Humanity has reached the point where we are beginning to see that the interpretations in which we have been living are insufficient to face our present crises.

Both our knowledge, and our ideas about knowledge, are insufficient. We need to become aware that our interpretations and our teachings are not enough. We are looking for ways to learn in a world where our old interpretations of knowledge no longer work. In the words of Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

In this sense, coaching contributes to something much greater than the personal transformation of an individual. It contributes to personal transformation in the sense of collective transformation.

Coaching is a practical necessity in our times, it serves to challenge our present epistemology and ontology. We are being faced with the need to look beyond just knowledge of the external world, it is the need to include all dimensions of humanness into knowledge.

The practice of coaching arises in order to care for this deficit in our current view of knowledge. It arises spontaneously—not as a school of thought, but as a way to meet this need of incorporating the domains of the inner world into the act of learning, into the act of knowing.

I would say that coaching is fundamentally a practice of learning in conversation that doesn’t leave out the domains of body and emotions. That is the beauty of it. Coaching is not only the practice but the creation of a new “common sense,” a new discourse. Coaching emerges at the service of a new discourse, one that is guessed, one that is intuited but not yet fully articulated. Coaching knows that the discourse of modernity, with all that it has brought us so far, is collapsing. Coaching knows this without needing academic proof.

The keyword in coaching is: Observer. An observer is someone who sees the world in a certain way. If I speak to you, dear reader, I assure you that you do not see the world as I do. And that difference can be seen in the different interpretations we may have of the same behavior. How do we typically solve this difference? Very simple, we say “that person is wrong” and with that, we solve everything.

In the past, people who were burned when they did not share the official view, and today, some assert that people in asylums are there because they are in spiritual crisis or simply because they see something that is still invisible to the rest of us.

This is the reason that we live in the eternal conversation of who is right and who is wrong. The fact is that if we would talk more with others, we would soon realize that we do not see the world in the same way. I’m not saying that you see the world better or more clearly than the other person, I am just saying that we do not see it the same. This is coaching. Coaching has to do with shifting our viewpoint and changing the observer that we are in such a way that it is possible to develop a new set of actions. Of course, the process of coaching is more complex than this, but understanding the observer that we are is one of the fundamental principles of coaching.

In part 2 of this coaching series, Julio will discuss what results we can expect from coaching and why it is important to review our enemies of learning if we want to step into transformation. Stay tuned!


Looking to continue your coaching education? Learn more about our coaching program here.

About the Author: 

Julio Olalla, MCC, founder of Newfield Network, is regarded as a pioneer of the coaching profession and transformational learning fields. Julio has trained thousands of individuals and organizations, CEOs, and government figureheads to challenge traditional thinking and create stronger leaders to navigate the turbulence facing our global community. He is based in Boulder, Colorado with a travel schedule that takes him worldwide. His multi-cultural perspective makes him an in-demand, trusted advisor of Fortune 500 companies, international governments, and high-profile individuals. Julio Olalla is a sought-after keynote and motivational speaker, addressing audiences on leadership, organizational learning, education, emotion, and executive coaching.

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