What Are Your Permission Thoughts?

Adele is from Toronto and is the founder of Adele Wellness, a premium weight loss consultancy for high-performance professionals with demanding lifestyles. She is also a behavioral expert and pattern interrupter that uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Holistic Nutrition to ensure clients achieve sustainable health and wellness goals.

Adele can see people’s blind-spots and all that gets in the way of their ability to accomplish their goals. She's a pattern interrupter and behavioral expert and can help microshift any undesired behaviors over time to create sustainable change. Adele is also a lifelong learner and is now enrolled in her dream program at Harvard University in the Masters of Psychology program. That is after already attaining a B.Sc in Neuropsychology, a certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a Diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition.

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In the last few years, we have seen an increase in coach-client engagements, whether it is for individuals or organizations. We now hear of so many different types of coaches - be it action coach, life coach, ontological coach, spiritual coach and so on. There are various coaching methodologies and even a surge of organizations providing coaches training certification programs.

So, what is coaching all about? Personally, to me, coaching is a partnership between the coach and the client. Coaching is for individuals who want to create a powerful life that is fulfilling and satisfying. Individuals who dare to dream are open to possibilities in their lives. They seek a coach to support them in reaching their potential on their own terms. Just like any professional sport, players have a coach who supports them in reaching their full potential.

The coach acts like a mirror reflecting back to the client through listening to what was said and not said, actions that were taken or not taken, what are some of the things that may be holding them back in creating their life they way they want and what the gaps are. Coaching is about empowering clients to trust their own inner knowing and supporting them in designing a future aligned with their values and being in integrity. It is about providing velocity and an accountability structure for forward movement.

Coaching is not consulting or mentoring. Consulting is about providing solutions to the problems faced and mentoring is about learning from someone who had similar experiences and gaining possible insights to ways to address a problem or remove barriers that showed up.

What makes an excellent coach? To me, an excellent coach is someone who is able to listen from curiosity and to the underlying context surrounding the behaviours or events and meeting the client where they are. They are mindful of the client’s process and are not leading the client to the their own agenda. Back to the analogy of professional sports, the coach is not the player. They do not jump onto the court, play and get caught in the game itself. The coach merely gives feedback and allows the clients to discover about themselves and to create practices that close the gaps that were brought to their attention. An excellent coach is not about presenting all the solutions and answers to their clients. They see the client as whole and complete and are not taking on the client to fix them or to give advice. An excellent coach trusts the process and relates to the client’s greatness.

A good client is someone who is open and willing to listen to the reflection that is provided and to take on new practices and actions in order to the close the gaps they noticed. A good client is willing to explore possibilities, get out of his or her comfort zones and is committed to his or her own journey.

An individual may choose to engage the coach for 3 months to 6 months or for a longer term. Coaching can occur either in person, over a phone call or through an online communication platform. Coaching sessions are held weekly and usually run for an hour. During a coaching session, it usually begins with coach and client getting connected and briefly checking in on the practices that the client has declared to take on in the previous session. Then, the coach will attend to the client’s coaching request for that particular session. It is important for the coach to focus on what the client would like to work on during the session and by the client’s coaching request; it also allows the client to be engaged throughout the prior week to notice his or her own gaps and bring those to the coaching calls.

The impact of coaching is that the client continues to win in all aspects of their lives and is able to acknowledge and integrate their lessons and actions to close the gap toward what they would like to create in their lives. It supports a client in achieving their goals within a more focused-dedicated time. For an organization, the direct impact would be increase in productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of the individuals, which in return results in the increase of the organization’s bottom line.

Since I finished training as an ontological coach 9 years ago, one thing I have noticed that has shifted in my practice is that I began to focus on coaching my clients from a more holistic approach. I realized that it is important to support our clients to access their inner wisdom through the mind, body and emotion - not just the mind alone. There is a theory called the Wise Mind developed by Linehan (1993) which suggests: there is a balanced part of us that comprises our inner knowledge and intuition, where our emotional mind (thoughts driven by distressing feelings) and rational mind coming together.

Due to my personal experiences as a coach and by applying various healing modalities in support of my work in the transformational work that I do, I have since then created my own coaching methodology, called W.I.S.E. Coaching Methodology (in some ways similar to the Wise Mind concept). W.I.S.E. is an acronym that stands for Wholeness, Intuition, Skills and Empowerment. It is about approaching our clients from a “wholistic” perspective, accessing inner intuition, employing different coaching techniques and tools and ultimately, empowering the client and the coach.

In addition, W.I.S.E. coaching also focuses on allowing our clients to feel their emotions that surfaced but were not felt in the past. A core uniqueness in W.I.S.E. Coaching Methodology is that our coaches work with the clients to uncover their belief system and support them in deciding whether these beliefs actually work for them or limit their potentials, and then support them to create practices that move them forward. A W.I.S.E. coach reinforces confidence and self-worth of the client (where the WISE mind is).

By using a more whole-being approach, I have noticed clients experiencing a healthier lifestyle, more balance while still achieving their goals and dreams. The clients also seem to experience more joy, more play and are more accepting of events and incidences that happened, which in return, create a more lasting impactful results in other areas of their lives, be it in their career, their business or their relationships. A W.I.S.E. coach coaches from a place of Love, Power and Compassion.

Since I started my journey as a coach, I have continuously engaged coaches for myself. I believe an excellent coach is someone whom himself or herself are up to creating possibilities in their lives and continue to work on themself.

Here’s the big question about having a coach, to engage or not to engage? For me, I would highly suggest you engage a coach for at least 3 months. I have personally experienced the benefit of having a coach and have witnessed how my life transformed. My willingness to work with a coach has led me to living a fully self-expressed life today. The next question I would like to leave you with is would you rather engage a coach who uses a “wholistic” approach and is interested in your growth or one who provides you with action-based solutions per se and instruct you on how you should express yourself? Engage a coach who wants to see you excel and be in your fullest potential.

Linehan, M.M. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of borderline personality disorder. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Cherry Rose Tan