1st Edition

The Handbook of Existential Coaching Practice

By Monica Hanaway Copyright 2020
    188 Pages
    by Routledge

    188 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In The Handbook of Existential Coaching Practice, Monica Hanaway presents a complete introduction to existential coaching, focusing on how coaches can incorporate key skills in all aspects of their practice. Practical and theoretical, the book explores how existential thought can offer a fresh re-orientation of coaching practice that embraces uncertainty, working towards a deeper understanding of the client’s world and the challenges they face in the twenty-first century.

    This comprehensive guide is presented in two parts, bringing together theoretical coaching models and Hanaway’s extensive practical experience. In Part 1, Hanaway begins by clearly exploring what is meant by existential coaching and places it in the context of contemporary coaching culture, illuminating the key philosophical elements of the existential coaching approach and the differences between existential coaching and existential psychotherapy. In Part 2, Hanaway draws from her own experience and presents case studies to demonstrate how coaches can build relationships with clients, enabling them to face existential dilemmas in their organisational and social life to become their authentic self. She introduces key existential concepts relating to authenticity, relatedness, freedom, responsibility, values and beliefs, and encourages the reader to explore how these are relevant to the coaching process. The book includes case studies, questioning and reflective exercises to encourage development of good practice and build the skills necessary all the way through a coaching relationship, from contracting to ending.

    This is the first guide of its kind, with Hanaway playing an instrumental role in the development and growth of existential coaching as well as designing the one of the world’s first University-accredited MA programmes. It will be essential reading for coaches in practice and in training, as well as students and academics of applied philosophy and psychology.

    Part 1: The Coaching Context;  Introduction: Existential Coaching Skills: A Different Way of Working, Thinking and Writing;  Chapter 1: What is Coaching?;  Chapter 2: What is Existential Coaching?; Part 2: The Practice;  Chapter 3: Skills for Existential Coaching;  Chapter 4: What Would a Piece of Existential Coaching Look Like From Start to Finish?;  Appendix 1: Core Coaching Competencies;  Appendix 2: ICF Core Competencies;  References;  Index


    Monica Hanaway is an executive and leadership coach, business consultant, mediator, psychotherapist and trainer. She is the author of The Existential Leader and An Existential Approach to Leadership Challenges (both Routledge). She runs training programmes on using the existential approach in coaching, mediation and leadership. She is passionate in her mission to bring existential thought beyond the academic arena into the business and wider world, believing, it has much to offer in these uncertain times.

    ‘Monica Hanaway provides a boutique style of coaching in several different environments from a private space in a clinic, to the wider corporate world, up to the retirement and post-retirement stage. Her attitude to the ‘what now?’ or ‘what next?’ offers a fresh and versatile way of doing coaching, which is non-prescriptive, not overly reliant on technique, and where the subject precedes the object. Having practiced existential coaching for many years, Hanaway describes how the phenomenological-ontological space of exploration, transforms life as to become truly worth living. Even when enough money is earned, goals are reached, career changes are considered, CHOICE becomes the essence for change. The model is shown to work well in both the professional and personal spheres.’ - Claire Francica, Existential Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Malta

    ‘Monica has a special ability to draw out disparate views, provide constructive challenge and provide innovative perspectives that allow individuals to reach consensus.  In the context of our fast-paced business, Monica’s coaching practices have proved invaluable, helping to create close-knit and highly performing teams.  Having had the pleasure of watching her expertly coax out the underlying issues in the driving behaviour of passionate and knowledgeable people, I am a full convert to her approach to both team and self-improvement.  I would have no reservations in recommending this book to anyone wishing to use coaching to develop their leadership skills.’ - John Davison; CEO FCG Guernsey

    ‘Existential Coaching skills are very practical and yet immensely inspired instruments for coaches to use in addressing people's difficulties in living. Monica Hanaway has been fine tuning these skills for many years and you will find this summary to the point and indispensable to your coaching practice.’ - Prof. Emmy van Deurzen PhD, MPsych, MPhil, FBPsS, CPsychol, FBACP, UKCPF, HCPCreg, Principal NSPC 

