The Seven Wisdoms - WISDOM SEVEN - Hold Them BIG | By Fran Fisher, MCC

Coaching Wisdom 7 - Tree of Books

This week we wrap up a series of expert articles from Fran Fisher MCC, based on her book, "Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life".

Fran is a Master Certified Coach, Author, Speaker, and Champion for Learning, Growth and Transformation. In this series, Fran shares her passion for bringing the empowerment philosophy and principles of coaching into the everyday. Her vision is a world where the coaching approach is woven into our fabric of life!

See all 7 wisdoms here.


You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. Darwin P. Kingsley

A key principle of the coaching paradigm is based on the belief that everyone is creative, capable and resourceful. Coaches learn there is no need for "fixing." People are not projects. When we are treated as such, we don't typically respond well, do we? We feel diminished, small, and incapable of making our own choices and decisions.

People will naturally raise their self-confidence and self-esteem when held in trust, respect and unconditional regard.

Greater self-confidence leads to increased self-awareness, performance and fulfillment. Human psychology indicates that when awareness is raised from the unconscious level to the conscious level, people access more of their authentic power and begin making better choices. They can then change their limiting perspectives, beliefs and habits and begin developing more empowering perspectives, habits and behaviors.

Here are 5 Ways Coaches Can Hold their Clients "BIG"

1) Ask vs. Tell

  • Ask a curious question that invites or challenges the client to look deeper within.
  • Help them discover their personal truth, access core strengths or learn something about themselves instead of offering opinions, advice or suggestions. Because whether the advice is solicited or unsolicited, this sends a subtle message that the client is not seen as creative, capable or resourceful.

2) Make a Powerful Request

  • Based on what the client has indicated they want, make a powerful request that challenges the client to stretch.
  • Help them set the bar higher for themselves than they would otherwise set.

3) Support Accountability

  • Don't hold your clients accountable, instead support clients in holding themselves accountable.
  • This will help them successfully learn, grow, build on their own strengths and build new capacities.

4) Hold the Silence

  • It can be a transformative experience for others when we simply pause instead of immediately filling up the space.
  • So, resist the temptation to fill the silence; this allows the client to hear themselves think.
  • Allow any discomfort - yours and theirs!
  • Get out of the way and let the client 'do their own heavy lifting'.

5) Suspend Judgment

  • Without judgment present, fear is minimized.
  • And in the absence of fear, creativity, joy and passion can emerge.


By holding our clients BIG, we create a sacred space for their innate wisdom, willingness to risk and courage to emerge.

At the level of Courage, an attainment of true power occurs; therefore, it's also the level of empowerment. This is the zone of exploration, accomplishment, fortitude, and determination. At the lower levels, the world is seen as hopeless, sad, frightening, or frustrating; but at the level of Courage, life is seen to be exciting, challenging, and stimulating. David R. Hawkins, PhD

The word courage comes from the Middle English and Old French word corage, meaning "heart." It is a human behavior that is admirable and often selfless - the stuff of epics, legends and heroism. Courage comes from commitment, care and love.

According to Gus Lee, author of Courage, the Backbone of Leadership:

"Courage is a deep-seated, fundamental human competence that leverages our other abilities. It invokes within us our absolute best selves. The tremendous results purchased by courageous behaviors can't be replaced."

I am always, always, always moved to tears in the presence of Olympic athletes - and my own clients. Actually, I'm always moved by anyone striving to perform their personal best. I am inspired by the heroism of the human spirit that risks and stretches beyond perceived limitations. Whether they "win" or they "lose," they gain in their confidence, self-esteem and learning. And that's a winner winning.

This is the hero's journey, requiring that we leave our comfort zone in order to achieve our goal. As coaches, we have the opportunity to play a role in supporting others on their grand journey. And we have the privilege of witnessing their greatness along the way. The key is calling forth our own greatness and knowing that we can change the world only by changing ourselves.

How to Benefit from this Wisdom:

As you read each of The Seven Wisdoms in this article series, you'll be asked to reflect on how you can apply these principles in your own life or work. Choose one way that works for you, and apply it to each principle. You could keep a specific notebook for this process or simply use your journal.

Here are a few ways you can benefit more deeply from this wisdom:

  • Your Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry: "How will I hold myself and others BIG?" Reflect on this Calling Forth Greatness Inquiry for a day or a week. Notice what shows up, notice the impact and notice what you learn.
  • Visualize how your life - and the lives of others around you - could be empowered using this Coaching Wisdom.
  • Using this Coaching Wisdom as your focus; Journal around your learning or design your own inquiries to deepen your learning.
  • Work with a support buddy; share your challenges, progress, and learning; celebrate your results!

"We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released." Jean Houston

Watch next month for the complete list of Fran's Monthly Articles on The Seven WISDOMS

© 2019 Fran Fisher, MCC

If this article resonates with you, get the whole book: Calling Forth Greatness, Seven Coaching Wisdoms for Transforming Your Life, available here on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

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Contributing Author:

Fran Fisher, Master Certified Coach, MCC. is a champion for the power of coaching and its transformational impact in the world. She is one of the pioneers of the coaching profession and a founding executive board member of the ICF. She specializes in coaching and mentoring coaches for their MCC. Connect with Fran on LinkedInFacebook and learn more about her free resources for coaches at

Learn more about Fran & see all their articles here >>

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