Clairvoyant Coaching

Prakash Santhanam

The term clairvoyant originated from French, clair meaning clear
and voyance meaning vision. I find that introducing a sense
of clairvoyance into coaching allows us to focus on foreseeing and understanding
client needs, as well as encouraging us to think outside the box. We’ll
find that the Masteries are naturally present in this type of coaching.

Concern, Optimism, Action, Collaboration and Holism (or COACH); this is my
personal interpretation of coaching. Key elements of coaching include strengthening
relationships, developing potential, putting the client at ease and creating
effective collaboration. When combining these concepts with clairvoyance and
an understanding of the Masteries, it creates a unique and powerful method.

In simple words, using clairvoyance in coaching allows us to focus on understanding
the client’s position. A clairvoyant coach encourages and embraces a client’s
positive behavioural change. E.M. Forster once said, “Spoon feeding in
the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.” Undoubtedly
this is echoed in Mastery Two: Perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s
potential, and Mastery Six: Clarifying. It is our goal to ask probing and triggering
questions that create awareness on behaviour, thoughts and beliefs.

While the masteries emerge everywhere, I find them particularly present while
conducting coaching sessions internationally. For example, an obstacle many
business managers around the world share with me is lack of time. They are preoccupied
with their own work and cannot find the time to coach their employees. Some
even feel it would be more effective to replace their staff members than to
aid them in growth and improvement. This can be tied back to Mastery Seven:
Helping the client set and keep clear intentions. Does the manager believe this
is his responsibility, or is he seeking the nearest exit?

The key and noteworthy hindrance is ensuring the client discovers their areas
of improvement and draws a development plan. Three proverbs by Confucius have
proven particularly helpful in my coaching scenarios: “If you make a mistake
and do not correct it, this is called a mistake,” “Real knowledge
is to know the extent of one's ignorance” and “To know that we know
what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know.” I have coupled
this knowledge with my coaching experience and now ask clients to ruminate on
these proverbs prior to jumping into coaching activity. This exercise creates
a unique openness and awareness.

As the title of this article suggests, discovering the clairvoyance in our
coaching — the clear route and vision – allows us to guide our clients
to positive and productive pathways. A coach is like a compass, providing direction
for the client, and can be a steady reference point when there is a strong need.

Prakash SanthanamPrakash
Santhanam is currently working as a Head of Learning & Development and can
be reached at He is
a high-energy speaker and learning and development professional with 8 years
working experience predominantly in the oil and gas, automotive, information
technology and telecommunication industries.

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