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Unconditional Presence

“Unconditional presence is the most powerful transmuting force there is”  John Welwood.

I wish that our coaching training courses could give much more time to ‘unconditional presence.’ In our (CSA’s) coaching supervision training, we work throughout the nine months to ensure that our supervisors use  ‘unconditional presence’ and mindfulness to support their work with coaches. Some of this requires delegates to ease the focus on tools and techniques and to open to a much wider field of awareness and experience. This quickly ensures a much better capacity to relate to clients.

Properly experienced and used, this way of being (unconditional presence) hugely adds elegance and impact to coaches and coach supervisor’s tool kits. I notice that in Phillip Rosinski’s book, ‘Global Coaching’, he connects this quality of attention to increased intuition and imagination. He further underlines how much richer a professional dialogue is, when we are in a presence-centred relationship; in this field of profound attention, thinking together can accelerate key insights and enable our clients to commit more readily to action.

I notice that when I attend fully to ‘the other’ in my coaching, I find that skills/tools/experience  arise very naturally and appropriately. Without this quality of presence, I over-think and the space between the client, and myself, is more ‘sticky’ and less alive. Bringing myself back to unconditional presence is a fundamental practice, which I repeat many times throughout the day – I am not a natural!

I’ve just been reading our graduates’ scripts from last year’s coaching supervision programme and one of the outstanding improvements for them – both in their coaching and their supervision practice – is the capacity to be there, attending fully to the whole field of the work. This gives clarity, enables intuition and releases the imagination.

What supports you to work in unconditional presence?


Edna Murdoch