We are told by many to focus coaching on solving the client’s problems and to take the client’s statement of their problem/s as the main context of our coaching discussions. Research reveals the opposite. When coaching discussions are problem focused, the client becomes slightly to greatly defensive, narrows their focus and perception, reduces cognitive capability and sustainability of efforts at change or learning. IF, on the other hand, the context of the coaching discussions is the emergence or articulation of the client’s dreams, vision and possibilities, and creating and maintaining a resonant relationship between client and coach, the client is open to learning and change, new ideas, and people. The client becomes neurologically and hormonally energized. He or she experiences emotional replenishment and renewal rather than the exhaustion of the stress of change. This results in greater sustainability of efforts even after the coaching discussions end. The potential for peer coaching to extend the process into the fabric of an organization offers the promise of organizations developing coaching cultures. These ideas and supporting research will be reviewed in this iconoclastic closing keynote.
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