What My Coaching Is
My goal is to raise my clients’ awareness regarding how they function in their environment (with family, at work and with friends). My focus on coaching is more on what’s happening (the moment-to-moment process) than what is being discussed (the content). I take into account the whole person including thoughts, feelings and behavior. My focus is on integration; that is, how the many parts of the person fit together. The interaction between me as the coach and the client is an ever-changing dialogue marked by straightforward caring, warmth, acceptance and self-responsibility. As a coach, I put myself, as much as possible, into the experience of my client. I do not judge, analyze, or interpret what I observe. I do, however, express my preferences, observations, feelings, personal experience and thoughts to my client. I do this with care, sensitivity, timing, inventiveness, empathy and respect for my client. I try a kind of dialogue that moves the energy between me as the coach, and my coaching client. My approach, armed by the strong principles of the Gestalt theory, allows my clients to explore new behavior, first in the context of with themselves and then, as appropriate, in the outside world.
I possess a (professional) life experience having run public companies, and private companies of sizes in the hundreds of millions of dollars; and prior to that, having worked in different countries around the globe under the corporate structure of multi-nationals. I have been in startup and smooth growth ventures, as well as in turnaround situations. I worked under–what I now realize to be–extreme stress situations. I have interacted with various committees of the Board of Directors as CEO, and other times as Outside Director. After the sale of my last company to the oil giant Chevron USA, I determined my new calling was to give back. I sought academic training for transferring the wisdom I acquired on to today’s executives. Initially I studied (and graduated) from the Coaching Certification Program of Case Western Reserve University. Subsequently, I sought a deeper training in the subject matter and graduated from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.
The Gestalt coaching encounter offers a safe arena where vulnerability, strong emotions and failure can play themselves out in the service of learning and growth. My coaching is not just a solutions-based coaching. My practice is a holistic one where the emotional and personal world of a client is likely to emerge as an important aspect of the work. As such, possessing the experiential and experimental capability to work with personal material which impacts performance at work, leads the client to a “transformational” change rather than transactional change, benefits of which are far beyond just the office environment.
My 15-Step Bio
- I am currently a practitioner as a Gestalt Professional Certified Coach (i.e., GPCC);
- My degree is a recognized, accredited coach training program (ACTP) by the International Coach Federation (ICF);
- I was born in Turkey (1963), I am a Dutch as well as a U.S. Citizen;
- I have Undergrad and Master’s degrees in Engineering, and Engineering Economics;
- I have completed post-graduate executive educations with Harvard Business School, Wharton School of Business (University of Pennsylvania), Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), Columbia University and Stanford University;
- Lived and worked in many countries around the globe, am fluent in English, French, Dutch and Turkish;
- Living in the worlds of my clients is second nature to me as this process mirrors the experience of cultural immersion in a foreign country;
- I have been the CEO and/or founder of private as well as public companies until recently when I sold the last company I founded, to Chevron USA;
- I am a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University’s Professional Coaching Certification Program;
- I am a regular public speaker at universities and professional venues;
- My hobbies include enjoying cultures, exotic travel, photography, playing piano and finance;
- My biggest hobby is thinking about the workings of the human mind and learning about psychology;
- I am a member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland;
- I work as a trained, hands-on direct-patient volunteer with The Hospice of The Western Reserve several days a week when I am not traveling;
- I am curious, respectful and sensitive to people who have beliefs and values different from my own.
Ideal Global Client Profiles
Are those who work within teams anywhere in the globe, who are:
- recently promoted to take on a much broader role than in the past;
- currently in transition from a tactical to a more strategic position;
- who are recently charged with implementing large-scale changes in the organization;
- living and functioning as expats (living in a different culture, as an expatriate.
As well as those who work within teams anywhere in the globe, who feel:
- something is missing in their life;
- should or could be more effective and efficient than currently;
- can’t stop doubting about today, or worrying about the future;
- somewhat stuck in their jobs;
- must develop more of an executive presence;
- the need to build more self-confidence, especially with their supervisors;
- despite being technically brilliant, need to improve the way they influence and collaborate with others, build stronger relationships, and engage direct reports;
- a strong desire for a better work / life balance.
