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Overcoming self-limitations

Oscar, a young accountant in a small rural community, came to me ostensibly because he wanted to “just try” coaching in order to be able to write about it cogently for his professional CPA (expertise comptable) thesis.

In the beginning, Oscar refused to allow himself to become “involved”; he expected only intellectual input from me and was lost when all I did was ask probing questions that visibly took him aback, perhaps for socio-cultural reasons, but most certainly because he had never consciously thought long-term about his life. His meme was that his life would be just like his parents’ and (shockingly, since he knew my mature age) that he would be “in a wheelchair” by age fifty.

After a difficult start, Oscar eventually accepted to play the game, revealing more of his personal underpinnings and partially freeing himself of an “inherited” self-limiting mindset. This alone was a monumental change for Oscar. Over the course of his coaching program, Oscar was repeatedly put into hypothetical situations through role play that helped him develop the listening and reframing skills necessary to accompany his accounting clients’ business development with a coaching attitude.

Oscar learned enough about coaching to inform and successfully defend his CPA thesis on the advantages of a coaching approach in a service industry. He was rapidly made head of a new regional office for a national network of accountants.

Although he reports that he was not able to convince his company to train all accountants in the coaching approach, he feels he has helped his own clients achieve more realistic thinking about launching companies and projects by applying the coaching approach himself. That, in itself, has had a positive bottom-line impact on his and others’ lives.

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