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By: Danny Van Soelan • 5 months ago •

Being a business coach is a dream job. The click you have with your coachee is indescribable. The things you share, the actions you agree on, the progress you make. The intimacy is almost like a marriage.

One of the most impressive times I felt and saw the impact of a great coach was back in 2014. That year I had the honour to attend the Master Coaching course at the Cruyff Institute. A yearlong course based on the philosophy of the famous Dutch soccer player Johan Cruyff. This philosophy was more than applying tactical and technical knowledge. It was about managing yourself, the players, staff members, the team and the surroundings. After all, how can you coach others, if you cannot coach yourself first.

Working with people who can feel, see and hear things others can’t, is amazing. It’s not always easy and sometimes growth hurts, but who doesn’t like pain?

That year my fellow coaches and students were the national team coaches from basketball, rugby and cycling. We also had team and individual coaches from tennis, handball, golf, soccer and skiing. Some of them worked full time as a coach, some of them part-time.

A month into the program, we were sent home with a task to prepare a 10-minute talk about our motivations.

The week later everybody had to do deliver their presentation and the group had to give feedback.

The oldest student in our class that year was a 54-year-old part time and experienced handball coach. In his daily life, he had a major role within the government. All technical details about his talk were right. The guy has a good head on him, wore a great suit, worked the room like a pro. He looked us in the eyes just long enough to make us comfortable. But…

When his talk ended, the class stayed silent; just long enough to make it feel a little uncomfortable. Then Henk Verschuur, our professor, stepped into the middle. He looked at the presenter and then looked at us hanging back in our chairs and asked us the question ‘Who believes him?’

We all stayed silent again. A little uncomfortable became very uncomfortable. We still didn’t say anything.

The silence was unpleasant for the handball coach but was probably one of the greatest learning moments in his life.

To this day, goose bumps arise when I remember that setting.

Working with people who can feel, see and hear things others can’t, is amazing. It’s not always easy and sometimes growth hurts, but who doesn’t like pain?

DANNY VAN SOELEN (1965) is born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. After University he started his career at a regional broadcaster. At 24 he became the MD and took part in the growth of that medium. At 27 he started his own business. From 2001 to 2009 this business was at a highlight with two publishing houses, an ad agency, a events bureau and an online marketing agency.

The economy crisis made Van Soelen take another direction. In 2014 he started with the Master in Coaching education at the Cruyff Institute and in 2018 he finished his last of 6 coaching and change management educations.

In 2015 he started the company House of Answers and since then he has coached and guided business owners, decisionmakers, teams and athletes.

‘Let us talk without words. That says so much more’ is according to Van Soelen the ultimate connection between coachee and coach.

Danny van Soelen Business coach and change consultant in The Netherlands [email protected]

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