Coaching Wisdom Seven

Coaching Wisdom Seven


This is a series of seven articles from my book, Calling Forth Greatness.  I hope you enjoy these Coaching Wisdoms and that you will use them to transform your life.


 You have powers you never dreamed of.  You can do things you never thought you could do.
There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.”   Darwin P. Kingsley


Holding the Client BIG


A key principle of the coaching paradigm is based on the belief that everyone is creative, capable, and resourceful.  Coaches learn there is no need for “fixing.”  People are not projects. When we are treated as such, we don’t typically respond well, do we? We feel diminished, small, and incapable of making our own choices and decisions.

People will naturally raise their self-confidence and self-esteem when held in trust, respect and unconditional regard.

Greater self-confidence leads to increased self-awareness, performance and fulfillment.  Human psychology indicates that when awareness is raised from the unconscious level to the conscious level, people access more of their personal power and will begin making better choices. They can then change their limiting perspectives, beliefs, and habits and begin developing more empowering perspectives, behaviors, and habits.


Ways Coaches Hold Their Clients “BIG”

  • Ask versus tell – Ask a curious question that invites or challenges the client to look deeper within to discover their personal truth, access core strengths, or learn something about themselves, instead of offering opinions, advice, or suggestions. Whether the advice is offered, solicited or unsolicited, this sends a subtle message that the client is not held creative, capable, or resourceful.
  • Make a Powerful Request – Based on what the client has indicated they want, make a request that challenges the client to stretch, so they set the bar high for themselves, higher than they would otherwise set for themselves.
  • Accountability – Coaches don’t hold their clients accountable. They support clients in holding themselves accountable, so they can successfully learn, grow, build on their own strengths, or build new capacities.
  • Silence – Hold the silence. Resist the temptation to fill the silence. Provide silence, so the person can hear themselves think. Allow the discomfort. Coaches get out of the way and let the client “do the heavy lifting.”
  • Suspend Judgment – Without judgment present, fear is minimized. In the absence of fear, creativity, joy, and passion can emerge.

It can be a transformative experience for others when we simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space.  And by holding others BIG, we create a sacred space for their innate wisdom, willingness to risk and courage to emerge.

“At the level of Courage, an attainment of true power occurs; therefore, it’s also the level of empowerment. This is the zone of exploration, accomplishment, fortitude, and determination. At the lower levels, the world is seen as hopeless, sad, frightening, or frustrating; but at the level of Courage, life is seen to be exciting, challenging, and stimulating.” —David R. Hawkins, PhD


The Amazing Human Spirit

The word “courage” comes from the Middle English and Old French word courage, meaning “heart.”  It is a human behavior that is admirable and often selfless—the stuff of epics, legends, and heroism.  Courage comes from commitment, care and love.

Courage is a deep-seated, fundamental human competence that leverages our other abilities.  It invokes within us our absolute best selves.  The tremendous results purchased by courageous behaviors can’t be replaced.” —Gus Lee, author of Courage, the Backbone of Leadership

I am always, always moved to tears in the presence of Olympic athletes and my own clients—actually anyone who is striving to perform their personal best. I am inspired by the heroism of the human spirit that risks and stretches beyond perceived limitations.  Whether they “win” or they “lose”, they gain in their confidence, self-esteem and learning.  And that’s a winner winning.

This is the hero’s journey, requiring that we leave our comfort zone.  We have the opportunity of playing a role in supporting others on their journey and the privilege of witnessing their greatness. The key is calling forth our own greatness and knowing that we can change the world only by changing ourselves.


Inquiry:  How do I hold myself and others BIG?


“We all have the extraordinary coded within us…Waiting to be released.”  —Jean Houston


Subscribe to Fran’s Wisdom Way Blog