Whole person coaching – using the self as a tool for change

Whole person coaching – using the self as a tool for change

After 40 years of working with organisations of all shapes and sizes my coaching practice seems increasingly to be focused on the most ‘professionally personal’ of all topics – the connection between our individual potential in its broadest sense, and the work that we actually do. It won’t surprise you to hear that this connection is often unclear, and for many people this is profoundly unsatisfying.

A client said to me just last week “I know that I have much more to offer, that there is more of me that I could bring to my work”. This person is by most conventional measures highly successful. 

Why is demand for coaching in this area increasing? Maybe the answer lies in part with the idea that for many of us work is a massive part of how we identify ourselves. It is perhaps the most important sustained activity we will ever do outside of our key relationships, and because of this it has deep importance and a need for meaning and fulfilment. 

Working out how to make the most of our potential, to be who we really are, and to be of real value to society and our communities isn’t always easy. This is where whole person coaching comes in.

Whole person coaching helps people to access untapped levels of self-awareness and to explore what these insights mean for their work. We draw upon adult development, psycho-dynamics, psychology, ancient and modern teachings, and how history and life events shape and mould present day attitudes, beliefs, and assumptions. We look at the stories we tell others and ourselves about our life. We ask what we stand for and what values underpin our decisions, and how our work connects with broader society. All of the things that give meaning to our work.

Clients in whole person coaching cultivate their wisdom, and develop the self as a tool for change. 

As you can imagine, it is powerful and transformative work.

It can feel as if the destination is simultaneously clear and opaque. We start with a rough map and a starting point, some waypoints, and a grand idea. The coaching journey to deeper parts of ourselves is an intimate, co-created adventure characterised by intent and commitment. The journey becomes the destination. Whole person coaching becomes the means.