Dr. Haris Syed

Program Director & Master Faculty

Dr. Haris Syed is the Founder and Owner of Coach Transformation Academy.
He has an extensive background in Human Resources, Learning and Development, and Corporate Training. In addition to facilitating coaching certification programs, Dr. Syed is also engaged with multinational companies in designing solutions in the areas of Creating Coaching Culture, Leadership Development through Coaching, Manufacturing Performance, Team Coaching, Management, and Leadership Skills and Design Human Engineering.
Dr. Syed has earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Performance Psychology. He is also an ICF-certified Master Coach (USA), Certified Mentor Coach, Board Certified Coach from Center for Credentialing and Education (BCC – CCE, USA), Master Practitioner – European Mentoring and Coaching Council (MP – EMCC, UK) and NLP Certified Master Trainer from Association of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (ANLP- UK).
Dr. Syed also specializes in Human Resources and Organizational Development and Designing Organizational Change Strategies.

His extensive background in Human Resources and Learning and Development has earned him a reputation for successful outcomes throughout many Fortune 500 companies. Coaching leaders around the world, his client list includes corporate leaders from major companies such as Amex, HSBC, Pepsi, Light House Arabia, UNB, and DHL, to name a few. He is known for his ability to take seemingly complex issues and break them down into easily solvable opportunities for organizations and individuals.


True transformative coaching practice starts from self – from Coach Transformation. In this webinar, Haris shared tips for what it makes and takes to coach the client that brings sustainable transformative change.


Two common concepts for coach practitioners:

  1. Listening
  2. Asking Questions
    • Listening and asking questions are premises and fundamental for any coaching process.
    • Listening was more to respond, formulate answers.
    • Listening was just to understand.
    • Today, as coaches, we see listening from a different perspective.

What have you found as coaches on listening and asking questions? How much did you practice before coming to coaching? What was your version of these two skills? What do they mean to you?

We act in response to our perceiving.

  • What we perceive, we project.
  • Isn’t our perceiving different at this moment?
  • We acted in response to our perceiving. This perceiving came from somewhere in the body.
  • Where in your body does this response come from?
  • Did it come from mind, heart, or gut (intuition)?
  • Who did you listen to? What did you listen to?
  • Most of us listen from the space we work with. We have the habit of working in that area (mind, heart, gut), and that’s where we mostly see from.

We all created meaning.

  • We all listen to ourselves. When we are perceiving, we’re speaking to ourselves when our client is speaking.
  • Either we’re listening from the heart, mind, or gut space. However, coaching is an interaction of integration.
  • Coaching is a space for staying in interaction for integration. What is integrating here?
  • Even our client is operating from either of these spaces.
  • When a coach and client both operate from the same space, they will stay longer in that space.
  • If both are operating from different spaces, listening will not happen in coaching.

What is the meaning of integration?

  • Integration means making it whole or complete.
  • When our clients operate from mind, heart, and gut; we, as coaches, are integrating all of that together so we can stay in interaction to integrate.
  • We really need to be able to see if we are listening to our clients and where we are listening from.

I find it hard to remember whatever my client said.

  • The moment the client starts to speak, we also start to listen to ourselves, not just the client.
  • What we listen to is our mind, heart, or gut.
  • We, as coaches, should really be focused on listening to our client and seeing and understanding where the client is speaking from.

How do we recognize where the client is speaking from?

  • The language of the heart is different from the head or gut.
  • The point is recognizing where our client is operating from and then connecting from the space in our body. Then coaches can interact with the client.
  • We should be able to really forget what we bring along with ourselves.
  • Most of the time, you will find that we are creating our own judgments. We are fast-forwarding because listening to ourselves is much easier than listening to our clients.
  • And the invitation is to stop listening to yourself and rather listen to your client.

If you know this, you will understand coaching.

  • We are designed to create meaning in our heads. We are nurtured that way that we want to know everything.
  • When we look at anything, we have meaning to everything.
  • What we need to know is that “not everything needs to have meaning, for us, at least”.
  • We assume that just because somebody asked us the question, we need to have the answer.

Transformational Coaching

  • If you can stay there to absorb what’s showing up in our body, we will learn more about our being, ourselves, situation.
  • Listening and creating meaning to respond is dangerous. Listening to just listen.

Listening for curiosity.

  • How can you be curious to really know what it is and as is?
  • There’s a difference between understanding and knowing “what it is” and “as is”.
  • Most of the time, we add “what if”.
  • In listening, most of the time we focus on “what if” and “as if” instead of “as is”.

I want to be more productive.

  • We first want to understand where our client is operating from. And let’s not create a judgment.
  • Let’s just sit with no agenda and not have any assumptions.
  • It is very human to have all these assumptions.
  • We all, as humans, are like a peacock – John Whitmore.
  • While seeing the front, we’re carrying huge baggage. These baggage are our experiences, education, family, history, culture, etc.
  • Our interactions and how we experience those interactions are emotions and the history of emotions.
  • We carry all of that baggage and that baggage makes us feel what we see.
  • What we need to know is during the interaction, we and our clients, both carry our baggage.
  • We will carry our map of the world together. But the need is just to see what is being shown rather than seeing what we carry.

What does that reveal to you about your listening skills?

  • We are on a journey with a client. This journey will never stop. All we need to know is whether we are seeing our client’s baggage or our baggage.
  • What we recognize in others is only what we have in us.
  • Empathy only comes when you have a similar experience in your life. And then you start to say “your experience” and relate with the client.

💎 Nuggets from Dr. Haris Syed

  • When you coach your client, transcribe every coaching you do. Read and listen to your client and yourself. You can write each question you asked and write whether it was from your heart, mind, or gut.
  • In coaching, we do not interact with someone. We do not interact to someone or at someone. We remain in interaction with someone.
  • When we’re listening to our clients, it’s for them to create their meanings. For us, it is just to facilitate the process.
  • Not every question needs to be answered. Sometimes a question needs reflection, responses, or silence.
  • Most of the time, we refer our questions to our baggage, which becomes a barrier in seeing what the client is carrying.
  • Listening and creating meaning to respond is dangerous.
  • Empathize with the client and not the situation.

🧭 “Coaching is an interaction for integration to make our clients see their whole being.” – Dr. Haris Syed

🎧 If you missed or want to rewatch our webinar with Dr. Haris Syed on the “Essentials of Transformational Coaching”, catch up here: https://youtu.be/TrrYDuXH308

❤️ Thank you all for your support and participation in making Transformational Tuesdays a hit! We’re wrapping up with our 51st episode by Dr. Haris Syed.

📣 We’re excited to see you in 2022 with new determination to keep learning and expanding our coaching knowledge!

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