Spirit in the Coaching Environment

Teri-E Belf, M.C.C.


Coaches know and sense Spirit’s presence internally, yet coaching takes place in a physical space: our office, our client’s office setting, and other places. The physical environment is merely an extension of self. Therefore, the coaching environment needs to mirror you. What does your coaching environment reveal about you as a coach, your abilities, your values, and your presence?

One of the purposes for coaching is to increase client awareness. How does your coaching environment support this purpose? Write a list of words to describe the experience a client might have upon entering your coaching space. Then generate action steps you can take to transform your coaching environment. Comfortable and conducive to learning are predominant themes I imagined when creating my coaching office. One has the feeling everything is in its proper place, ! a mirror paralleling one of our deep desires-to be in our proper place in the universe.

I also selected PEACEFUL: an ambiance of relaxation for learning that’s natural, for example, healthy plants, wool oriental rugs, a negative ion generator, and full spectrum lighting; INVITING: comfortable chairs on the same side of the credenza facing each other (not on opposite sides of the desk like opponents); SPACIOUS: for Spirit and creativity (both require space to emerge); LIGHTHEARTED: my toys, colorful paper inflatable globe, flashing magic wand, treasure chest of stickers and markers: andAUTHENTIC.

If your coaching takes place in your client’s office, bring a flower and place it on the surface where you
will work. Ask your client to bring 
something (quote, inspirational story, photo, or object) that hasmeaning. Consider which aspects of the environment you might influence. Empower your client to brainstorm with you.

If you coach over the phone or internet,! still pay attention to the harmony between you and your space. Whatever appears outside, will just be a mirror of what is inside.

reproduced from Coaching With Spirit: Allowing Success to Emerge, © Jossey-Bass, Publisher, 2002.Also in Coaching World Issue #89 April 20, 2002 ©2002 International Coach Federation.