Coaching Tools

Transcendence: Key to Transformation


It’s the dramas in life, the story we tell ourselves and each other that get us entangled and stuck. A conflict, whether with yourself or another, is a variation on this theme. It’s an entanglement. Some people, addicted to drama, seek out conflict.

It feeds their passion and makes them feel alive and strong. Others like conflict especially if they win. They see conflict as a means of honing their skills and thrive by gaining attention – by winning at no matter what cost and to whom.

A great coaching question I learned from another coach to help clarify intent when your client feels caught in a conflict, is

“Is it more important to you to be right, or is it more important to you to be happy?”

That question stops people in their tracks and helps them see the motivations behind their action. Once a choice is made between “right” and “happy” I will know how to coach them.

Most of my coaching clients care more about being happy than right….I suspect those that choose right, may not be coachable, but they may be trainable because they do want to win….the question is “at what cost” and “to whom”?

Those that choose “happy” as their primary value in the situation have chosen to align themselves with their heart – with what feels right for them – what brings them peace and harmony.

In this month’s edition I share 7 Steps to Transformation.



  1. Is the key answer in transcendence, or immanence? To be happy, shall we transcend or shall we realize the immanence of thing? Do we need to search on the outside or can we find everything inside?

  2. Thank you Olivier. What a great question! In the article, I propose that transcendence is key to transformation, meaning before you can transform your relation to a situation, you must first detach from it…as in rise above, stand apart. Once you have transcended the situation you wish to transform or see transformed, you are in a position of choice – informed by your perceptions, your beliefs and your wants. The transcendent experience or moment is freeing – a pause in the action – that may be experienced as timeless…an opening to inner awareness is possible – I propose that what happens in that transcendent moment is influenced by you, the coach, and the dynamic of the coaching relationship. Making a wise decision requires discernment, balancing information/perceptions gathered from the outside with prompts, impulses and yearnings from within.

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