“I consider myself an ambassador, a door opener.” When Kawtar El Alaoui stepped into the Coaching for Transformation (CFT) program in Mumbai in 2014, she was a very different person than today. With a legal background and analytical nature, Kawtar recognized that her world and world view were constricted and thought, “I just had bigger dreams.”
Upon relocating from Canada to South Korea, a move necessitated by her husband’s work, Kawtar made the acquaintance of Isabelle Min who had undergone her own CFT transformation and who helped Kawtar envision her path out of government work for good. Those bigger dreams led Kawtar to choose coaching over mediation as a life path and Leadership that Works as the vehicle. “CFT felt like the calling for me because of its deeper, holistic approach versus my former analytical ways.”
Since graduating from Coaching for Transformation, Kawtar stepped boldly into her coaching stand by forming an expat group in South Korea, sustaining the group for 2 years. Invited to speak about CFT as an American training program for Koreans, Kawtar offered a coaching demo, and, “that’s when they caught on to the power.” This experience propelled her to provide coaching workshops through the US embassy in Korea with Korean Foundations. Gaining strength and working her coaching edge, Kawtar went on to coach 40 Korean change makers – all women working to support change at the societal level.
Then came the family’s relocation to Mumbai, India six months ago where our current story begins. As Kawtar tells it, “my daughter was starting a new education at the American School of Bombay.” Going in first as a parent, Kawtar was delighted to see the school’s themes of courage and compassion. “I went to the school principal and said, ‘I love your theme!’” Kawtar shared her own work of cross-cultural awareness and integration and offered to conduct both parent and faculty workshops to help the school achieve its mission. “I saw an opening and similarities between what we teach and what they preach.” In Kawtar’s words, “What led me to do this? A very, very strong belief in these tools and what they can do for the world.”
The school accepted Kawtar’s invitation quickly. They set a date, made a flyer, and circulated it around the school for 3 weeks. Parents kept signing up with 16 participants in all. Just last week, Kawtar and her CFT mentor and friend, Vikram Bhatt conducted the one-day workshop for parents. In describing the experience, one word surfaced again and again: magical. Knowing that transformation is much better experienced than talked about, Kawtar and Vikram aligned themselves around the same heart intentions and released any expectations of outcome, believing that those who were longing for these skills would show up.
As Kawtar reflects, “From the opening, there was so much authenticity in the circle, openness and willingness to receive. It was a very moving experience. We’re hungry for this – longing for authenticity – to find our own way back to ourselves.”
What did the workshop contain? It was grounded in CFT principals: how we hold our clients, how we see humanity. The CFT stand and tools are humane and empowering. Detaching from any desired outcome, the group played with skills and peer coaching and did a demo. Kawtar maintains, “this was a moment of possibility – exponential possibility. There is so much hardship and so much longing.” Releasing her earlier analytical persona enabled Kawtar to move fully into her power and intuition, allowing for amazing co-creation and growth.
What’s the next coaching edge? Kawtar has also proposed a faculty team workshop and is currently awaiting approval. What’s more, two participants in the first workshop have inquired about setting up a Coaching for Transformation cohort for parents at the school.
When we release expectation and trust the tools, we can, indeed, change the world.