The Soul of Coaching


On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending San Francisco Coaches Holiday Party. I was looking forward to attending simply because I love these people, my friends who also happen to coach. From the moment I walked in the door of my first meeting, I felt welcomed and part of something bigger than just me coaching my clients.

The party was intimate and engaging. The guest speaker was Harriet Simon Salinger, one of the founders of SF Coaches. The first meetings were held in Harriet’s home over ten years ago.

This was my first opportunity to meet Harriet, and I found her intelligent, witty and completely accessible. Her talk was centered around holding two questions, a very ‘coach-like’ thing to do. The questions were, “Where do old coaches go?”, which brought quite a round of laughter around the room, and “What is the Soul of Coaching?”. The second question we entertained with our table mates before bringing the discussion back to the room at large.

I found this discussion fascinating. What is the Soul of Coaching? We had numerous ideas and thoughts, just sitting with them all and not trying to actually answer the question. I found this question still intriguing me last night while I worked out. Some fresh insights then entered my realization.

I could feel, at a deep and profound level, that the Soul of Coaching is the immense capacity for human beings to consciously experience the depth and breadth of who and what we are, and in this experiencing and conscious reflection of our experiences, we awaken the parts of ourselves that have been repressed, hurt, or believed to be not good enough. In this awakening through conscious action, we not only create our lives from choices based on that inner compelling pull, but return to the wholeness that always has been present within.

I see this as the Soul of coaching, because it lies at the very foundation of our practice. We hold our clients as whole, and we hold that they have their own answers, and we hold that their awakening to wholeness is a natural and ‘given’ expression of the very nature that they are, that humans are deep at our core. As I coach, I know that every client has their own seed of wisdom that when watered and fed, and loved unconditionally, will express their unique nature.

While coaching started out with an accomplishment and success mindset, I see that goal is still valid. What has changed is what accomplishment and success mean. For me, over the past five plus years I have been coaching, my own notion of what coaching really is has changed and morphed. My work with clients has honed my skills and my vision for what coaching is and can be, and for what I know I am uniquely skilled to offer those clients that are meant to work with me.

What does this have to do with being Unabashedly Female? Everything. I see the wholeness that you are. I see the unique beauty and power that is inherent in women and men. I see the critically important need for all of us, both men and women, to live our unique gifts and to express them in the world. Life is intelligent by design, and each of us has a role to play in this design. If any one of us is living from beliefs that what and who we are is not enough or is bad somewhere deep within, then we are hiding our gifts away, gifts that must be shared for our world to be balanced and in harmony.

Women have been conditioned to believe that we are bad simply by design. That somewhere our design as women is sinful and dirty. I can’t tell you how many women I have spoken with that feel this deep within, but don’t have the consciousness to express it until we work together or at least talk about it. And, many men have spoken of the unconscious beliefs they hold about women, too. These beliefs hurt us all. They hurt both men and women. They are part of the shadow of our culture and world, and are played out every day in violent and degrading scenarios. And it all stems from conditioning. None of it is really true.

The Soul of Coaching is about holding us all as the vibrant, creative deeply loving beings we are by nature. When a coach holds you this way, you begin to hold yourself this way. When a coach calls you forth to be this nature in the world, you begin to express this nature. When you learn effective tools and practices that help you to live this nature, then you begin to live the life you were created to live.

If you are intrigued at all by what this post shares, please contact me at juliedaley at I would love to begin a conversation with you about how to step into this magnificence that you are.

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