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

Gestalt Coaching for Awareness Management: The Elements of Mastery

17 min read

Effective Gestalt coaching will trigger unaware resistances, requiring clients’ willingness to risk being vulnerable in the service of new learning and new skills. The coach’s presence is a critical resource supporting clients to confront their discomfort. Ted’s fear of failure suggests a benefit from coaching to understand how he has alienated his capacity to show compassion for those experiencing failure. Coaching can give him a safe place to explore his lack of empathy around this issue, and to experiment with ways he might offer more emotionally appropriate responses, both to himself and others. The Gestalt coach, using her own presence, would encourage Ted’s work by expressing her understanding of his fear of failure and demonstrating her compassion for his difficulties.

Presence and Use of Self

Gestalt coaching is driven by practitioner competency in understanding and applying two core concepts: Presence and Use of Self. Presence is the embodiment and incubator of one’s essential identity. Use of self is the intentional leveraging of one’s presence to influence outcomes related to needs and goals, one’s own or others’. We manifest our presence through exchange, which reveals our values, mindsets, and style or aesthetics. As coaches or leaders, we can think of presence as a being intervention: simply “showing up” has an evocative effect, the first indication of whether or how people will work with us. Though we may not be able to predict how our presence will affect others, we are responsible for the self-work of reflection and asking to learn what we evoke in others.

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