CHANGE Through Gestalt
Gestalt theory contributes to learning with clients through discovery. This begins to give the client “choice.” In Gestalt, “helping” occurs not through advice giving, but through our presence. Said another way, I do not just suggest change. Instead, I promote increased awareness, which then provides the foundation for the client to make different choices (i.e., change).
A Word of CAUTION
In organizational settings, with a third party payer (executive’s supervisor, i.e., the employer) there can be a tendency to identify desired new behaviors and mobilize quickly towards them. Mobilizing too quickly can lead to ungrounded, new behaviors that are not genuinely integrated into the coaching client’s repertoire. Consequently, I, as a coach, must work to help the client develop awareness before moving too quickly into the action of creating new behavioral choices. Here again, incorporating many of the essential components of Gestalt theory can support and enhance results for the client.
What My Coaching Is Not
As an emerging profession, coaching is often viewed with confusion (e.g., “What is the difference between coaching, consulting and counseling (i.e., “therapy?”).
Coaching is not consulting. With a consultant, you are paying that person for their knowledge and experience. You and/or your team and/or your organization have a problem, and you pay the consultant to give you a pre-packaged solution. As a coach, I don’t sell you solutions to problems. I don’t give you my answers or my truth. Instead, I follow a thorough process in order for you to find your own answers and truths. This makes you more capable and confident going forward in many different settings, as well as your learning and growth become more sustainable. This is the difference between consulting and coaching.
When a person goes to counseling, there is the implication that the person is broken and needs to be “fixed.” The patient isn’t able to solve his or her own problems. The therapist works to fix the patient. The philosophy behind the coaching, on the other hand, assumes that you are creative, resourceful and whole. You are not broken. You are the person who is responsible for making changes in your life, and you’ve got the ability to do so. As your coach, I am there to create a safe and trustworthy relational field between us in which we can experiment with different approaches and behaviors. This leads to increased awareness, which in turn offers you “choices” as to whether you should or should not change, and what and how. This is the difference between counseling and coaching.
What I Expect From My Clients
Only a commitment to ongoing practice and self-reflection will further one’s journey on the road to self-discovery and mastery. When these moments of integrative mastery happen in the coaching encounter under the guidance of the Gestalt-trained coach, the experience is defined by many as being “magical.” As a vital and powerful influence in the relational field, my presence offers a supportive and hopeful avenue into the complexities of client learning and change. Conversely, my coaching also has high expectations of the client. My coaching, which is Gestalt-based coaching, is a collaborative partnership where the client and I as the coach, together, define the partnership and develop a set of goals to guide our work. This agenda can be revised as desired or necessary, and involves ongoing mutual review and reflection on the process and progress of the work. Client and I co-create learning and exploratory experiments. Since it’s the client’s needs and goals that drive the coaching encounter, I expect the client to be an active agent of his or her own learning. I, as coach, help to clarify and support the work; and the client is ultimately responsible for that work.
My Code of Ethics
- I adhere to strict rules of confidentiality and will release no information unless authorized by the client or required by law. Even the names of my clients are confidential unless the client gives me permission;
- When I enter into agreements with corporations, I hold the individual as my client, and his or her right to confidentiality. I would release information regarding our coaching sessions as it relates to the client to client’s sponsor, e.g., a corporation’s HR manager, or client’s direct supervisor only to the extent authorized by the client;
- The client, on the other hand, is free to share whatever he or she wishes regarding the coaching engagement with others, unless I use an example of myself in the service of my client and specifically ask the client not to share that personal detail with others;
- I show up 100% present for every meeting and hold the client’s agenda at all times;
- I will construct clear agreements with my clients and will honor all agreements made in the context of a professional coaching relationship;
- I will be alert to noticing when a client no longer is benefiting from our coaching relationship and would be better served by another, or discontinue the coaching process with me;
- Whenever I conclude there is an actual or potential for conflict of interest that may arise, I will openly disclose it and fully discuss it with my client and, if needed, his or her sponsor;
- I will accurately create, maintain, store and if needed, dispose of any records of work done in relation to the practice of coaching in a way that promotes confidentiality and complies with all applicable laws;
- I will suggest that my clients seek counseling services when I assess it to be appropriate or necessary;
- I will take all reasonable steps to notify appropriate authorities in the event a client discloses an intention to endanger self or others.