    ‘Coaching provides businesses, from large corporates to small, privately owned firms, with a distinctive edge. External coaching offers a unique viewpoint that simply cannot be readily achieved from an in-house position. Working creatively with people and facilitating positive, often necessary change, highlighting skills and co-creating a vision that fits into the values of the people and the business alike – this is priceless, no matter what one’s role in an organisation. Monica writes from the distinct perspective of a successful business leader who, recognising the need for external feedback of a multi-disciplinary approach, emerged as a highly skilled and effective coach. Drawing on her experience as a coach, mediator, psychotherapist, supervisor, lecturer and following decades of teaching and mentoring, this book provides the framework for the application and key tools and techniques for coaching from an Existential perspective. Monica passes this knowledge on in the most effective way in her new book. As an attendee of her workshops, I have witnessed her expert ability to tease out the significant, introspective questions that gently challenge one to reflect upon core values or behaviours that may subtly conflict with the goals of the business. The impact upon our Practice in just one day was invaluable, and I have to attribute this to the exclusivity of the Existential approach to coaching. Our staff will read this and continue to engage in the reflective practices that will enable them to develop as effective mentors to their colleagues. Their efficacy in utilising these skills today is primarily due to the external support they have received. Thus, I would highly recommend this book to students, coaches, managers and anyone wishing to progress effectively and ethically in business.’ - Marni Eisenberg; MA, MBACP, UKCP, MPED, IRegNutrClinical Director & Therapist Queens Road Practice, Guernsey

    ‘Coaching is of great value to all leaders. Leaders are responsible for their companies and must exhibit many qualities, such as honesty, trustworthiness and ethics. Leaders must display the company’s values and be responsible for, and inspire, others’ success in the company. This is quite a challenge, especially for those new to positions of responsibility. Whether leaders are born or made is an eternal question, but what is certain is that coaching helps leaders to unlock their potential and develop their own authentic style. External coaches can offer neutral impartial advice and insights to develop this leadership potential. Coaching outcomes assist ambitions to becoming an effective leader and are personal to individuals, but include:

    • Focusing of values driven leadership and decision making
    • Improving self-confidence and human effectiveness
    • Learning to trust and delegate to your team
    • Developing healthy and sustainable work life balance and relationships 

    Having effective leaders gives the company a competitive advantage in the industry and a strong sense of purpose, which impacts the bottom line and value of the company. Monica draws on over 20 years’ experience as a senior leader, strategist and policy maker, having had a team of over 500 working to her and managing a budget of over £15million. Her unique, quietly spoken, flexible yet firm, existential approach goes deeply to the root of issues, drawing on her experience of mediating, dispute resolution and coaching. This existential approach provides a unique focus on human life, that is so relevant to coaching. The steps are laid out within the pages of the ‘Handbook of Existential Coaching Practice’ in easy to follow and implement chapters, which is useful to new leaders and experienced leaders alike.’ -Ben Virgo; Director HS, London, UK

    ‘Everyone can benefit through the use of a coach. In business, such a relationship is becoming increasingly common for those in managerial and leadership positions. An external coach provides a safe and neutral space to discuss any concerns and to look creatively and critically at potential developments. Monica Hanaway moves away from some of the more directive coaching styles offering a deeper approach based on Existential philosophy. This approach is laid out clearly in this book which is useful to coaches, students and coaching clients’- Monica Tyler; CEO Vauxhall City Farm, London, UK

    ‘Monica has worked with a number of senior people in our geographically and culturally diverse organisation, as a coach and a trainer. Her unique existential approach to coaching works well with such diversity and is open to working with different world views. This handbook sets out simply and clearly the existential approach she uses focusing on the philosophical and psychological factors in play in the client’s dilemma.’- Mirjam Buyteweg; IFRS The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, London, UK

    ‘Monica Hanaway has been playing an instrumental role in the development and growth of the existential approach to coaching. She designed the world’s first University-accredited MA programme and published the definitive skills handbook on the topic. I recommend the Handbook of Existential Coaching Practice to all coaches interested in enriching their practice and deepening their understanding of what every clients, regardless of their presenting issue, brings into the coaching space: their human condition. Monica does a magnificent job illuminating the challenges and possibilities of working existentially with clients and manages to translate complex existential ideas into tangible ways of using them to work with clients across a range of sectors and circumstances. A must-read for every practitioner looking to take their coaching to the next level.’ - Yannick Jacob; Existential Coach (MA), Positive Psychologist (MSc), Coach Trainer & Supervisor (FMR Programme Leader MSc Coaching Psychology), Mediator (conflict resolution) and author of An Introduction to Existential Coaching (Routledge)

