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Mindfulness Informed Coaching

Updated: May 3, 2023

Welcome to New Moon Coaching


What is mindfulness and how is it related to coaching?

Hi, I'm Richard, and I've been a coach for over 12 years. In my experience the principles of coaching and those of mindfulness overlap with such harmony that Mindfulness Informed Coaching emerged naturally. In this first blog post I will highlight a few key synergies to show you what I mean. Presence, acceptance, impermanence, interdependence and essential being.

Presence: The key to success

Coaching is at its most effective when the coach is fully present to their client. This means that our attention rests solely on the client and their thoughts, behaviours, feelings and responses. At the same time the coach remains attentive to his/her own thoughts, feelings and sensations without being caught up in them. In mindfulness, the present is all that exists. Mindfulness also involves noticing our thoughts, feelings and sensations and understanding the fleeting nature of them while suspending judgement as to whether they are good or bad. For coaching, as well as for mindfulness, staying in the present moment is the key to understanding and success.

Acceptance: Removing the resistance

Non-judgement is a vital part of building genuine rapport with our clients. They must feel able to reveal themselves to us fully without fear of damaging the coaching alliance. The experienced coach know that he/she will only be able to walk in the mind of their client if all words, thoughts and behaviours are fully accepted for what they are. In mindfulness, it is equally important to accept what comes our way without resisting, grasping or rejecting our experience. Where there is no resistance, there is no suffering.

Impermanence: The nature of our being

Impermanence plays a recurring role in coaching. We must never forget the fluidity of all things, and the fact that all roles, relationships, tasks, problems, successes, and failures will inevitably come to an end. Much suffering can come from grasping at situations and people hoping that they do not change, but such hopes are futile. In coaching, it is important to highlight the impermanence of difficult situations, big challenges, and all roles and relationships. In mindfulness, impermanence represents the nature of our being. We, and the environments that we live in, are in constant change.

Interdependence: Part of the Whole

The coaching alliance is one where meaningful change occurs in the space created between coach and client. Like all complimentary relationship, each needs the other. Coaching often involves exploring the relationships between people, events, feelings and thoughts until new insight and understanding emerges. A tenet of mindfulness is that all things are interdependent and interrelated. This realisation generates a wide circle of compassion that includes ourselves as well as all other beings. From mindfulness, Tibetan Buddhism speaks of a great bird that needs two wings to fly - one of wisdom and one of compassion. It is impossible to have one without the other. Coaching also needs these essential qualities to properly serve the client.

Essential Nature: The beauty of our inner-essence

The father of humanistic psychology, Carl Rogers wrote about the unconditional positive regard of the

coach towards the client. It is the deep-seated belief that the client is the expert of their own world,

and as such they already contain all the wisdom and resources that they need to thrive. Coaching is the vehicle that can bring these resources closer to the surface, and more available to the client. The mindful approach says that within all beings is a core of divinity, a Buddha Nature, and it is this that we must recognise in others.

These are just a few of the complimentary aspects of coaching and of mindfulness.

Final word must be left to Zen Master, Shunryu Suzuki:

'Everything is perfect, and there is always room for improvement'

Shunryu Suzuki

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