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Bottom Line to Top Line

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Business coaching leaves the bottom line and heads for greater purpose and fulfillment

A few years ago a gentleman stumbled upon our accredited coach training website and was intrigued and confused. He wondered why I prefer to train people who have a spiritual foundation. His email bluntly said, “What does spirituality have to do with executive coaching? People hire us to improve the bottom-line.” None of his coaching colleagues could answer his question either.

Businesses Hire Coaches to Improve the Bottom Line

In over two decades of coaching experience I have found most business and executive coaches pay attention to the product or tangible result clients want, such as greater achievement, increased productivity and improved performance. Those are referred to as the bottom line and are measurable. These outcomes are the attention-getters reported by research and the media as reasons to engage in coaching.

What Might Be Better than an Increase in Productivity?

Numerous newspaper and journal interviewers have point-blank refused to write about the importance of human spirituality in business coaching, even though I reply to their questions extolling the value of this unorthodox focus. I believe that business results such as prosperity and longevity stem from attention to factors other than increases in productivity. Patricia Aburdene, author of Megatrends 2010, lists two of the seven major social trends dealing with spirituality: the Power of Spirituality and Spirituality in Business.

The Context for Client Responses

A bottom-line perspective deals with actions and responses, both external variables. From the field of psychology we know that stimulus yields response. We would not have responses unless they were catalyzed by stimuli. In coaching what do we know about the stimuli that elicit clients’ responses? We do not receive much information about stimuli so we partner with clients to explore what we cannot see or hear directly. These are clients’ values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, thoughts, meaning and spiritual perspectives. I have found that personal qualities (qualities of being) such as meaningfulness, satisfaction, fulfillment, peace and balance are the reasons clients strive to achieve in the external world. These are the context for client responses.

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