Home Concepts Schools of Coaching Gestalt Gestalt Coaching for Awareness Management: The Elements of Mastery

Gestalt Coaching for Awareness Management: The Elements of Mastery

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Gestalt practice integrates the concept of mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” It encourages a cognitive and emotional understanding, exploration, and investment into the awareness process as key to adaptive change and sustained learning. The power of the Gestalt approach is made visible by being experiential: what’s experienced has the immediacy and retention of inside-out learning.

For example: Ted, an executive, is confronted by an employee in distress over a recent project failure. The employee’s distress calls for empathy, but Ted is unable to be supportive because of his unacknowledged belief that failure is ruinous, and he resists offering empathy. If Ted were aware of his view of failure, he could examine whether that belief still holds true for him. The ability to perceive new perspectives, new opportunities of interest, or novel solutions resides in becoming aware of and managing obsolete resistances. Rather than acting as a “self-aware” leader who has “emotional intelligence,” Ted, being unaware of the depths of his own fear of failure, lacked the relevant emotional skills to respond to his employee. His unawareness has broader impact: self-aware leaders are found to be adept and effective at both engaging their employees and achieving bottom-line results.

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