Coaching the whole-person

As coaches, we’re often focused on coaching the person and not the problem. That’s the key to transformation coaching anything else is being less creative and more methodical. Not exactly an ideal approach for a world-class coach.

One emerging trend that I see these days is how concerned people are to coach the “whole-person.” A valid concern. (In fact, I kind of addressed it yesterday.) But I despise the idea of upselling clients with pranic healing or yogic chakras consults to address the whole person. Not that they don’t work but I simply can’t imagine people addicted to junk food and hope to get their energy levels back up with these eclectic/mystic/supernatural practices.

Plenty of reasons:

  1. It’s selfish
  2. Addressing the whole person requires you to tackle real-world challenges
  3. The “soul” and/or “spiritual” is the final piece of the trifecta that completes a human being: heart, mind, and soul. There’s a reason for that — the soul usually takes care of itself it the heart and mind are in the right place

Coaching the whole person means addressing matters of the heart and mind. But if you dig a little deeper most matters of the heart deal with desires and aspirations. I focus on executives and leaders who crave to get back some of the energy they use to have when they were young. Or simply carve out time to address their health issues or simply keep fit without exerting too much pressure or without bells and whistles. Some like to get their diet in order to keep their weight or other diet-related ailments in check.

My point — you can’t sort those out with pranic healing or aligning the yogic chakras. That said, these upsells are mostly favored by unaccredited “life coaches” who don’t know any better. And yes, I’m thoroughly offended by that as a coach. The profession isn’t about us but the client and peddling these upsells don’t do either of us any good.

What gives? Real-world solutions that address their actual issues. To act as a resource that helps leaders clarify their thinking and choose an approach that strikes just the right balance between what’s urgent and what’s important. An executive struggling with energy issues needs to sort out their work habits (for productivity), eating and exercise habits along with coaching on choosing to be mindful (and that doesn’t mean I would coach them to meditate) of these habits.

Now that’s addressing the whole person.