Transformational Coaching has evolved as a more complete approach to coaching, shifting from a simple performance-focused tool that has been traditionally used to one of a holistic humanistic and psychological focus. This process focuses on the whole person and not what is just noticeable on the surface. It is a reflective coaching approach that explores a client’s beliefs, cognitive, emotional, sensory and relational patterns amongst others in order to create a more complete understanding of their perspective on the world.
Through this awareness, there is much higher potential for clients to unlock greater transformative shifts, break down the negative beliefs, patterns and/ or programmes that may have held them back and open up a doorway and a path to outcomes or changes of the true transformation that they genuinely desire in their lives.
All transformation is change, but not all change is transformation.
We may make changes all the time on the surface and set up an intentional course of action to perhaps how we think, feel and act and in that we have likely changed, but have we actually transformed?
A Transformational Coach provides individuals with a direct, lived experience of the reality they have created in order to empower them to shift their current paradigm to make way for what is desired.
A coach is an expert empowering people and organizations at strengthening commitments to their Vision. From these commitments come actions that produce powerful results. A transformational coach adds a unique dimension to coaching in that they are masterful at assisting you in revealing the very core interpretations and beliefs that support each and every aspect of your life remaining unfulfilled.
What is transformational coaching
Coaching in general, is results oriented, and requires clients to practice being accountable for what occurs in their lives. Transformational Coaching empowers the shift in interpretations, which no longer serve and also empowers a practice of new ways of being that align with desires in order to reach the highest potential. It is transformational in nature because it focuses on the states of being that generate actions, which either move the client closer to the desired outcomes or further away. Shifting how an individual is being, rather than what is being done, will create transformation, because the way the client is being is transferable to every other aspect of her life. The client transforms their perspective, shifting their paradigm to include more, which allows an expanded repertoire of possibilities to exist.
The intent of transformational coaching is to get to essence, to the heart of the matter, to explore the ground of being. This is a space of light and shadow, of fear and joy, of limitations and grand possibilities. All coaching approaches foster self-awareness, but transformational coaching goes beyond that—it enables a person to attend to the structures which underlie their sense of who they believe they are and then, through exploration achieve who they desire to be.
Transformation is, by definition, a thorough or dramatic change in form or character—a metamorphosis, of sorts. Although we change all the time, we certainly do not transform all the time. The grand cycle of life and death offers to each of us the greatest transformational experience possible, yet within a person’s lifetime true transformation is a relatively rare occurrence. Think back for a moment across the span of your life and identify how many times you can honestly say you ‘transformed,’ in that you went through a period of thorough or dramatic change in form or character—a metamorphosis on an external or internal level. My guess is you can count them on one hand. These are instances of ‘human transformation,’ and it’s helpful to clarify what we mean by that because the meaning influences how we define transformational coaching.
Transactional vs. Transformational Coaching
In simple terms, transformational coaching is focused on enabling self-actualization. Far more than ‘options-strategy-action’ to attain goals or clarity or to get better at something, transformational coaching dives deep into an individual’s psyche, focusing on who that person is and desires to become. Transformational coaching is therefore an ontological approach because it is about ‘being’ rather than ‘doing.’
This understanding highlights a key distinction between transactional and transformational coaching approaches: each has a very different fundamental premise. Transactional coaching rests on the premise that a person will uncover what they need to and move forward in meaningful ways based on their existing way of being. In other words, nothing need be explored nor shifted at the level of being in order for desired outcomes to be achieved. Transformational coaching, on the other hand, rests on the premise that an expanded or shifted way of being—and the higher-order thoughts, perceptions, and energies available therein—is necessary to uncover what is needed.
People will still bring their personal goals, objectives, and high dreams to the table in transformational coaching conversations; however, The driving question is Who do I need to be in order for my goals or dreams to become a reality? The ‘becoming’ process is the transformational path, and the end game is a higher than realized levels of life or existence.
To facilitate this process, a transformational coach supports people to dive below the surface and immerse themselves in self-exploration, to examine their beliefs, images, and interpretations about who they are and their purpose and place in this world—it is all of these which give rise to their existing way of being, and examining them sheds light on why people experience life as they do.
It’s an in-depth exploration of your “Operating System”
Transactional coaching reaches its limits in relation to transformation, because an intellect-based approach is never the vehicle for healing limiting beliefs, which is what it means to release those mental and emotional bonds and beliefs and to live an experience of self-actualization. What is needed is a sustainable shift at the level of being, which requires a transformational approach.
The client requires the willingness to face their fears in order to become free of patterns of thought and emotion that have held them captive for a lifetime.
Change then happens at the core level of mind, within the person’s internal operating system, and when the person grows significantly at this level it creates the impetus for equally significant shifts in their behaviors, choices, and emotions.
Over time, real transformation occurs, and the necessary thoughts, attitudes, and actions which function to bring envisioned goals into existence will arise organically, as an expression of the fulfillment of their higher nature.
lurked behind every thought, and led to all kinds of behavior that would enable him to feel good enough, including the ceaseless striving for success and accomplishment.
As a coach, how do you work with this? How do you support a person to release limiting beliefs and images that are so entrenched they form the very fabric of that person’s self-identity?
Innate potential to fly
The process of transformation and meaningful change begins the moment you realize that you have within you a deep well of wisdom and inner knowing that is forever wanting to be expressed through you.
Most of us, however we live our lives from the outside in, get stuck in repetitive and looping ways of thinking, feeling, believing and relating to the world. We lack the tools and know-how to develop healthy, loving and nourishing relationships with ourselves, with others, and know how to meet our needs.
As a consequence, a vast amount of time and energy is expended trying to manipulate and change the outer circumstances of our lives, without fully realizing or interrogating the true power within.
Imagine the change that can take place when matching the outer action and the inner power and both of these are in alignment working like well oiled machinery
A transformational approach involves a gearshift in focus to a way being that acknowledges and appreciates who you are at your absolute core, it is geared to a deeper level of change and creates space to see yourself , others and the world differently and grow into who you are meant to become.
This deep level of change that happens on the inside often leads to a shift in your outer world and shows up in health, relationships, purpose, meaning, career etc. It is ultimately the true journey of transformation.
Creating deliberate transformation
For many of us, there comes a time when we are being called to grow and change. Transformation can be slow and painful and often sadly is the catalyst after some kind of traumatic incident. The ideal is to create deliberate transformation and don’t wait for suffering, before you take the action
This process involves a transformation that represents a shift in a way of being, from living our lives based on our conditioned, programmed self (small self) to the higher needs of our authentic self.
The process of human transformation is similar to the transformation of a caterpillar to butterfly.
Shedding our small self feels difficult, as the transformation commences, we experience resistance and fear our small self wants to keep us safe and in our comfort zone. As the process unfolds the old self or way of being falls away and creates space for something new that emerges.
While on the outside we may look the same, on the inside a radical transformation is occurring. Transformation can be a lonely process and having a Transformation Coach to walk along this path is powerful & supportive.