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Coaching as a guided discovery

Sudden silence falls on the other side of the Skype. An awkward occasion, when a fly senses the whizz of its wings? No, it is the stillness, which is about to bring an ‘a-ha’ moment. When one idea is ready to stream another. When the guided discovery is about to yield the insights: coming up with new ways of solving the problems, working off deadlocks. The ‘a-ha’ moment that has puzzled genius and non-genius alike for centuries: solution arrives unexpectedly, almost unbeknown to the person himself. And finally, when a coachee reaches the new ways of reflecting from a different vantage point, she continues to walk the selected road with confidence 1.

​ ​ The likely factor contributing to the process – a dedicated time and space, that you have allowed yourself to navigate through your thoughts and feels, analyse your self-talk that often doesn’t contribute to a productive and motivating mindset. The coach is there as an ally, fully dedicated to the client’s personal growth and development, offering a safe space to explore goals, values and beliefs, thoughts and emotions, and finally helping to form a plan of actions, where the client is ultimately responsible and accountable for the road designed and executed.

Now, setting your goals and persevering to achieve them, is essential to coaching. After 20 years of research, it has been acknowledged that when people progress towards their important life goals, the state is associated with increased well-being 2. Owning goals and working towards attaining them often means a personal change, enhanced meaning and purpose of life 1.

The fields of life, health, business, corporate and other types of coaching on the rise these days. No wonder, if it helps to improve the performance, wellbeing and coping, as 40 randomised controlled trials show its effectiveness 1. For instance, the life coaching came and panned out to promote wellbeing, or ‘‘optimal psychological functioning and experience’’ 2.

Antique Greeks called it eudemonia, a concept that has been likened to Aristotle then and modern coaches now: exploring and promoting human flourishing and prosperity.

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The goal, after all, to ultimately empower the clients to coach themselves. The coach is there to help to set off on the journey and wave ‘good luck’ when the wind of momentum is gained and rules of steering the vessel have been mastered.


  1. Robinson, T, Morrow, D, & Miller, M.R (2018) From Aha to Ta-dah: insights during life coaching and the link to behaviour change, Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 11:1, 3-15, DOI: 10.1080/17521882.2017.1381754  2 3

  2. Green, L.S, Oades, L.G. & Grant, A.M. (2006) Cognitive-behavioural, solution-focused life coaching: enhancing goal striving, well-being, and hope. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1:3, 142-149, DOI: 10.1080/17439760600619849  2

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