Do Women make better Coaches?

Ram Ramanathan  •  Sep 12, 2013  •  4 min read

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Do Women make better Coaches?

Of course they do!

I often begin one of my coaching credential sessions by posing the question, “why do women make better coaches?” Given that the majority of my Indian program participants happen to be men, this question sparks off a lively debate, leaving several of them discomfited by the truth. As my clients become more self-aware through their coaching journey, every man discovers his dependence on his significant other.

Becoming a coach wove into my journey a pathway of self-discovery. Aggressive and leading as a first-born male from a young age — I had the titles of CEO and YPO by age 39. After heading a billion dollar organization put together before age 50, some fifteen years ago, I took to a spiritual quest to rediscover myself. Failing to find what I sought in several self-styled gurus, I found my sanctuary within my family and myself. I also discovered my feminine self, making me whole.

The truth that my wife of 40 years has been and remains far wiser and emotionally stronger than me, and that my children, far more emotionally mature than I was at their age, taught me vulnerability, humility and wisdom. In many ways, it brought me the inner peace that I sought. I became more tolerant and nurturing, and eventually a coach.

Women have the capability to perform better than men in numerous areas where brain counts for more than brawn, especially the right brain. Coaching is just one that I am more familiar with, where a right-brained, holistic, emotional, and non-solution oriented approach more often leads to successful transformation as compared with a left brained, analytical, logical and prescriptive one.

Practicing male executive coaches have asked me: why would I want to explore emotions and the underlying beliefs of clients? The corporate sponsor never gives me such a brief.

I ask them: If you had a male client with serious time management issues, and the issue arose from a spouse or child he needs to attend to as caregiver, would you carve him in two halves: the personal and the executive, and coach the executive? Is it possible?

The penny drops after a while. No woman coach would ever raise such an insensitive question.

I conducted a session in which I focused on exploring emotions to understand underlying issues and to affect a reframed transformation.  The effect of the demonstration coaching in the class prompted the participants to explore this option outside the class. A few days later a male student called: You really placed me in a very awkward situation. I had a coaching session with a male client and I explored his emotions. The client burst out crying. I didn’t know what to do.

He soon learned, when he too learned to cry.

My evolution as a coach has directed me to help others learn, gravitate towards the being rather the doing, not knowing rather than the knowing, mindless rather than the mindful states. The energy that moves me is feminine rather than masculine. In Hindu scriptures, Shiva represents this congruence of active feminine energy with a passive masculine presence. Shiva remains my metaphor.

Part of my coaching journey now leads me to help women rediscover and radiate their innate strength. I doubt whether the percentage of women CEOs or CFOs reflect the influence that women wield and can wield in society, and the nurturing and care giving role that they play in creating a humane society. The low level of consciousness in our society places a greater value on aggression than on harmony, on material value than on happiness, and on competition than on collaboration.  The New Age, however, has brought in changes. I hope it grows.

I too dream of a day soon when women no longer need to lean in to prove themselves, when men start being proud of their innate tolerance and sensitivity instead of conditioned control and results, and when men and women rise higher by complementing their strengths rather than subjugating one another.

All great spiritual masters have said this: Our natural state is divine.

Paraphrasing Bob Dylan: How many years can men not see their true nature? When will they ever learn?


Ram Ramanathan


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.


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