Five years ago, I started down the Coaching for Transformation path. It was at a Nonviolent Communication (NVC) training where I met Martha Lasley, and was so impressed with her humble and honest approach, that I knew I wanted to have what she had. One year later, I started the Coaching for Transformation certification program.

While in the program, I was able to deepen my NVC strengths through much of the teachings, and gain new insights and approaches to my work. Today, my work varies from coaching individual clients, project management and fundraising facilitation, and teaching both coaching and NVC. And in each of these, I feel confident in responding to a lot of different situations with a lot of different clients. If one approach doesn’t work, it’s pretty seamless for me to take another approach, whereas before I just had NVC.

For instance, a client I recently wrapped up working with first came to me because of fines for driving too fast, too often. In the first session, we uncovered that she was hospitalized at age five and she wanted to go home and catch up … And now she’s 48; she’s spent over 40 years of trying to catch up. After that tearful first session, she became confident what was driving her, and we worked together to find a way to implement change.

Those last sessions we spent a lot of time working on her diminishing beliefs and identifying what she wanted. If I had only known NVC, we would’ve stayed in empathy which is really the basic transformative approach, but it would probably not have been as successful to get the client to the understanding she needed. And I wouldn’t have had the confidence to work as rigorously with her as I did.

A priest who is also an NVC practitioner came to me knowing she wanted to change her core-belief system. Around our fifth session, we did Expanding the View—an approach that might seem superficial as it is playing with thoughts, but nevertheless can be really transformative. It turned everything around for her. Then, we spent the last sessions landing and anchoring, and created a new set of core beliefs that she completely integrated into her life. I see her regularly and she keeps telling me how much has changed for her. She is 65.

As a look to the future and what my hopes are for the Coaching for Transformation cohort I’ll be co-facilitating in Germany, I’m thrilled to have a diverse group of people cross-pollinating each other from various areas of experience. And, being a certified NVC-trainer myself and knowing how much it benefits the coaching relationship when merging the Coaching for Transformation tools with needs awareness, I hope to attract a group of experienced NVC-practitioners.


About the author:

538Pernille Plantener is a transformational coach and facilitator, supporting individuals and groups. She is the founder of BusinessByHeart, a collaboration of dedicated trainers offering workshops, facilitation and consultancy based on Nonviolent Communication. Having spent more than a decade in the advisory service for organic farmers, she knows that when changing habits or culture, support is needed for change initiatives to last. Pernille has comprehensive experience in personal development and alternative ways of living, including yoga and meditation, gestalt and body therapy, 12-step program, resonant empathy and most important: growing and daring to show up vulnerably through reconciliation, compassion and courage.