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The Coaching for Transformation Process

By Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg,
Richard Michaels & Sharon Brown

Coaching for Transformation
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We create sacred coaching relationships that take people to the core of their being. Th ese relationships form the foundation for their discovery of who they are, what they want and how they want to contribute to the world.

Coaching for Transformation is a dynamic process, where we bring our full curiosity, compassion and courage to the coaching relationship. Yet our primary focus is on the person being coached. Whatever clients bring, whether a question, a dream or a desire, we support them to move into awareness, alignment and action.

The Coaching for Transformation Model

CFT model


 The coach cultivates uncompromising presence by bringing these three qualities to every coaching session:

Curiosity—the opposite of judgment, curiosity invites us to accept all that is and explore the unknown. Every judgment, whether directed at ourselves or our client, has a built-in antidote—curiosity. With the curiosity of a child, we can awaken playfulness, joyfulness and creativity.

Compassion—empathic connection unlocks the heart because people are seen, heard and deeply understood. If we notice resistance, we can consciously choose to put our attention on our compassion. When we open our hearts, our clients open theirs.

Courage—bold, authentic communication helps us build trusting relationships. Courage supports clarity and can include trusting our intuition, being transparent, accessing spiritual guidance and supporting cultural consciousness. We sense what is missing and bring in our voice to explore what is emerging. Courage means coming from the heart even when feeling fear.

To engage in a mutually empowering relationship, coaches need a strong inner foundation. We enter our inner relationship to own, heal and transform our inner world. To create intimacy with people we coach, we first need to create space for self-intimacy. When we put attention on our inner landscape, we can access an empowering inner freedom which we carry into the coaching relationship. As we cultivate mindfulness, we connect deeply to the life force in ourselves and in our clients.


The word “client” refers to the person receiving coaching and can be someone who hires us as a coach, or someone in our organization or community. We can coach our boss, our peers and our direct reports. The coaching relationship is infused with equality and possibility. We support the client to develop presence by focusing on:

Awareness—tuning into whatever is present. Mindfulness leads to sparks of insight and awakens clients to their own inherent wisdom and inner clarity. We support the client to become more grounded, reflective and conscious.

Alignment—finding congruence between the inner and outer experience. Putting attention on aliveness and radiance supports convergence of different aspects of the self, including body, mind and spirit. The sense of “coming home” to oneself awakens vitality and full engagement.

Action—purposefully moving forward. Creative action that arises from awareness and alignment has beauty and power. By connecting with the heart we enliven the process of exploring options, planning action steps and building in accountability.

The client determines the desired outcomes for each coaching session. The possibilities are endless. As we hold their agenda, we also hold the intention for the client to deepen their awareness, move toward alignment and step into action. Creating space for reflection gives clients access to their inner-knowing. As they move toward new insights and deeper learning, we support integration, which allows them to consciously receive, savor and build upon their wisdom. When actions arise from that place of self-connection, their goals manifest more easily.1

1. The client side of the CFT model, “awareness, alignment, action” was coined by Vikram Bhatt, which inspired a group of CFT faculty to collaborate to develop the coach side of the model, “curiosity, compassion, courage”. Graphic design by Charlotte Morse.

Excerpt from the book Coaching for Transformation: Pathways to Ignite Personal & Social Change by Martha Lasley, Virginia Kellogg, Richard Michaels and Sharon Brown. As faculty at Leadership that Works, they certify coaches who offer personal, organization and community transformation. Check out the free Power of Coaching teleclass.

Coaching is life-changing, world-changing work. The coaching programs at Leadership that Works go beyond theories and models and work with clients on a deeper level. You learn how to coach the whole person: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Whole person Transformation.

Leadership that Works

Transforming the world.
One heart at a time.

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