Torpedo Coaching

March 17, 2013 2 comments

What is Torpedo Coaching[1] and how does it work?

Torpedo coaching can be defined as a way to use powerfully formed questions (meta-questions[2]) to cut through the clutter of consciousness and get to the heart of things and to do so in a few minutes. Put differently: Torpedo coaching is a high-impact confrontation in a caring coaching relationship that generates a breakthrough by working with structured meta-questions.


The format for torpedo coaching arose from Module III of the Seeking the Peak Self-Actualisation workshops. This module is about Creativity and Innovation. The module focuses on four conversations— developing a well-formed outcome, problem, solution, and innovation. It is the integration of these four perspectives, as processes that results in inventing, creating, and innovating powerful solutions for problems whether in one’s personal life or in business.


Torpedo coaching punctuates these processes as they happen. “Ah, is that the problem you want to work on?” “Ah, is that the solution?” “Is that a piece of the solution?” “Is that your objective?”

From this punctuating of grabbing and snatching, it is an easy step to flip a person around from one dimension to another. “So that’s the problem. Now if that problem was a question, what is the most empowering question you could ask yourself right now? The answer which would begin to facilitate the unleashing you’re looking for?”

And when someone gives an answer that doesn’t create forward movement for him or her; reflect and ask, “As you hear yourself pose that question, is that the question you really want to answer? An empowering question? A question that will unleash new potentials in you?” When they ponder and reflect and answer, “No,” then ask, “So what is that question?”


The following questions can be used in torpedo coaching:

1. The Core Question: If this problem was a question that would empower you, and begin to get to the ultimate solution, what is the question to ask yourself?

2. The Unheard Solution: If that is the solution, what would you then do? What difference would that make in the face of the problem?

3. The Miracle Question: If a miracle happened and the problem was gone, what would be different for you? How would you know that a miracle occurred?

4. Creative Exceptions: When does this problem not occur? Where is it not? With whom does it never occur?

5. Keeping it Dynamically Relevant: What would be the most transformative conversation we could have right now? I there anything even more transformative than that?

6. Avoidance Confrontation: How aware are you that you have not answered my question? What are you thinking that you are not saying?

7. Impossibility Challenge: You say you “can’t” do X [pacing the person’s statement], so if you could, how could you? [leading to create new solutions]. What would be the first thing that you would do if you could?

8. The Tranquillity Challenge: What keeps you awake at night? What belief would enable you to sleep like a baby in spite of that worry or apprehension?

9. Fallacious Challenge: Are you willing to consider that this generalization may be inaccurate or even misleading? Are you willing to question it and explicitly separate it from the data that led to it? When you do, what then happens or what do you become aware of?

10. Next Level Changes: What are you working on right now that will be some of your next level changes that you want to achieve?

[1] Content based “Meta-Coach Reflections” (weekly communication to Meta-Coaches) of 19 August 2009, by L Michael Hall, PhD. The questions were published in “Systemic Coaching” (Meta-Coaching, Volume IX), a 2012 book Michael has co-written with Pascal Gambardella.

[2] Meta-questions are questions that explore the frames of mind.

What is group coaching?

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Team Coaching and Group Coaching are often used interchangeably. These are however different types of coaching. Each has its own target populations. Different approaches are used. And the view is that especially group coaching is underutilised.

So, what is group coaching?

Group coaching is a small-group process throughout which there is the application of coaching principles. The purposes are personal or professional development, the achievement of goals, or greater self-awareness. It takes place along thematic or non-thematic lines. (Britton, 2010)

Group coaching takes different forms. Approaches are informed by objectives and participant needs: “There are groups where participants can really benefit and appreciate having content, tips, strategies, and tools as part of the group coaching program. These are mostly people that are new at something. Then there are other populations for example, senior level executives. They are not typically coming to a coaching group for more information. Instead, they’re looking to share best practices, network, bounce off ideas, and, so in that kind of a coaching group, you may not want to have a lot of content.” (Schubnel, 2012).

Characteristics common to group coaching initiatives are that they:

  • Require active interaction between participants, organised in small groups (3-10)
  • Take place over time
  • Have a learning focus directed by the participants, not the coach
  • Involve some face-to-face engagement, and
  • As learning groups require individual goals (Thornton, 2010).

And how does it differ from team coaching?

An accepted definition of a team is that it is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to (i.) a common purpose, (ii.) set of performance goals, and (iii.) a common approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Team coaching then “facilitates a group of people to become and/or behave like a Team”.

This is different from group coaching. Group coaching is for a group of people, each with their own needs. It is a way of helping them address issues they would normally discuss during individual one-to-one sessions. Each member of the group has his own agenda about what to achieve. The content of the coaching sessions is dictated by these different needs.

And how do you utilise group coaching in business?

Group coaching can be used in “stand-alone” interventions. To deal with work-life balance, career transitions or to assist new managers and supervisors.

