I acknowledge this internet picture that so succinctly captures the essence of the NOW.

Thomas Leonard says in his second principle, ‘Unhook yourself from the future’.

Coaching, they tell me in Coaching 101, is all about the future. They say therapy and counseling is about the past. Coaching, they say, starts with defining goals and outcomes. It is all the about the future, stupid!

Yet,  a master coach comes up and says it’s not about the future? Is he wrong?

Or the thousands, if not millions of coaches, who start with the standard opening phrase, now, tell me, what is it that you want?’ or ‘ Well, let’s talk about how you view your future?’

Many coaching programs and coaches i have observed turn coaching into a transaction. It is all about the outcome in that one hour. The coaching guidelines i was given for my certification study as well as the competencies scripted by credential bodies focus on an action plan, always a SMART action plan.

How come there is much less focus on the current state of the client? is that the prerogative of a psychologist and not the coach?

Thomas Leonard is talking about transformation, not transaction.

What we focus on when we focus on a future outcome is always transactional. It’s an expectation versus outcome equation. When we move away from the future and from the linked expectations of the future,  we can then focus on the present moment. We can stay in the NOW. We can be mindful.

The purpose of coaching is creating awareness. It is the awareness that can lead the client to an understanding of the issues that he or she has and their resolution. Without this awareness, the client cannot be responsible or accountable to the issues and actions.

All that the focus on future and the outcome and the expectations does is to divert the attention of the client away from the present moment into a fuzzy and undefinable area. This is the greatest disservice a coach can do to a client.

Stay in the NOW and help the client become aware!