What is Transformational Coaching?

Transformational Coaching is at the cutting edge of the coaching arena, drawing together the best proven models, methodologies and techniques from more traditional coaching methods with new findings from the field of neuroscience. It therefore allows for more profound exploration and the facilitation of growth and change at a profound and long lasting level.

How Transformational Coaching is different

Transformational Coaching moves beyond other types of coaching which tend to be largely goal focused, spending minimal time in the exploration phase. EG: many traditional types of coaching focus on establishing exactly what a client wants, then creating small achievable steps for them to get there, for example, to reduce weight by 10 kilograms in 4 months. This can be effective for bringing about behavioural change, and is still utilised in corporate healthcare settings or environments in which coaching is used to bring about specific behavioural changes around a very focused context in individuals who may have struggled without some support.

These models are, however very much focused at a cognitive ‘thinking’ level, for example – “I am thinking that I would like to lose weight”, whereas human behaviour is governed by 3 centres of the brain: the limbic (emotional / feeling centre), neocortex (the cognitive / thinking centre) and reptilian (the instinctual centre). The parts each react differently and neuroscience is showing that – for fundamental behavioural changes to occur – the reptilian and limbic brain centres need to be engaged alongside the neo-cortex.

Transformational Coaching seeks to engage all the brain centres and so work at a emotional, cognitive and somatic (physical) level in order to help clients explore their core values, beliefs, fears, motivators and assumptions about themselves and their world in order to gain a deeper understanding of who they are, what they desire to become and how to get there. For the above example a coach would explore with the client their goal such as weight loss – but would focus more deeply on how they feel about their weight, where those feelings are in their body, how their beliefs / feelings about themselves shape their desire to lose weight, their body image and how that was formed, what they believe / feel weight loss will bring them, their relationship with food, etc. It can therefore be very powerful in transforming their approach to life by helping shift the limiting beliefs, attitudes and assumptions responsible for negative feelings and behaviours whilst supporting the client in gaining new insights and awareness that enable the client to fully embrace change. Working with clients in this way helps create a new set of connections in the brain (brain plasticity) with newer meanings attached, therefore transforming / shifting feelings, emotions and ultimately behaviours which are both sustainable and long-term.

It can therefore be used to powerful effect in a wide variety of professional settings, and allows coaches to find their own niche in which to utilise and develop the wide range of tools and techniques they learn on this course. The above is a key reason we chose Transformational Coaching as a key IHS course, and we believe it is how the field of coaching is evolving!