Grow Together Weekend 24-25 September
Grow Together ~ How to “Community Learning” ?
Grow Together Weekend 24-25 September
Grow Together ~ How to “Community Learning” ?
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Coaching and the Hammer of Heidegger

What do coaching, freedom and Heidegger do together in one article?

In the following lines we share with you some insights and inspirations related to coaching and why are we busy with it in the past 10 years.

Have you heard of Heidegger and the metaphor of the hammer?

When I drive a nail in the wall, in the very process of it, I am so focused on the nail, that the hammer goes out of my scope. I don’t think about it and even more, I don’t even look at it anymore. It becomes a part of the background. 

In our daily lives, often we focus on “nails” – situations, people, events, actions, and thoughts. We zoom in on them and by doing so, the tools that we approach them with are moving to the back of our awareness. 

And in many cases, we don’t need to look at the tools, because we have the result, the nail in the wall. Yet sometimes, Heidegger says, the hammer breaks or the result we want is not there.

Here the question would be what does the hammer represent in our lives? What is this tool that we approach our goals with?

What happens often is that the result is not there and we don’t really know how to proceed. This hammer has served us so well, for so long. Maybe, we don’t even know how to use another hammer. And maybe we feel connection and loyalty to that hammer… 

 In coaching, this metaphor is very often present. We notice that something is not working the way it was working before. Or we are not getting where we would love to get. We have tried some strategies. Maybe for some time, we have blamed it on the people, the system, the society or the time. Still, the nail is not in the wall. 

In our coaching experience, we have heard many of those stories:

  • “No matter what I do, I cannot find a partner. My relationships are not working…”
  • “I work so hard, yet money is never really present in my life…”
  • “I do my best, but every time I am with people, anxiety kicks in… ”
  • “I want to take a step forward in my life, but the past is holding me back…”
  • “I feel I am living the life of someone else…”


Have you ever been in a situation where no matter what kind of strategies you use, the result is not coming? Or no matter how many positive affirmations you are saying a day, there is some feeling that is stuck in you? 

Often we are so busy with the nail, we do not even look at the hammer. And if we look there, what are we going to see…? 

Here is the reason why we are so enthusiastic about coaching. 

It is a human-centred approach that empowers individuals to deal with the hammer themselves. But, maybe you wonder, why is this so important?

Let’s take a look at the way we have been educated in the past. 

When we had an issue we cannot deal with, in the past, there were different ways to work it out. But how many of them were human-centred? And how many of them were creating independent growth?

For years our educational system was created in a way, that there was a standard of knowledge for us to cover. A certain amount of facts and years that we need to know, in order to get to the end, to the diploma that gives us the opportunity to be an active part of society and develop. And always there would be someone who knows more, who has read more or acquired a higher degree. 

So what do we do when the result is not there and the nail is still in our hands? 

Searching for authority to fix it? Reading one more book? Going to therapy? Asking Google


What if we start with the preassumption that we are enough and we have all the skills and knowledge we need already, inside us?

The practice of coaching supports the person to connect with themselves and others, to tune in the situation, to zoom out and explore new perspectives on the nail.  

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.“, says Einstein. And coaching is a tool to work on thinking and behaviours, zooming out of the problem or the situation. 

Something more, it offers the perspective that a problem is often the symptom of something else that is happening inside of us, in our system, in our life… Something that maybe we cannot so easily see while zooming in on its surface. 

We focus on how to practice and use coaching ourselves, in our daily lives, in the way we speak to ourselves or in the way we work with others. 

We did Practicing coaching 28th times.  In the beginning, our idea was to bring it to educators and youth workers mainly. Now we see that we want to expand that intention and bring it to all the people who work with others. 

We look at coaching as a personal development tool that has a social impact because it supports us to raise awareness of our thinking structures, belief systems, and patterns. And all of that, without reading  Heidegger 🙂 

In practising coaching, we explore some basic positions in coaching and ground theory, while having multiple coaching practices. Each person gives and receives coaching so that in the process you can shape your own unique style and tone. 

The structure is horizontal, the participants give and receive coaching, and the facilitators give coaching on the spot to the participants and receive coaching from their mentors. The mentors coach each other.

If you want to bring coaching practice into your life, you are very welcome to join us between the 24th of October 2022 and the 31st of October. We will be in Ommen, Olde Vechte.

Read more about Practicing coaching and register here.

See you there!


Text: Joanna Nikolova