Transforming Awareness: Being a Life Coach

Heartfulness eMagazine|June 2020

Transforming Awareness: Being a Life Coach
In October 2019, PETER J. REDING spoke with VICTOR KANNAN about being a pioneer in the field of professional Life Coaching. In part 1, they speak about the role of helping people to be authentic and raising awareness.
VICTOR KANNAN

Q: Peter, thanks for joining me. We’re having a great day here in Atlanta; it’s pretty nice, sunny and cool and comfortable.

Same here in Orlando, Florida. And Happy Diwali to you and to those who are celebrating that today around the world.

Q: Yeah, this is Happy Diwali. The world is becoming a smaller place, with everybody celebrating each other’s sources of joy.

That’s absolutely true, and the world needs as much light as it can possibly get, so this is a particularly happy time for the world and not just for the Indian people who are celebrating Diwali.

Q: Thanks Peter. You’re a coaching profession pioneer, teaching holistic coaching since 1996. You’re also one of the founders of the Association of Coach Training Organization, and you have a book to your credit called Positively Brilliant Self Mastery: Reclaim Your Authentic Self Now. So you have enough in your DNA as a Life Coach. I would like to start off by asking, what is a life coach, what do you do as a life coach?

A life coach is really a facilitator of awareness of the client. We tend not to give it bias, we’re not mentors per se, we’re not educators, nor are we parental authority figures. A professional coach will ask questions to reveal to the client who they really are, and what they really want to do, and what brings a sense of satisfaction, completion, fulfillment to the client. Then we ask the client if they’re willing to do that. So I’m in the business of raising awareness.

Q: That’s a pretty broad base. In terms of raising awareness for a CXO, who’s supposedly already aware, how does that happen? When they advance, do they become less aware? Or is it the general risk of life?

A CXO is still human. They get caught up in the busy-ness of life and they forget who they really are in many cases. So, if you’re human then get a life coach.

Q: What in your experience are the keys to success for a CXO? I thought they are the “aware” people already, and yet you’re raising their awareness.

I’ve been one, first of all, and I’ve trained thousands of CXOs, and as you may well know yourself, they are generally task-oriented. They’re there to get the job done; they’re there to produce results. And if you think about the number of hours they spend in “getting it done,” it’s an external drive, mostly. There are exceptions; CXOs who are hugely compassionate human beings. They come from the heart, from the soul, they come from a place of supporting individuals as a sense of humanity. But, I would propose to you, there are more CXOs around the world that are driven by the external “What’ve you produced for me lately?” “Where are the results?” “How come this isn’t done?” “You’ve dropped the ball.” And so, in the coaching relationship, its “Who are you?” and “How do you want to bring your most authentic self to your work?”

So then there is an internal drive; an internal passion, compassion, that comes through and still gets the stuff done. I’m not saying that CXOs need to switch hundred percent over to Heartfulness. For me it’s a both/and, not an either/or situation, and it’s again raising that level of awareness for the individual on an on-going basis.

It says, “What’s the right thing to do here from the place of humanity?” “What’s the right thing to do in terms of ...?” “Yes, let’s get the job done, but let’s recognize that we’re working with people who are mothers and fathers, who have great responsibilities beyond their work.” And if they’re in the wrong position, then let’s bring that to the awareness of the employee and to the CXO and reposition them – find a place where they can bring their passion, their strengths, their natural God-given gifts and talents, to a different job, as opposed to the one they’re suffering in right now.

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June 2020