surrounded by dozens of people who had been part of his life, it came home to me forcefully that in a coaching relationship I hear and see only a tiny window on the client: their stories reflect just a fraction of who they are.

I realised that I could easily jump to assumptions and interpretations based on the fragments of evidence that emerge in the coaching encounter, whereas my task is to discover and focus on what is at the heart of what the client brings – and to enable sustainable change.

This event reinforced for me that if I am to deliver real value in my coaching, I need to go far beyond the constraints of the coaching objectives to a deep understanding of who the client is, and can be, in their contexts and systems.

My article on the subject has been published in ‘Coaching at Work’.  Subscribers can see it here.  Otherwise please e-mail me at lw@lindsaywittenberg.co.uk for a pdf


Photo by C. P. Ewing via Compfight

2 thoughts on “‘What lies beyond’: my latest article in Coaching at Work

  1. Ray Martin says:

    Great article, beautifully written and certainly something I relate to. The paragraph that most resonated with me as a coach is the one where you talk about intuiting courageously – that is something I am trying to do more of and one of the ways in which we can be of most value to clients.

  2. This is a wonderful article Lindsay, thank you. It’s touching and engaging. Moreover as a fellow coach it’s useful. It reminds me to stand back and see what we understand as the client’s “peacocks tail”. We are privileged to see a glimpse of a client and to come alongside them for a time, and must remember that there is so much more, so much more. To paraphrase Gendlin: “I only need to be a person here and see a person there”. Can you write another article on how you prepare yourself?

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