Coaching MCL

Services de coaching professionnel avec Michel C. Lavoie, PCC

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“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time…whether I like something depends on how I arrange my mind…I already decided to like it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice.”

M. Jones

Written by Michel

October 17th, 2017 at 7:55 am

Becoming more aware…

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ICF Blog May 20/16

As coaches, we all have certain competencies that are of significant importance to us. One of my favorites is from ICF Core Competency 8: “The coach helps clients to discover for themselves the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions, emotions, moods, etc. that strengthen their ability to take action and achieve what is important to them.” (emphasis mine)

What I have learned is that this essential competency is even more important for coaches.

We want our clients “to discover for themselves…” In other words, we want them to become “aware of.” Awareness is powerful. It is an ability to observe how we think, believe and act—and then to see (or be aware of) the consequences of these thoughts, beliefs and actions as they happen. In real time. It is a practice of slowing down our thoughts long enough to experience them from a different point of view, almost as if we are watching ourselves as we react in the moment. With this new perspective, we begin to notice, in order to discover what is stopping us from moving forward, what is getting in the way.

Working with the coach, the client will be asked such powerful questions as: “What comes up for you when you consider asking your boss for a raise?” “What obstacle(s) are you facing?” and “What are your options?” Answers to this kind of question create a new awareness. As a result, clients begin to break away from the restrictions of their habitual thoughts, feelings and emotional patterns. Coaches encourage their clients to use this new discovery, this new “consciousness,” to create fresh pathways forward. Awareness creates choices and change. It allows the client to work on removing obstacles to their success.

But what of the coach’s capacity for awareness?

Over the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent that the coaching relationship is not only about increasing awareness in the client or helping them “discover for themselves” new thoughts and perceptions. It is about how we, as coaches, must devote a considerable effort to increasing our own self-awareness, our own discoveries about ourselves. We need to work constantly on creating a greater consciousness of what is going on with us during the coaching process. Just as the coach may ask the client questions that lead to liberating discoveries, the coach may also ask themselves: What is this stumbling block I encounter each time I have a client with this same issue? What will help me communicate more clearly with my client? What is it about my coaching style that I can improve in order to avoid hitting this same wall?

Case in point: one of the hurdles to increasing our self-awareness is our ego. In fact, coach supervisors and mentors often notice that one of the significant obstacles faced by new coaches is just that: ego. The self-talk begins. Am I good enough? Does the client like me? The ego needs to know if the clients are impressed with the coach’s skills or if they think the coach is attractive, intelligent or talented. Ego may feed off potential insecurities of an inexperienced coach as they start their career. It can sneak up on us when we are not looking!

But, as we know, the ego can only survive in the past (nourishing our worries, regrets, guilt, blame) or the future (creating expectations, anxiety) as it distracts us from the “now”—where awareness thrives. We must ask ourselves: Am I truly centered on my client and not on myself?

Being aware and in the moment allows us to avoid the ego’s distractions and remain focused on what is happening with the client. It is the client’s agenda that is front and center, and not the coach’s thoughts about what is best for the client. We are fully present, allowing the other person to just be who they are. Our own thoughts, emotions and beliefs are brushed away as is the ego’s need to criticize or judge, abandoning ourselves to what is happening. This is a pure example of “letting whatever happens be OK.”

Along with powerful questions, a supervisor or mentor coach may decide to suggest techniques such as mindfulness, meditation or yoga to new coaches. These resources are powerful ways to improve their capacity to be fully present, to get beyond the ego’s interference.

The opportunities to grow as a coach are endless if we are open to ourselves, our clients and the potential of an ever-increasing effectiveness as professionals. Be continually open to “the new thoughts, beliefs, perceptions” that will become a permanent item on the coach’s self-awareness or AQ checklist.


Michel Lavoie, PCC (ICF Quebec Chapter), has a post-graduate degree in Communications, an M.A. in Philosophy, and an M.A. in Educational Psychology. He became a personal coach in 2003 after a distinguished career in public broadcasting in Canada. Michel has trained coaches at Coaching de Gestion Inc. and mentors graduating students in the Coaching Program at Concordia University, Montréal. He recently published a book on self-coaching, Coaching Unleashed. For more information, please visit

Written by Michel

June 10th, 2016 at 10:12 am

Coaching Unleashed!

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Early feedback from readers!

It seems that our readers are appreciating the fact that the book is accessible and easy to read. Moka the dog breaks down any possible barrier between the content and the reader. A special kind of relationship emerges. Furthermore,there are many case studies which help to clearly illustrate the principal life lessons contained in the book. The author aimed at creating a playful and engaging narrative. Readers seem to appreciate this!