    ‘Monica Hanaway highlights the key principles of Existential perspectives and uses them to create an overarching framework that coaches can apply strategically to the complexity of their clients’ dilemmas. We are shown how to develop a trusting relationship in which clients can examine the meanings and values underpinning their day to day experiences. Two coaching models, MOVER and CREATE, form guides for people to see themselves and their context with greater clarity, to identify clashes with personal values and then to commit to routes for meaningful change. Expressed in this way, the task appears straightforward, but the process and any resultant commitments require courage. How can we provide the right conditions for that courageous change? Hanaway provides informative case studies to illustrate how the existential coach can foster a relationship of ‘challenging depth’ where the client can face the inevitable dilemmas, anxieties and uncertainties of their existence and do so in a manner that acts as a beacon for living authentically. This book will curl at the edges through repeated reading.’ - Dr Mark Burgess; Research Lead and Teaching Fellow (Social Psychology), Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

    ‘In uncertain times people need the opportunity to engage with the challenges being provoked - personal, interpersonal or organisational. Monica addressed the issues directly raised through leadership roles in her previous two books on Leadership. In this book she extends the field of work offering a handbook to all coaches seeking to use an existential approach in exploring practical questions within the uncertainties of living. The book combines the theoretical and the practical.’ - Professor Ernesto Spinelli; author of Practising Existential Therapy: The Relational World

    ‘Careers move very fast! It is important to enjoy what you do and how you do it! Part of the enjoyment is about your growth and development. I believe that growth through coaching can be an effective and delightful experience. To have an experienced specialist who wishes to focus on your strengths and challenges is highly valuable. At points in my career I have greatly benefited from a coach. The IFRS Foundation recognises the importance of coaching and integrates its practices with our people. In this book Monica gives insight into the existential model she works with.’ - Lee White; Executive Director IFRS (The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation)

    ‘This handbook offers a definitive guide to the application of existential philosophy to coaching practice. An existential approach to coaching can offer individuals a new understanding of life and the predicaments and challenges that we all face. This book offers both theoretical and practical elements, enabling an understanding of existential philosophy as well as its application to coaching skills. This book is essential reading for all practitioners but particularly coaching students.’ – Dr Claire Arnold-Baker; counselling psychologist; existential therapist; perinatal specialist; supervisor and trainer, DCPsych Programme Leader, joint programme with Middlesex University & New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling, UK

    ‘Hanaway has produced a handbook that provides a re-orientation of coaching practice from an emphasis on what the coach does towards a deeper understanding and exploration of the client’s world and vicissitudes of life. Through the presentation of case material she illustrates how to develop a client-coach relationship that enables the client to examine and face the existential dilemmas of organisational and social life. She explains and expounds existential philosophy and convincingly integrates it into a novel style of coaching practice. Management consultants and coaches will find this approach, and this handbook, essential when helping clients reconcile ambiguities in their lives and develop authentic change.’ - Prof John Nuttall; Assistant Dean and Head of School of Psychotherapy and Psychology, Regent’s University London, UK; Certified Management Consultant

    ‘In these times when it seems we are surrounded by insurmountable problems and bombarded by noise in the system, it can often feel like change is impossible, be it at a personal, relational, organisational or community level.  An existential approach invites us to take a deeper look at the thinking we have learned to rely upon to solve these issues, in order that we might challenge and expand our possibilities for making changes that matter. Monica Hanaway provides a crucial toolkit that goes well beyond traditional coaching methods, which are now increasingly redundant in times of extreme uncertainty. Monica herself has used the wisdom in her book in practical ways both with individuals and across a wide range of diverse organisations for many years. Her clients will all tell you that her approach is effective and long lasting, because it catalyses the right conversations and doesn’t shy away from asking the questions that will get to the heart of the matter. In short, the existential coaching approach wakes us up and holds us to account for living a more authentic life. A thoroughly recommended read for all coaching practitioners and leaders looking to support people to find meaning in their work and life.’ - Jill McMillan; CEO Jill McMillan Associates - Leadershaping, Cambridge, UK