My take on coaching
The art of asking the right questions
"Nowadays it seems like one half of the world is coaching the other half," I often hear people sigh. But coaching has been going on for a long, long time, only before people would probably call it "an enlightening conversation" or something like that. Back then, however, our lives and careers were a lot more predictable than they are now, and society was less individualistic and hectic.
You could last for decades on a few good skills, and you didn't have to function in so many different systems and environments at the same time. That’s why today you might need those clarifying conversations a little more often. Unfortunately, your loved ones are not always available for this kind of quality time. Especially now that a pandemic is throwing an extra spanner in everyone's already complicated works.
I did not get superpowers through my coaching course. They didn't provide me with secret knowledge about the great themes of life. But I did learn to ask way better questions than I did before.
Questions that help my clients to discover or rediscover unknown or closed-off areas of their inner landscape.
Questions that make them more aware of what they want and can do, whether it is in the field of work or private life, or at the intersection of that.
Questions that my clients' awareness about how they tick, how they resist change in their own subtle way, and how they can overcome this resistance.
All these questions enable my clients to find their highly individual and sophisticated solutions in the circumstance of their everyday challenges. And they always find them themselves. That is why, as a coach, you learn to keep your own opinion and well-intentioned advice to you.
A crucial part of coaching is also helping my clients take the first steps in the new direction they discovered, even if these are just baby steps. Because in the end, nothing is more convincing than the experience with new behaviour.
Hiring a coach? Me?
I see hiring a coach as a decision to prepare yourself for the ascension of the higher mountains of your life. The summits that suddenly come into view, or those that keep reappearing because you tend to walk around them. Coaching conversations helped me to conquer some of those mountains over the past few years.
For long, I thought there was some nobility in solving everything myself and that I was an expert on how to do that. Fortunately, I came to my senses in time. Now I call for assistance with some regularity. This way, I have become a permanent student of the art of working with the uncertainty, confusion, shame, complexity, power games and ambiguity that come with life.
A bit more about myself
In addition to the necessary criticism I received during my training, I fortunately also got feedback about my qualities that help me in coaching. What I heard the most was kindness, compassion, courage, authority, humour, wisdom and calm.
I have many years of work experience. As a corporate lawyer at a bank, as a creative in advertising, a columnist for the leading Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, as a boardroom consultant in the field of marketing and branding, as a writer of a book on Mexico and last, but certainly not least as the mother of two, now adult daughters.
Besides, we have lived with our family a year abroad twice on our own initiative, first in Argentina and then in Mexico. Those experiences have changed and enriched my view of the world forever.
I think that offering original perspectives is one of my strengths. Throughout my life, I have refined this gift, very recently in the form of asking these powerful questions.All coaching takes place in complete confidentiality.