May 15, 2022
Introduction: Tunde Erdos holds a
PhD in Business and Organisational Management, A Masters in
Executive Coaching, A Masters in Translation & Simultaneous
Interpreting and a Bachelor’s degree in Law. She is an author of 3
books, a prolific speaker at conferences and has published articles
in peer reviewed scientific journals and professional coaching
magazines. Tunde’s latest endeavour is a documentary on the Light
and Shadow of Coaching and she produced this to raises funds for a
Social Impact Initiative in Kenya.
Podcast Episode Summary
This episode explores the many facets of Coaching, our
relationship to it and the often and many unexamined shadows that
exist for coaches and the coaching profession. The phenomenon of
Coaching Presence and our collective understanding on what Presence
is and could be for coaching is discussed. The words, curiosity,
relationality, power, presence and energy surface several times
across this provocative conversation.
Points made over the episode
- Tunde when asked to share a different story of
her than the one I introduced is quick to share that she is joy,
playful and full of expansion more than the knowledge perspective I
shared with the listeners.
- There are so many facets to a person, so many
selves that we approximate a diamond. Coaching does
- We are interactional human beings resonating,
being stimulated and responding differently to whomever is present
and in differently too depending on the contexts we live
- Tunde was quick enough to notice her own
shadow operating her in the moment, where she was walking away from
the direct question posed.
- Tunde recalls a dark moment, shameful moment
in Coaching where her client was more present than she and it
prompted her to explore Presence, Movement Synchronicity, and
non-verbal communication in coaching through her PhD
- Some of the results from her research were
surprising. Coaches with more education, more advanced
training are more reactive and defensive of their
- Tunde’s process research, which looked at the energy
between coach and client, the coaches self-regulatory capacity
after a coaching session, and the many interviews with coaches and
feedback sessions given on various noted observations from video
recordings, showcased this phenomenon that was
- Another research finding and a shadow of
coaches, Tunde calls the Snow White Phenomenon where she
reframed the famous expression the queen uses in the movie, Mirror
Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all to, Mirror Mirror
on the wall who is the most present of them all.
- The light of coaching is well documented and
researched. We know Coaching is a powerful tool for
growth, development, learning, change and transformation. We know
and understand this.
- We are in love with Coaching, so in love that is too is
- We have to be willing to be curious about our attachment to
coaching in this direction.
- Some coaches like to think they know the “Ideal Client” but
Tunde’s research found that often the energy between coach and
client in an “ideal” scenario was asynchronistic.
- In terms of our understanding of Presence, it diminishes over
time. Coaches put a lot of effort at the beginning of a session to
be present but they confuse the relationality of
- Curiously the effort we expend in this way to show up creates a
lot of energy but also a lack of dissonance.
- The ICF Ignite program aims to anchor coaching beyond 1:1
Coaching, beyond Team Coaching to be seen as a social impact
- Tunde’s documentary’s main purpose is to raise funds for a
Social Impact Initiative she is developing to support women in
Kenya, through coaching to become entrepreneurial.
- The documentary also serves another purpose, to shine a light
on the shadow side of coaching by way of several hundred
exploring the contributions made by coaches and leaders in the
- Interestingly one contributor shared that he thought Coaches
were too serious and then he himself refused to have a vignette of
him practicing joy and presence be featured on the show. A Shadow,
what we espouse we do not live.
- We are not very trusting of ourselves in this field. Another
- We are also very disconnected from our humanity, from ourselves
and whilst we are starting to use this wisdom we are very
pre-occupied with ourselves as Coaches, trying to understand it
from a cognitive space.
- We underestimate or we do not understand the power we wield in
organisations and the negative consequences of our
- We do not fully appreciate the dynamic nature of organisations,
the living systems we enter despite using several slogans in our
- We have to question how responsible we are as Coaches in the
way we use our power in systems.
- Some examples of this power include team members leaving a team
when they discover they don’t fit, or a team dissolving after
coaching. Other examples of power include coaches asking clients to
“take a deep breath’ or similar when the same understanding around
presence and mindfulness is not shared.
- There has been a huge growth in the use of internal coaches in
organisations and a corresponding growth in the building of
coaching cultures. Often these cultures do not protect internal
coaches from the very systemic issues they are dealing with in
process for example. Supervision by an external
supervisor is required.
- Tunde shared many wishes she would want for
coaching and coaches.
- To have conversations and be curious about our shadow side
- To watch our pre-occupation with the future when the present is
not well understood and where our understanding of concepts like
presence are burgeoning.
- Words create worlds, are we too attracted to the future instead
of the present, what drives this preoccupation?
- We pay attention to language in coaching and the words a client
uses but we also need to pay much greater attention to the ways we
are with each other.
- Tunde left the conversation grateful for the
opportunity to share the social impact initiative she is
about to launch for women in Kenya for my interest in it and also
for the relationship we developed over the