Alain Cardon

Executive, team & organizational systemic coach

Master Certified Coach (International Coach Federation), specialized in systemic executive coaching, team coaching and organizational coaching for leaders and corporations all over Europe, North & South America, Asia.
Recognized systemic executive coach trainer and systemic coach supervisor at Metasysteme Coaching Academy, delivering ICF validated Accredited Coach Training Hours in France and Romania. Has occasionally delivered systemic coaching training programs, coach supervision or workshops in Belgium, Germany, Morocco, Spain, and Mexico.
His passionate and resolutely practical systemic executive coach approach is perceived as foundational in what can be called a “continental” coaching style that could be defined as systemic, respectful, confronting and challenging, minimalist, very effective and creative, time efficient and motivating approach. Very committed to widely sharing advanced systemic coaching resources in his books.


Intimacy in the coaching relationship
In the coaching environment, one often hears about rather fuzzy or soft concepts such as coach posture, presence, empathy, respect, attitude, deep listening skills, etc. All these are difficult to measure with specific markers and may be included in our capacity to embrace intimacy.
In this conference, Alain Cardon led a participative experience, followed by a few debriefs, thoughts and theory on what intimacy may be in coaching, and answered questions from the participants.

A lot of coaches are scared of intimacy.

  • A lot of coaches are scared of intimacy. And that’s the reason they come to this profession.
  • They’re choosing the profession to get closer to the people because they want to relate to others more deeply than they do in their lives.
  • They’re counting on the coaching context to be able to stretch themselves into more intimacy with clients (their challenges, issues in life).

Coaches want to appear behind the scenes.

  • Coaches want to appear behind the scenes of everyday human life and into a closer relationship with people.
  • The hitch is they’re scared of intimacy. So many coaches hide while they want to be a sort of huayra in the clients’ lives.
  • Coaches hide behind tools, concepts, theories, props rather than getting into heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul with their clients.

Coaches are attracted to intimate relationships because…

  • Coaches are attracted to intimate relationships because they want to learn how to become more intimate in their own lives.
  • They’re doing it through a profession that theoretically helps this.
  • As they get into the profession, they continue hiding and are afraid to take the risks that other people may see.
  • Coaches may be afraid to make mistakes as they’ll not be perfect and will be human. They’ll never admit the mistakes to their clients.
  • Coaches won’t share their deeper emotions when they’re working with their clients. It’s for the client to share the emotion.

You attract the people you need to meet

  • Being a Systemic Coach, I attract the clients I deserve.
  • I attract clients that have issues similar to mine as there’s a synchronicity between what the client comes to get from the coaching and what the coach is living in their own life.
  • There are a lot of intricate webs, which we call coincidence. It’s the web of life.
  • If you’re not aware or ready for intimacy, you will limit the client’s work because the climate client will feel you’re scared of something.
  • Clients are usually nice to their coaches. They make things easy for the coaches.
  • So, if they feel that you’re scared of emotions, they’ll stifle their own emotions.

Your capacity to get into intimacy.

  • Your capacity to get into intimacy with your clients will channel the coaching.
  • Most of the clients stop where the coach stops. If they feel a coach is afraid to approach any kind of subject that may be concerning, they will stop short. They will protect their coach.
  • Clients are much smarter than we think.
  • Many coaches say that there are areas that are “not coaching areas”, like therapeutic areas. Actually, they’re saying, “I’m not ready to go there. I’m scared to go there.” The client will feel it and not go there.
  • There are no areas that are out of bounds for intelligent coaching questions to solve issues rapidly if the coach is ready to go there.

Cherish the empty spaces instead of filling them.

  • Coaching everybody says is not on the content. You’re not an expert. So, if you focus on the content, you’re being redundant.
  • I need to be a coach in the space that I’m giving the client. I’m not a coach in the content that the client is bringing.
  • It’s hiding behind something.
  • The moment you look down, the client knows you’re not there. And you can even assume the client will keep talking about superficial things until the client feels you’re there.
  • The client is patiently waiting for you to come, filling the space. The moment you start getting really present, the client will probably go silent and start thinking.
  • The moment a client goes silent, the client goes to a deeper dimension which is the real issue beyond the superficial things.

This is an experience that reveals what’s most difficult for you.

  • What’s most difficult for you is being really present and minimalist as a coach, especially as far as the content is concerned.
  • When we say coaches don’t bring solutions, it means that coaches can’t bring solutions.

You can’t take notes on who the client is.

  • The most important in coaching is in silence, in presence.
  • If you talk, you’re taking the client’s space. The more you’re silent to the client (just being present), the more the client is going to go in their silence.
  • Silent means no gestures, big expressions, or smiles. Don’t try to influence. The client otherwise will start to think about what they’re saying and gradually fall into their silence.
  • When the client goes silent, they go deeper and think about what they need to search for. What’s the limit of what I know?

Can I interrupt you?

  • You know you’re telling me everything already. So…(put silence)?
  • This step will stop the clients from filling the space and think about what they really need to face.

The function of powerful questions

  • I’m pushing the client into their intimacy but respectfully, powerfully and present. So that the client knows where I’m coming from.
  • This also leads to the function of powerful questions. If you ask a question that the client can answer, it’s a lousy question.
  • If you ask a question that you think you can answer, it’s a lousy question.
  • If you asked a question that suddenly shuts up the client, you just pushed the client into their silence. That’s powerful questioning.
  • Questions are questions that clients and coaches can’t answer. Then, both client and coach fall into silence together.
  • And then they have to search together.
  • A lot of coaches are scared of intimacy. When you’re intimate with somebody, silence is golden.

💎 Nuggets from Alain Cardon

  • You attract the people you need to meet to do your own thing. And it’s a truth in coaching too.
  • No subject is out of bounds of coaching if the client is ready to go to that subject.
  • Never take notes in coaching. It’s a way of putting a shield between your heart and soul and the client’s heart and soul.
  • You coach with your head and mind. You don’t coach with your heart and soul. You need to learn how to coach with your heart.
  • If you think you can fix the client’s issue, it means you believe you’re more intelligent than the client.
  • The client is starting to work when the client gets silent.
  • One of the best ways to help a client move forward is to interrupt them when they speak. And shut up when they’re silent.
  • Silence is like an emptiness in outer space. There’s more mass and more energy in emptiness.

🧭 “You’re not scared of intimacy when you know how to be silent with somebody for hours.” – Alain Cardon

🎥 If you missed or want to rewatch our webinar with Alain Cardon on “Intimacy in Coaching Relationship”, catch up now:

📣 A big shoutout to Alain Cardon for sharing the importance of intimacy and how to practice it in coaching! ❤️

Don’t miss out on this one. Stay tuned for the next episode!

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