Coaching for clients in crisis situations


In 2004, I was vacationing with my family on the Maldives when the devastating Sumatra earthquake and the ensuing tsunami hit the idyllic flat little island that we were on. We all survived with some cuts and bruises, but the experience was very frightening. We responded in the way that my Solution Focused training had […]

When a coach is a paid friend


The actor Woody Allen is said to have talked to his psychoanalyst four times a week almost all his life. Maybe it kept him functional, I don’t know and I don’t want to judge. However, I think that becoming a “paid friend” is something that coaches should take care to avoid. Sometimes coaches are the […]

3 traps in coaching chemistry calls

mouse trap

In one of our coaching meetup and exchange sessions, one of our friends mentioned an awkward situation in a “chemistry” call: the potential client seemed to have not been made aware of the fact that she has a few things to work on. There simply wasn’t anything that the potential client wanted — so our […]

Spotlight, starlight, daylight – 3 layers of attention


Some things about social media are brilliant, for example the fact that Tim, a friend from Singapore, recommended a book on Facebook: “Stolen Focus: Why you can’t pay attention.” by Johann Hani. Other consequences of social media are less than brilliant. Their designers clearly have different goals for our lives than we do: money is […]

I am a coach, I tell you what to do!


As much as we state it in the beginning of a coaching contract, some clients continue to want us to tell them what to do. As if we knew. I recently had an experience with a senior client who was very disappointed that he only developed ideas by himself, even though I had spent time […]

Should coaching include a trigger warning?

trigger warning

Many videos, movies, books and articles these days come with a “trigger warning”. It is an announcement that serves to alert people who are sensitive to certain topics to be careful when engaging with the content. For me, personally, this has helped — I get nightmares when I am watching movies that contain too much […]

“Leading” questions

Donkey being pulled

As coaches, we are careful not to ask “leading” questions (at least that is what we are asked to do according to the ICF competencies). And yet — what IS a leading question? Part of the difficulty around “leading” questions is that the word implies that one person leads and the other follows. If you […]

Fix, fluff, follow: the tools of a charlatan!

Fraud Alert

This week, I had a few encounters with the charlatan problem in coaching: everyone can call themselves a coach and since business coaching and life coaching seems like attractive careers, there are many unqualified coaches and coach trainers in the market. My fellow SolutionsAcademy trainer Chris Bekker coined the phrase: “fix, fluff, follow” for how […]

The short guide to great chemistry meetings


The initial conversations between coach and prospective client are often called “chemistry meetings”. They are often free of charge and take maybe half an hour to an hour. In these meetings, the prospective client and the coach get to know each other to get a feel about if they would be a good fit. This […]

Coaching for diversity and inclusion?

Diversity 1

I was speaking to my colleague Lina-Maria Kotschedoff about coaching and initiatives to further diversity and inclusion. During our conversation we found that a coaching mindset and coaching skills already go a long way: coaches are natural supporters of diversity and inclusion! Here is why and when: Coaching individuals Coaches see their clients as resourceful […]