Coaching around the Focus for Awareness: Who, What, Where, What Works

Coaching around the Focus for Awareness: Who, What, Where, What Works

“Given the opportunity, price people gravitate to what gives them meaning, to what engages them to the fullest commitment, talent, energy, and skills.” ~Daniel Goleman

“Purpose is the synergy created by interaction of all the defining elements of ourselves, including values, passion, gifts, and strengths. The clearer we are on purpose, the more intentionally we can live our lives. Discerning personal purpose and living from that is a process.” ~Adler Learning USA, Foundations of Professional Coaching Manual, page 29


As Adlerian coaches, we believe that every human being is both meaning-seeking and meaning- making. We hold our clients as whole, creative and capable of change. Our subjective view of reality- our beliefs, assumptions and mental models, stories about ourselves, others, and the world in which we operate- influence our choices and actions, as human beings, we always have both the freedom and the responsibility to choose.

Choice, however, can only occur if the meaning-seeker/meaning-maker is aware of the presence of various options. It is the coach’s job, therefore, to hold up the mirror that allows the client to become aware of his or her options for choice. Coaches facilitate change through three basic conditions of the client:

Adler Coaching Model

The “Awareness, Choice, and Trust” triangle, originated by Tim Gallwey, is at the heart of the Adler Model because it is these conditions in the client that create the momentum for change and prompt mobility.




  • Starting point for all intentional change
  • Involves knowing with great clarity the relevant aspects of self, others, the world
  • Knowing what is, not judging what is
  • Prompts new insights, which in turn prompt consideration of new and different choices


  • Considering how the new insight(s) point to greater options for the future state
  • Examining the range of possible options
  • Exploring options not obvious
  • Choosing an option(s) that will move performance, learning and or fulfillment forward



Trust in Essential Self:

  • Having an optimistic and realistic assessment of one’s capabilities
  • Accessing one’s own powerful internal resources to enable commitment and inspire action
  • Identifying the internal interference (e.g. self-doubt, fear, etc) that is blocking movement forward
  • Believing in oneself to find the courage to move outside one’s comfort zone


Coaching around the Focus for Awareness: Who, What, Where, What Works

In this September series of blog posts, we are going to focus on Coaching around the Focus for Awareness: Who, What, Where, What Works

Awareness of WHO you are (strengths, values, purpose)
Awareness of WHAT you want (setting meaningful goals)
Awareness of WHERE you are (current reality relative to goal)
Awareness of WHAT WORKS and what doesn’t work (supports and interference)

As clients gain greater awareness of themselves and their world, expand their choices for effective action, and develop their self trust so that they move forward on their intention; they start to take more effective actions that lead them towards their goals p 12

Reflective Questions: In coaching, the coach listens for what the client is aware of and not aware of, and uses coaching questions and observations to focus the client’s attention. Can you think of a moment in coaching where you held up the mirror and the client became aware of an option for choice? What did that moment feel like to you? What did it feel like to the client? What is the hardest thing for you about coaching clients around awareness?

Stay tuned for next week’s in depth look at Awareness of WHO you are (strengths, values, purpose) from our Coaching around the Focus for Awareness: Who, What, Where, What Works series.

Have questions or want to learn more? Contact us today! 

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