Why Coaching with compassion works?


Coaching with compassion begins by helping a person explore and clearly articulate her ideal self and a personal vision for her future. To helps individuals, build self-awareness, ensure that they consider their strengths and weaknesses in the context of their personal vision statement first. To ignite the energy for change, we should focus two to three times more attention on strengths than weaknesses. Rather than creating performance improvement plans in which individuals focus on their shortcomings, the learning agenda should focus on behaviour changes that they feel most excited to try changes that would you grow closer to their ideal self – your dreams and vision of your ideal future.

Often, when we try to help people, we focus on correcting a problem or fix it. But this is a mistake. This does not work well, if at all, to motivate sustained learning, change or adaptation. The research shows when the context is a long-term dream or vision, people draw energy from that vision and are able to sustain their effort to change, even through difficult times.

We all need help to make important changes in our lives and work and to learn new things. The coaching with compassion is coaching with a genuine sense of caring and concern, focusing on the other person, providing support and encouragement, and facilitating the discover and pursuit of that person’s dreams and passions. It helps people discover the ways that they would most like to grow and change in their lives and provides them with a process and support to make and sustain changes.


You know that people can change when they want to change. The Boyatzis international Change Theory helps us on understanding that significant behavioural change does not take place in a linear fashion. It does not begin with a starting point and then progress smoothly until the desired change has been completed. Instead, behavioural change tends to occur in discontinuous which Boyatzis describes as discoveries. 5 such discoveries must occur for an individual to make a sustained desired change in behaviour.


Discovery 1: The Ideal Self

Discovery 2: The real Self

Discovery 3: The Learning Agenda

Discovery 4: Experimenting with and practicing new behaviours

Discovery 5: Resonant relationships and social identity groups

THE IDEAL SELF: Answering such questions as: Who do I really want to be? What do I really want to do with my life? It is not just about career planning. It is much more holistic. It is a moment to reflect on their core values, core identity, and what you see as your purpose in life. As a result, you will be able to articulate a personal vision for your future, including all parts of your life: family, social groups, working, friendship. You are encouraged to reflect on your core values, core identity, and what you see as your life purpose.


THE REAL SELF: Assessing your strengths, weaknesses but more than that identify holistically and authentically who you are relative to who you want to be as expresses in your personal vision. What areas are aligned and what are not aligned between ideal and real self? Your real self-comprises more than you and here you also need to consider how others see you. This outside perspective represents how you show up in the world, which is a key aspect of who you are.


THE LEARNING AGENDA: Revisit your strengths and think about possible ways those strengths might be utilized to close any relevant gaps. The key here is to think about what you are more excited to try in the way of behaviour changes to help you grow close to your ideal self. If you continue to do what you always done, you will continue to be who you have always been. To change, you will have to do some things differently.


EXPERIMENTING WITH AND PRACTICING NEW BEHAVIOURS: It is time to try behaviours and actions. It is an experimenting process and efforts. Sometimes fail, but that is okay. That is the nature of experimentation. But try it again or try something else. To trigger the desire “a-ha” of this fourth discovery is continuing to be experimenting until you find something that works for you. You should practice the behaviour until you do not have to think about it to do it well, when it becomes your new default.


REASONANT RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIAL IDENTITY GROUPS: Making significant behavioural change can be difficult, and it´s even harder in isolation. Change efforts will be more successful when embedded within what we describe as resonant relationships, based on genuine, authentic connections that has an overall positive emotional tone. You need support, encouragement and sometimes accountability. That is what you’ll need as you work through each of the discoveries of the intentional change process. These relationships keep the change process alive. Encircle people around you who care and help you during the process.

The coaching for compassion works, by way of help you move toward a self-defined ideal image of your future and that allows change in a sustainable way. Try IT!

Based on “Helping People change” Richard Boyatzis/Melvin smith and Ellen Van Oosten. Harvard Business review press

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