Cover Global Coaching Excellence


A holistic approach

The pace and pressure of change in today’s VUCA world impacted by digitalisation require considerable agility and flexibility from leaders and employees. The most important influence in my life and a pivotal learning curve was A. Maslow’s quote: “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” (cited in Henley Business School, 2016, p.5.). This perception acted as a nudge for me (Thaler and Sunstein 2009). Consequently, I realised more than ever before that I could only change myself and challenge my behaviour if I changed my self-awareness.

The founding principle for this is our self-awareness which, in turn, is determined by our conditioning, attitude, repression, transference/countertransference and our unconscious.

  • Our self-awareness directs us in personal and professional situations. If, however, our awareness is restricted by conditioning and limiting beliefs out of sync with reality, can we then treat others fairly in critical situations, be fair to ourselves and fulfil our potential and purpose? It is difficult for us to act autonomously, to control our emotions and to be more relaxed when faced with stress in the digital age, because our self-awareness is selected or stunted: we deny, we suppress and resist necessary changes. Moreover, we don’t know how others perceive us: as authentic or unnatural and this again creates uncertainty. At times, we therefore stand in our own way and are our own worst enemies.
  • My approach is in line with A. Maslow and is deeply impacted by my experiences of continuous self-reflection. It supports coachees to analyse and overcome latent or blocked possibilities by developing skills and discovering joint solutions, thus enhancing their agility and flexibility. Continuously reflecting and intuitively selecting the right coaching method without being biased truly supports coachees to break away from impediments acquired in their early lives and to accept fateful limitations. We all have more psychological and human potential than we usually dare to admit.
  • Thus, it is the coach’s job to help the coachee to focus his/her whole attention on his/her senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. The more the coachee is aware of him/herself, the more information he/she has. And the more information he/she has, the better he/she is able to react in an intelligent, and emotionally intelligent, way. The coach must help the coachee to sharpen his/her awareness through exercises, questioning techniques, interventions and interactive techniques based on methods from humanistic psychology.
  • But all the insights gained will have been in vain, if the goals and results of the coaching are not implemented consequently. Ensuring this is also a crucial task for the coach of tomorrow.