The Push and Pull of Change

The events and motivations that bring clients, whether individuals or teams to coaching can be thought of as either a push or pull force. 


At the Global Coaching Institute we use the terms attractors and disturbances to describe those forces that provide the impetus to action.  Let’s define these terms:



Attractors appear as visions, dreams or opportunities that motivate us to pursue a specific endpoint such as a new career or development of a new product. 


When working with attractors we are motivated toward our goals. They inspires us.


Because we recognise the benefits of achieving the change we are more committed to dealing with any inconvenience or work that might be involved.



Disturbances, on the other hand, are things most people would rather conquer or avoid.

We are unable to control variables such as shifting market forces or the announcement of an organisational restructure.  They require that we adapt and adjust to external forces.


Disturbers such as interpersonal or team conflict may be felt by many people, while negative performance feedback can be more personal in nature. Collectively and individually these disturbers prompt soul searching and new insights.


One of the challenges in dealing with disturbances is that they can be painful. Clients often resist those things that disturb them. They get into moods, feel vulnerable are susceptible to blame – either of themselves or others. These aren’t ideal learning conditions and coaches need to address the internal reaction that clients are having – as well as any external reactions and behaviours, whilst encouraging openness and reflection.


Largely because of our reactions to disturbances we sometimes miss the opportunities that they present. A coach’s role is often to pick through the rubble of the disturbance and to discover what was valuable about it.


When coaches and their clients partner to examine the disturbance and what it calls for, something amazing happens. The client doesn’t just end up with a troubling situation neutralised or resolved.  Individuals and teams learn and grow through the process.  They build their muscle for dealing with conflict or gain critical insights into their interpersonal or management style. Having seen the impact, many clients continue coaching long after the initial crisis has resolved.


To learn more about working with attractors and disturbances, check out our forthcoming programs.



What currently attracts or inspires you?

What would you need to do to have more of this quality or thing in your life?

How is it already present in your life?

What disturbs you?

What change does it call for?

What development is required on your part to meet this challenge?

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