By Jean MacNicol (Scotland)

The central tenets of coaching are four-fold: that the Client has all the answers they need; that a Coach is non-judgemental; that a Coach is non-directional; that “what is essential is invisible”.

The first principle – that the Client has all the answers they need – is fundamental for a Coach to practise.  It derives in essence from Vedic teachings found in the Upanishads – a collection of texts which form the theoretical basis for the Hindu religion.  In her 2006 work “The Great Transformation – The Beginning of our Religious Traditions” Karen Armstrong discusses this philosophy and its contention that the ultimate reality is the Self, and that the world, and God, are subordinate to the Self.  Thus the Coaching premise that we create our reality by identifying our individual truths is mirroring this ancient understanding of theology, cosmology and philosophy.

It is crucial that this principle is explored at the earliest stages of the Coaching relationship. It is similarly vital the Client thoroughly understands that their Coach is NOT responsible for offering solutions or advice and that the Client will decide their every consequent step -based on the information they elicit from the Self – a process is required that demonstrates the Coach’s absolute faith in the Client that they do, indeed, have the answers.

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Source: iCN Issue 5 (Leadership Coaching); pages 36-39