Since the end of the nineties I've been engaged in conversations that would now be labeled as 'coaching'. I've always thoroughly enjoyed those and actually still do so, always because of the results the coachees got from them. What I have learned is that there is no single best way to coach. There are many valid approaches to coaching and each has its own benefits, depending on the needs of the coachees which will very likely be different in the different phases in their life.
Coaching = Conversation
For me coaching is about a coach and a coachee engaging in a conversation, that takes place in a safe space in which that which needs to be said can and will be said. The safe space is an essential ingredient as it allows both participants to be and to show up to the conversation as who they are. Trusting the power of the conversation allows for the real questions to surface. Questions that may deal with leadership, business challenges or your personal life. Without anyone of the two trying to be smart, keeping up appearances, playing to the gallery, whatever, the conversation gains meaningfulness and the outcome brings value and as a rule generates possibilities for the coachee that were not available prior to the coaching.
We are our Beliefs
What I have experienced is that a governing theme in our growth seems to our beliefs. The stories we have created (and still create) about ourselves, others, the world in which we live have a determining impact on what is possible for us. They help us to navigate through life and hence are obviously not a bad thing at all. On the contrary: without them it would be impossible to survive. But recognising that we are our beliefs and that they are perishable opens up different possibilities for growth. Understanding how they determine our thinking and our acting opens up different options that were not available prior to this. In short: the stories we have created (and continue to create for that matter) about ourselves form a rich source for further growth even when they have become limiting and can be challenged.
We all have a life we're called to
Where some say that living the life you're called to is a luxury I would rather contend that is a prerequisite for experiencing sustained fulfillment. I choose to believe that it is essential that as many people as possible start doing so as a life based on living your personal destiny yields different results. Living the life you’re called to should not be the reward after having sacrificed a significant part of one's life in order to attain outcomes that at the end of the day don’t really seem to matter. It is the starting point for allowing to call forth your own greatness as that of others and therewith make a contribution to the progress of mankind as a whole.
Calling, Purpose, Personal Destiny: it's everywhere
An interesting thing that showed itself to me over the last decade is that the average age at which these questions about experiencing meaningfulness, significance and fulfillment has dropped significantly. From about 50 to, well yes, exactly how young? It seems to me that more and more younger people have a different idea about the life they want to have. More and more I see a decreased willingness to adapt to supposed demands from some exogenous world. More and more I see the desire to start living a life based on self-knowledge and disciplined action towards what one is called to do. More and more I see people of all ages turning into curious persons, eager to find out about new ways for authentic an dynamic growth and eager to make a real difference. More and more I am working with young aspiring students as well.