Coach University

Coach University



Coaching is essentially a conversation – that is, a dialogue between you and your coach.  

A coaching space is one in which you can peel back the layers of the roles you play, the “stuff” in your life, and anything that has prevented you from trusting your own inner guidance.

The focus of coaching is on whatever is most important to you.  Your coach provides the essential assistance, support and encouragement for you to ask the right questions for you and design an action-plan that is tailor-made by, and for, you. 

Small changes, if properly targeted, can have far-reaching results.


 Hearing yourself think

“How can I know what I think if I don’t hear myself say it?”  Charles Handy

Can you remember a time when someone was completely present to you?    You could hear yourself think.   You felt heard. 

You very likely understood yourself and your life more clearly. 

In a quiet room you can hear a whisper. In the presence of respectful, generous listening, it feels like you can breathe again.  

There is a space for you to get back in touch with yourself.  You gain perspective on your life: its challenges, its gifts, the resources you have. 

Such listening is at the core of effective coaching.

Coaching works from the empowering premise that we have the resources we need within us – but that often we would benefit from some outside assistance to help us access them.



Coaching themes include:

  • Identity and self-esteem
  • Recognizing and acknowledging your strengths
  • Seeking meaning
  • My life purpose
  • Overwhelm: too much going on
  • Seeking balance
  • Transitions from one phase of life to another
  • Achieving success


Self-esteem comes from seeing yourself accurately, being authentic, being the person you were born to be. In the coaching environment, you are fully accepted, given permission to tell the truth of how things are, warts and all. You may have abilities or talents that you take for granted. Many people undervalue their natural talents simply because these gifts are as natural to them as breathing.


Identity: We wear many “hats” in our lives. We are someone’s mother, uncle, boss, employee, teacher or countless other roles that we play on the stage of life.  That is fine, but it can be easy to lose track of who we are without such a hat.  We can lose touch with our selves, with our inner voice and inner knowing. 

A coaching space is one in which you can peel back the layers of the roles you play, the “stuff’”in your life, and anything that has prevented you from trusting your own inner guidance.


Meaning: Values are that part of you which is you and which give meaning to your life.  Although values are core to who we are and to what motivates us, they can get clouded over by distractions.   A value is not a should or have-to.

The coaching environment provides a  platform that assists in clarifying this intrinsic aspect of your being.


Life Purpose:  Student: ‘What is the purpose of my life?        Guru: ‘Who are you?’

Your life purpose lies at the heart of who you are, just as who you are lies at the heart of your life purpose. It is not so much about what you do as the values that motivate you.  Your life purpose is more like a direction and motivation than a destination. ‘To thine own self be true.”


Overwhelm: Too many irons in the fire?  Overwhelm often stems from the things you put up with (tolerations) that drain your energy.   These can be so much part of you that you don’t notice them until you consciously take a look at your life.  

Clearing tolerations can be liberating but can also stir up the aspects of ourselves that have been “gracefully” hidden under the distractions or clutter.  By handling tolerations, with your coach’s support, you free up time and energy to devote to a higher quality of life.


Balance: Balancing your life is not about only about time.    It’s also about values.  You may learn helpful ways to make better use of your time, but your life won’t become balanced until you also learn to determine what you truly value.


Transitions: Transitions, crossroads, endings/beginnings: all are part of the fabric of life.   A coach can be your sounding board when making choices: your rock during stormy times: your wake-up call when you don’t hear your own.


Success: Being successful happens when every aspect of your life is an expression of your values at all times. You then create a life which is a true expression of what you stand for.  Your inner guidance gives the X-Factor.



How is coaching different?

 Coaching is not therapy, which goes into depth about various issues, usually dealing with the past. It is not consulting, which generally results in giving the client answers.  Coaching is more action-oriented and focusses primarily on the present and future.  A coach enables you to determine your own answers through the work done in the coaching partnership.

You don’t have to have a personal problem in order to be coached.   You may be coming to a crossroads in your life, or wishing to bring your life more in alignment with your values and purpose.    You may wish to have a sounding board.     To acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, your victories, as a springboard to further success.


International Coaching Federation

The website of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is a useful resource for definitions and clarifications around the subject of coaching.