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  • Bettina Clark

Coaching encourages Change with Choice

Bettina Clark, September 2013



Change is an essential and constant process in evolution, which can be activated by external or internal forces; in human life change is voluntarily or involuntarily stimulated, or consciously chosen.


Course corrections are established in altering the neural pathways in our brains. “The fact that the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity is…the most important alteration #[in neuro science] and is an important insight in our profession to understand the extent of possibilities…. All of the humanities, social sciences, and physical sciences, insofar as they deal with human nature, are affected, as are all forms of training…. It renders our brains not only more resourceful but also more vulnerable to outside influences” (Doidge, 2007)


This is key for me: to work with clear ethical values, to facilitate without a hidden agenda, and from a place of #curiosity and #compassion, with clarity and healthy boundaries. I strongly believe that in the process of coaching people can go through a healthy long term transformation, only if they are willingly involved, can trust, become creative, and use the right to decide for themselves (McGonagill, 2002) – in other words are #empowered to choose and lead.


Dr. Norman Amundson (2013) adds another key to facilitate effectively: relationship building. To get to know the person behind the person, get to the stories, make the sessions real in using imagery from their lives. Robert Kegan (2000) defines the client as “the author of their own experience.


Creating my personal coaching style, the #UBC Integrative Coaching Model (ICM) is a helpful scaffolding offering access for constructive co-creation: with the importance to contract, collaborate, take responsibility for action and accountability, and fully engage to get to the desired goal. This is one good reason for me as coach to take as much time as needed in the beginning of the coaching process to get to a clear agreement about what is involved from both facilitator and the client. And as experienced in our Peer Triangle meetings: we do not get through a full ICM cycle in all sessions – which still works well as long as the foundation is solid.


I have bumped up against an edge within the cycle, when I took over the lead or suggested prematurely activities that might not have been on the clients mind. Almost as if parts of our “building” was constructed without an architectural plan. This is an edge I became aware of in the first period of being a newly established coach, and I identified it as “impatience”. In the Clifton “#StrengthFinder 2.0” assessment (Gallup 2013), which I did at the time, it was identified as a dynamic in the “#Activator” quality.


A helpful insight for me when I engage in #leadership coaching.


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