Reaching out to each man’s humanity

« Man, know thyself and you will know the universe and the gods »

Oracle of Delphi,
quoted by Socrates
V century B.C.

Work sometimes forces us to wear a “shield”. This protects us from stress, from the constant stimuli of work, from problems that demand solutions, from the fear of losing our job or not performing well or not coming up to expectations. To reach out to humanity means to take a breather from that succession of stimuli and dare look at one’s innermost self.

When we are called for a coaching mission, we are usually given a description of the person’s “shield”, his visible part: aggressiveness, passivity, nervousness, intolerance, tactlessness or inability to get along with people...
When the coachee requests coaching directly, he often describes himself with the same characteristics that people attribute to him in his professional, and sometimes even personal, environment.
At this stage, we decide to pay little attention to such descriptions. Although it is true that a person’s reputation within a company should be taken into account in order to help him/her improve relationships with his/her colleagues, we believe that it is of limited interest.
The resources that will enable our client to deploy his full potential are to be found behind the “shield”, within that part of himself, which he rarely displays in his professional environment and which comprises emotions that make him human.
It is illusory to claim that emotions should not exist or be shown in the working environment, since it is scientifically proven that they condition all our decisions1. They are the very essence of our life, they enable us to survive (that is the purpose of fear, for example) and to enjoy life (what would we do without joy?)

Two conditions are necessary to find the source of humanity behind the “shield”.

The first condition is not to be afraid, as coaches, to reveal ourselves with all our weaknesses. This means acknowledging and being aware of all our imperfections. We must, of course, be conscious of their existence while supervising and carrying out a personal analysis. We are, nevertheless, human and therefore imperfect like any human being, and luckily so!
If the coach feels free to be himself, thanks to a mirror effect, so will his client, who will thus be able to free his energy, instead of blocking it inside his “shield”, and will find a way to achieve his full potential, in accordance with his true self.

The second condition is to look at our client as if he were a “champion” who has all the necessary resources to solve his problem.
We have great confidence in his potential and truly believe that he will succeed, even when external factors are against him, such as crises, changes, overwhelming work or any other difficulty that could jeopardize his good intentions or plans. We look at our “champ” in a medium-long term perspective. We help him to step back and look at each event as it unfolds, to overcome the fears, which nourish his “shield”. We encourage him to discover the potential for greatness that exists within him, without ever letting pride or conceit prevail.

Self-esteem is the powerful lever that enables us to overcome difficult moments of change, to look for a job more akin to our values, even when this means leaving a comfortable employment with an equally comfortable salary, to manage and solve conflicts with one’s team or colleagues, to relax and forget about controlling all situations, for we know that this is quite impossible...

When all these conditions are satisfied, there comes a moment, which we like to call “magical”, when we discover the deep humanity hidden behind an apparently tough “shield”. We have the privilege of witnessing this marvelous blossoming, which gives our clients the ability to accept their weaknesses, face their fears and learn to overcome them. The “magical” result is the person’s transformation, for he/she discovers his/her inner depth and truth.
Teaching people to look beyond the “shield” is the first step towards a durable change and well-being