Written by Michel

March 8th, 2016 at 11:13 am

Thought for the week

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A coach wants you to succeed and will do what it takes to help you to get started on the journey!

Written by Michel

November 7th, 2015 at 11:12 am

Posted in English

Thought for the week

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Some fears and insecurities which stop us from moving forward towards our goals?

Fear of failure for one: if we don’t attempt anything, we can’t fail. But we can’t succeed either. I have heard the coach ask his clients to do something which may lead to failure. Letting oneself fail is a good way of learning and growing – and reducing the fear!
Fear of embarrassment, of looking incompetent: Is it about how others see us or being on track with what we want?
Fear of success: Perhaps we feel secretly that our goals are loaded with new responsibilities and that success will bring new stresses or will take us to a level where we do not feel competent.
Fear of the unknown. Clarifying just what this means often takes the punch out of the fear. There is no more bogeyman under the bed! (Phew!)

Written by Michel

March 13th, 2015 at 1:30 pm

To create happiness, tap into the pathways of happiness…

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Psychologists have identified 3 pathways to happiness: pleasure, engagement (commitment), and meaning.
Research shows engaged people are good for organizations. They are more creative, produce better results and motivate others. They are willing to go the extra mile.
Happiness is good for organizations and business!
Kate Michaels in Choice Magazine–vol 11, #4 -2014– quoting the Harvard Business Review.

Written by Michel

January 16th, 2014 at 9:26 am

Coaching Retirees

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Coaching retirees is about coaching people in transition, perhaps one of the last important transitions in a person’s life. It is important that it be done successfully.

In the coming years, the demographic bulge of baby boomers will be retiring en mass: changing tires …re-tiring as it were! This is an excellent opportunity for coaches.

The main issues for a person considering retirement are:

 The financial issue is a key one of course. It is not satisfying lacking resources at this point in life. Planning is key.
 Ending or continuing as a professional or career person; if I continue, on what basis?
 Time management issues. You are not driven by anyone else’s agenda anymore; you set the agenda from now on. Some people are not comfortable with this new responsibility.
 What will I do during my retirement years, what’s the vision, what’s the plan? It is a good idea to begin planning this new phase while still in the professional phase, the same way financial planning should begin before retirement.
 Becoming mindful of a new ‘identity’. The more one’s identity is tied up in his or her work and career, the more challenging the transitional phase will be. The rituals and routines surrounding one’s professional life will begin changing. Habits, schedules, contacts will come to an end, sometimes abruptly. This psychological transition takes energy and it is worth doing it thoroughly. Take the time to experience and to integrate the three facets of a transitional period:
1. An ending, what some people call the mourning phase or the letting go phase.
2. The closing the gap phase, the crossing of the Rubicon phase: a feeling of disorganization but also a time for the creation of new habits, beliefs, and ideas.
3. The beginning of a new phase, (construction, invention).

Retirement represents the last major transition in a person’s life. It is a time for clients to realize personal passions, dreams, bucket lists. What they decide to do will reflect their personality, just like it did during their professional years. Outdoor people will probably take up outdoor activities, travel, exploration, living in the country. Those who love sports will get to play golf four times a week if they wish or take up a new sport. The sky is the limit really. Retirees start businesses, take up painting, go back to university, start gardening, meditation or cooking classes. They spend more time with their children, grandchildren and friends. They make new friends. Some spend more time giving back: working with other less fortunate seniors, children, or perhaps overseas in developing countries. There are many possibilities. Some people use their expertise to help others by joining a board of directors, acting as a consultant with young startup companies, teaching in less developed neighborhoods of the city.
As a transition coach, pre-retirees make interesting and challenging clients. A massive number of Boomers will retire in the next five years. This is definitely a growing field for coaches. Coaches can accompany their mature clients as they get in touch with their values and passions, helping them to open their minds to new possibilities. Helping them design their dream life!

Written by Michel

December 17th, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Ten more good reasons to work with a coach…

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  1. You want to make a quantum leap forward in your  happiness and success.
  2. You yearn for positive change.
  3. You are open to exploring new possibilities in yourself that will truly empower you.
  4. You have already benefited from helping relationships in the past and want to further explore the positive benefits from the coaching process.
  5. You’re tired of waiting for someone else to make your life better.
  6. You would like to discover new, powerful insights to bring lasting benefits.
  7. You have friends and relatives that you feel could benefit from coaching.
  8. You want to enjoy the success and money you already have even more by attaining more balance in your life.
  9. You are just plain curious about what all the positive reviews are all about concerning coaching.
  10. You are worth the small investment in time and money that has the potential to pay off big in your own life.

Season’s Greetings!

Written by Coaching MCL

December 8th, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Posted in English,InfoCoach

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