The "Next Level" Executive Program: A Coaching Methodology that Plans to Revolutionize the Business Sector
We know that we live in a pragmatic society, based on achieving goals and obtaining benefits. Almost as standard, those with skills such as business leadership, organizational ability, or willingness to take risks hold power to translate their agendas into profits. But what happens when this order loses its harmony?
Even if we try to ignore it, the truth is that, regardless of whether we are writers, entrepreneurs or C-suites, our tasks and projects are often hindered by emotional and mental blocks. There are several examples of how companies and projects collapsed due to a chain of bad decisions (like the Enron scandal), which can be attributed to those blocks.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Center For Creative Leadership, only 18% of executives consider their team as "very effective." For the center, the solution lies in: a strategic approach, collective approach, and interaction.
To apply those three principles, companies need to anticipate and take care of their members. Not surprisingly, the American Magazine Association concluded that "Coaching" has been a growing corporate trend.
Despite having heard the term numerous times, I must confess that I had never understood the deeper intricacies of this type of practice; so, I set out to find out. And after a bit of research, I came across with different concepts, absorbing information until my eyes landed on the ThroughConversation™ methodology - and with it, a philosophy that caught my attention: "A predictable process for unprecedented results."
The New Stream of Coaching
It turns out that ThroughConversation™ is a coaching program developed in Vancouver, Canada, which has been causing a stir in the corporate audience during the past 15 years.
Being objective, for companies, coaching is an investment of time and money; like any investment, it must be used when there is a high probability of achieving a significant ROI.
In contrast, ThroughConversation emerges as a methodology of dialogs where the participants work on pushing the limits of their personal belief system. What does that have to do with productivity and profit margins? To my surprise, the answer would not come from questioning "what" but instead, "who"
The “Human Potential” Coach
For French-Canadian Jean-Paul Gravel - the mind behind ThroughConversation - the most obvious limitation of conventional coaching is that its approach consumes too much time. Too often, coaches focus on identifying the "correct ways" of acting and thinking but don't have an impact on what he calls, the precursory perceptions - the automatic pilot "triggering" our instincts, those we trust to execute business decisions with.
This reality supposes a need to focus on the human potential, and thus release a higher level of capacity. It contemplates areas such as interpersonal relationships, self-assessment and the general perception of the surrounding circumstances - being re-empowered by positive patterns that generate positive results.
To learn more about his personal motivations and perspective within HIS program, I communicated with the ThroughConversation team to ask for an interview with Gravel himself.
Where does the need to develop your own coaching program come from?
I didn’t set out to be a coach or to create a program; it happened over time. Growing up, things were tough, and I worked my way through a lot of challenges. But great things came out of that struggle - I learned how to navigate life. In 1996, I experienced what some people might call “enlightenment.” All of a sudden, I could see things very differently. I could read people on a completely different level. I could see right through their facades and understand thier fears, concerns, and desires. I realized that people live in their little illusions of life, which they create themselves, from the beliefs they have. From that day on, I wanted to make a difference. I started off by working on myself, and eventually, it unfolded into what it is today.
What kind of clients do you work with?
I work with companies and individuals alike. The majority of people I work with are already quite successful in what they do - entrepreneurs, executives, and other professionals. I relate well with high achievers because we speak the same language. They aren’t looking for mediocre improvements; they know what they want. They’re looking for real results. I bring them the kind of results they never experienced before. My performance programs are specifically tailored to those who like playing big and want to play bigger.
Even though each experience is customized, what does the typical process look like?
I’m a strong believer that a coaching intervention should be definitive and time-bound, and I do not support the revolving door kind of coaching. It’s custom, sure, but it’s also systematic. That’s why my typical program is no longer than ten sessions. I’m basically recreating mini-versions of my own “enlightenment” experiences for my clients throughout the entire program so that their mind expands very quickly, and they begin to see things from a much clearer perspective. I get rid of the fog, so they can think freely and make better decisions. I also know exactly what I want my clients to achieve and at what point in their program I want them to achieve it. I generate the same amount of growth in ten sessions that would have taken a decade or two to experience otherwise.
What are the main obstacles that you identify in companies and entrepreneurs?
Their need to feel like they already “know” things. It’s easy to walk them through it once they are in the program because everybody likes to see results, and results generate action. But the biggest thing is that a lot of successful people really believe in their ways, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, people don’t see their own blind spots. You need to work with someone not only able to point them out for you but can actually dissolve them. Nobody can reach their full potential without being coached. Humans are not designed that way. If you want to win big, you have to find someone that can help you make it happen.
In a digital society where borders are disappearing, what do you think the future looks like for ThroughConversation?
As far as my coaching and ThroughConversation is concerned, I believe that there is nothing more powerful than the connection that’s created in an in-person session. The most powerful shifts occur in face-to-face sessions. Even though we use technology on a daily basis, we will always maintain this element in our practice. The good thing is that traveling is becoming easier and more accessible, so there are no geographical restrictions for those who are committed to getting what they want. The world’s really your oyster.
What do you feel most passionate about being a coach?
I love seeing people come out the other end completely engaged with their lives, their family, and their businesses. Recognizing that new level of confidence and calmness kick in mid-way through the program is golden. I get to witness all the growth first hand. People who’ve done the program are more at ease. They’re happier, and they don’t react to circumstances the way they used to in the past. I think the bonus in all of this is that I make a lot of new friends and my extended family keeps growing in every direction.
Do you have any phrase that you follow?
“Love everyone without exception.”
A Business Case For Impactful Coaching
Media sites like the Daily Hive position Gravel among the most prominent names within the coaching landscape, although the leader has his own classification.
Studies show that coaching has the most significant impact on market performance where the intervention is targeting top talent’s individual performance and soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, inner confidence, inspirational leadership, more effective communication, and similar non-technical qualities.
It’s become evident that Gravel is leading this trend. Rather than teaching new skills and tools on top of an old foundation, his modality updates and enhances the foundation itself. It is often believed that specific performance-related barriers – such as cognitive skills, the quotient of one’s intelligence, or specific personality traits, - simply cannot be conquered. Gravel has largely proven this wrong, by giving the company’s top players an emotional and intellectual advantage over their competition.
When I initially started my research, I was puzzled by Through Conversations heartfelt following, with people willing to endorse the program openly, and enthusiastically. Despite my initial skepticism, I must recognize that what I saw in their transformational stories - strengths such as honesty, self-expression, compassion, critical thinking, focus, and drive - would indeed have a vast improvement in how people interact with the world and make business decisions. I also saw that, even though money (or the result) is the leading indicator of success, it is not the only one. Much better experience of life is a bonus – albeit a crucial one.
There is a unified criterion in all those who have experienced Gravel’s methodology: When one goes through a revealing and enlightening experience of a genuinely impactful one-on-one coaching intervention, the results are evidently much better than those of any buzz-book, or a motivational action, especially when you can quantify those improvements.