“Coaching has a deep philosophical meaning” says Hannes Chopra, one of our certified CoachHub Coaches, who is also Certified Executive Coach and Partner at Bossert Associates, CoachHub’s partner school.
Hannes has embraced an impressive career in financial services and has been the CEO of different companies for over 15 years. During this time he has lived in many different countries and is therefore a multi-lingual currently working with a variety of coachees from all over the world in 3 languages. He is passionate about limitless human becoming, growth mindset and seeking purpose beyond immediate results and encourages his students at the Harbour Space University in Barcelona and Bangkok to take this perspective for their future. He also enjoys and practices Indian music, as to him, it represents a wonderful metaphor of life.
Hannes is deeply grateful to his parents, his Indian musical teacher, Dr. Trina Purohit-Roy and all his former mentors like Dr. Klaus Junker, Detlev Bremkamp, who were/are great examples of coaching leadership style.
What made you decide to become a coach?
The key moment was an informal coffee talk with Katja Bossert, the founder and Head of Bossert Coaching Academy. A common friend recommended that I met her. Katja is unique. She is her own brand the way she is.
I was still working fulltime as a CEO but I felt that going to Bossert Coaching Academy would be a great further personal learning step. That was my motivation, nothing more. And then the learning journey at BA Academy started and it was just great: intense, special, personal, deep, transformational, powerful. I could reflect and reimagined myself in many aspects of my life which was an unexpected benefit for me. So I started doing it more and more and the more I did it the more I enjoyed it. And that’s how coaching ‘grabbed’ me. I didn’t really ‘become a coach’, I immersed into it. Coaching is creative, it is learning! It is accompanying the coachee into the unknown and then coming out with some clear learnings and actions by and for the coachee. Coaching connects yourself to your source. So coaching is life and now it has become my life. I try to help my clients to turn barriers into enablers and my motto is ‘shine brighter.’
What’s your opinion on digital coaching?
It is a gamechanger and clearly the future. Why? First of all because it makes coaching a commodity – available and affordable for everyone and not just top management. Secondly with the flexibility and ease digital coaching offers, you can integrate a session into your daily life much easier. Thirdly – depending on the provider – you can choose from a wide range of coaches you feel comfortable with and the choice is not anymore limited by the logistics or regional access.
What do you think are the three main benefits of coaching?
Let me share a few words on how I see our world unfolding: I believe it is quite clear that in a technological world whatever can be automated will be automated, so simple and repetitive tasks will lesser and lesser be done by humans and even partly complex tasks will be taken up by technology through machine learning algorithms and AI. So in the future, humans will be mainly involved in truly value-creating activities. So constant upgrading of our human and cognitive abilities will be vital. Moreover in the increasingly uncertain and unpredictable (VUCA) world we live in, dealing with adversity and having resilience are needed daily. For all of this, coaching is very powerful.
Coaching is beneficial for everyone and I mean EVERYONE. If you are on your own, leading yourself (and not others) then coaching is highly beneficial because it helps you to empower yourself, to activate power and drive within yourself. You will dig out power from within you to overcome barriers. And all is driven by you. You are ‘not told’ by anyone! So having regular coaching will increase your well-being and your performance! Make it a regular habit, like brushing teeth!
So what does it mean for you as a leader and your leadership style? As a leader you can only get the best out of your people and teams if you can create a sense of true ownership and a culture of daring and learning. So leading in coaching-style is a necessary future skillset of any leaders. And it creates best sustainable results with high motivation.
What is in it for your team-members? You would want to make sure that your team is better and stronger than just ‘the sum of its parts.’ People are only as good as their self-regard, self-belief, self-care and resilience. We are what we think and feel. So in a way your success as a leader depends and will more and more depend on how people see themselves and deal with themselves especially when there is adversity. If you acknowledge this then on top of applying a coaching leadership style, organise coaching for all your team members. This is ‘watering the source’ as coaching is self-help so you grow ownership, encourage self-reflection, willingness and ability to improve.
For our future coach generation – how do you find the right coaching training provider?
Take time in choosing the right partner. There are many providers out there who offer some skills over one weekend course or similar things. So be careful. If you are really serious about the journey, look for providers who take you on a true learning journey.
My journey only happened the way I described because I was lucky to get acquainted with BA Coaching Academy. Just a normal coaching course or certification program would not have created the change it did in my life. BA Coaching Academy holds the highest global accreditation possible. I enjoyed that the groups are small, we do a lot of peer-to-peer coaching and the master coaches are absolutely unique. The education is very practical, intense, demanding and fun. So even if you are not sure whether you want to become a coach (like in my case), I recommend BA Academy. It is an investment into yourself.
What does the future of Coaching look like?
I envision that in the future it becomes a standard that any employee has access to a coach – as part of the standard offering by a company (like you get a table and a laptop). Is it too expensive? The visible and invisible costs of absence of mental health are so much higher. And with more and more companies switching at least partly to WFH (working-from-home), employers would save on office space so part of the savings could be invested from the physical well-being comfort (office) to mental strength and well-being: coaching. Inner wellbeing and resilience are not hygiene factors, they are core. As an employer that truly believes that people make the difference – here is a way to show it!
From my leadership development practice I learn how at the workplace adaptability, flexibility, resilience and inclusion are increasingly becoming more and more important mindsets – with their corresponding skills. Whilst this has to be learned and trained separately, coaching is a great way to grow into these behaviours.
So my hope is that coaching will become available to everyone and will become a commodity. It will be normal starting from school to university to work life to have a coach. A lot of this will be digital and I find it exciting that in this future we become closer as a community through increased openness and vulnerability.
Why did you decide to partner up with CoachHub?
I believe in ‘coaching for all.’ So does CoachHub so there is a ‘purpose-fit.’ Also as I explained above digital coaching will become mainstream and yet it is still highly underdeveloped. There are always those pioneers who early envision the future ahead of others and execute on it. The people I have met at CoachHub are passionate, driven, committed. CoachHub is a pioneer with wonderful people so this is a great fit!