Language within Coaching

Language is nothing more than one way of trying to communicating an understanding, a search or a feeling. This is never completely possible because the human being is much more complex than language can ever be. According to Lacan even the subconscious is made up of language, but language is more than only words. Body language, sounds, music and other forms of art are different expressions that can be considered language. Transactional Analysis and PNL are examples of methods for studying communication within some of its complexities, and along with other methods, these are tools that a coach can use to facilitate verbal as well as non-verbal understanding. To do this completely is impossible because most of what is communicated is deeper than what language can express. If the subconscious is made up of language than it can become conscious, but within Lacan’s theory there is another realm, which is called ‘The Real’. The Real is everything that the human is without language. It is perfect understanding, but because of the limits of language we are unable to express it, and without expression there is no possible understanding of it. This is why there is more that we don’t understand than what we do understand.

It is a very complex theory, but what is important to take from it is that a coach has to use all that is at his or her disposal to understand and help understand a person’s situation, strengths and possibilities. This goes as far as even taking in consideration and trying to understand the feelings that arise during a session. All forms of communication has value and the more subtile it is, the greater its importance, because it can be argued that one comes closer to the real even though it is impossible to get there completely.

It is helpful for a person to be coached in his or her strongest language because it will create the greatest freedom of expression, and permit greater communication in all its forms. The more conscious information is given, the easier it is to know what is unconscious, and so, the greater the person will get to know themselves, and ultimately, their path in life. The coach is only there to help direct and ask the right questions, but not to give answers directly because the client comes with the answer to his or her question inside of them. The coach is there to help them find it and appropriate it. The final answer has to be the client’s truth and not the coach’s idea of what that truth is.

This is where words become important, and even though language can be quite an abstract form of communication, precision is needed at that very moment.

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