Group coaching is also increasingly used in combination with other initiatives. It is used in support of training and development, to support mentors or coaches (as part of supervision or otherwise), and to augment individual coaching programs.


Britton, J. J. (2010). Effective Group Coaching: Tried and Tested Tools and Resources for Optimum Group Coaching Results. John Wiley & Sons.

Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (1993). The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization. Harper Business.

Krage, L., & Moser, M. (2012). Wharton Feedback and Coaching Network: Final Pilot Assessment. Wharton Business School. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania.

Pelan, V. (2009). Knowing the Difference Between Group and Team Coaching Can Improve Productivity. Retrieved January 30, 2013, from

Schubnel, M. (2012). Transcript: Video #2 – Market To Fill Your Group. Retrieved January 28, 2013, from Coach & Grow R.I.C.H.™:

Thornton, C. (2010). Group and Team Coaching: The Essential Guide (Essential Coaching Skills and Knowledge). Routledge.

What is Neuro-Semantics?

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Neuro-Semantics™ is an inter-disciplinary field, drawing from Cognitive Behavioural psychology, general semantics, Neuro-linguistic Programming and systems thinking. Neuro-Semantics™ explores the structure of meaning (semantics) and how those meanings become embodied within people (neurology) and result in behaviours.

It approaches the mind-body-emotion system in several ways.

  • From the mental dimension, it explores how language works inside of us, how we attribute meaning, create meaning by our language – words, associations, framing, metaphors, etc.
  • From the neurological dimension, it explores how the body works with ideas to “realize” or “actualize” them and how what we believe influences what we do.

The Neuro-Semantics™ System:

The Neuro-Semantics™ system is a dynamic and collaborative self-organising, self-governing system. It is similar to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and has the added function of providing accredited training. As such it has its own body of knowledge, based on the distinctions above.

Coaching and training certification from a Neuro-Semantics perspective involves stringent behavioural and attitudinal benchmarking against detailed competencies. Specific levels of competence, consistently observed, are required in order to reach the standards required for certification. Continued participation in the system requires supervision, attendance at regular practice groups, and approved continuous professional development initiatives.  Annual confirmation that these requirements are met ensures high standards are maintained.

Governance includes an international leadership team, a documented code of ethics and formal complaints and dispute resolution procedures. The international oversight body for the Neuro-Semantic system is the USA-based International Society of Neuro-Semantics (ISNS). Local representation in many countries is in the form of Institutes for Neuro-Semantics and chapters of the Meta-Coach Foundation (MCF).

Coaching using the Neuro-Semantic™ methodology is known as Meta-Coaching. Training, certification and licensing as a Meta-Coach are achieved by graduating in the Meta-Coach Training System™. Three levels of achievement apply; Associate Certified Meta-Coach (ACMC), Professional Certified Meta-Coach (PCMC) and Master Certified Meta-Coach (MCMC).

Training in Neuro-Semantics is conducted by Licensed Neuro-Semantic Trainers who have graduated from Neuro-Semantic Trainers’ Training (NSTT).

A new series of training programmes, aimed at enhancing human potential in various contexts, has recently been launched. Combining the principles of Self-Actualization psychology with underpinning Neuro-Semantic models, the “Reaching the Peak” series is now being trained internationally by accredited Neuro-Semantic Trainers.

Further information regarding Neuro-Semantic™ is contained in numerous print and online publications, and is shared on the internet through the official websites:,, and Information may also be obtained from the websites of accredited Neuro-Semantic trainers and coaches worldwide.

Contact information (internationally and for local organizations) and listings of all coaches and trainers certified in terms of the Neuro-Semantic™ system are made available through the official websites.

What is coaching?

February 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Carefused is mostly about coaching. Learnings related to coaching. And things related to that. So, a good place to start would be to define coaching.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) describes coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential” ( This is a generic definition. And there are different coaching models, emphasising different elements of this definition.

The model used in Carefused is The Meta-Coach System ®. It defines coaching as:

  1. the art of facilitating
  2. an individual or organization
  3. to a specific agreed upon outcome
  4. via a ruthlessly compassionate conversation
  5. that flushes out the core of meanings of the client
  6. and identifies and mobilizes inner and outer resources
  7. to develop, unleash, and actualize the client’s potentials for achieving his or her dreams.

These 7 distinctions define one of the most if not the most rigorous coaching and coaching training systems available. It also is the only one (that I know of) with a complete process of benchmarks for each of the competencies it is based on (

Why is it called Meta-Coaching? Coaching by its very nature works at a higher or meta position to the client and the client’s experience. As a sports coach does not have to be an expert in the sport himself, he or she does have to know how to get the best out of the player. A Meta-Coach is an expert in structure and process rather than in content. The client is his or her own best expert in content.

The Meta-Coach knows how people function and operate. Six models of communication, change, reflexivity, implementation, systems, and self-actualization provide that knowledge and skill. And with that and a facilitation model, the meta-coach is skilled in getting the best out of the client. Meta-Coaches know what to do, when, with whom, how and why.

Categories: Coaching