The SANE Model for Philosophy and Coaching
Leading Minds Executive Coaching engagements strike a careful balance between self-reflection and behavior change. We have a deep conviction that clarifying one’s beliefs, values, and philosophical world-view supports sound strategic decision making and fruitful action in the world. The benefits of this approach can be profound for one’s business decisions, career growth, and personal well-being.
All Leading Minds engagements are driven by thought provoking conversations about one’s personal philosophy, mindset, and cognitive structure. These conversations are interwoven with action planning and behavioral changes in the service of self-development, career growth, innovation, creativity, and collaboration with others. Self-reflection and action planning continually reinforce each other throughout the coaching process.
Most of our clients incorporate some philosophy into their executive and career coaching experience. Some specifically elect to engage in philosophical counseling, which places primary emphasis on self-understanding as a desirable thing in itself. Each of our clients is unique and coaching engagements are customized to integrate self-reflection and action planning in the way that makes most sense for each individual. We are flexible as to what philosophical approach may be useful and we draw on a diverse range of thinkers, both male and female (and across multiple sociocultural traditions).
A basic rubric for fostering powerful philosophical discussions in coaching is the “SANE” mnemonic, which frames questions as some of the most notable Western philosophers have suggested:
- Socrates: What is the most challenging question someone could ask me about my current approach?
- Aristotle: What character virtues are most important to me and how will I express them?
- Nietzsche: How will I manage my self-interest and act in accordance with my chosen values and highest good?
- Existentialists (e.g., Sartre): How will I take full responsibility for my choices and the outcomes to which they lead?
Read more about the Leading Minds approach to integrating philosophy and coaching:
Harvard Business Review: How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader
Harvard Business Review: Manage Stress by Knowing What You Value
Journal of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association: Insight and Action: The Relation Between Professional Coaching and Philosophical Counseling
I think he has a nice interpersonal style, perhaps one that results from his clinical training. It can be a nice counterpoint to the often aggressive, extroverted nature many business people have.
Sales Manager, Software Industry
Having a neutral sounding board allows me to reflect on sensitive internal matters. David also helps me crystallize my thoughts without putting words in my mouth.
CTO, Biotech Industry
Dr. Brendel’s background in psychology, philosophy, and executive coaching enables him to approach his work from a number of different perspectives. He is flexible and participatory; he works with you to find pragmatic solutions that yield the best possible results.
Philosophical counseling client
I have worked with thousands of top tier leadership and executive-level executive coaches over the past 15 years. David is in the top 1% of the coaches with whom I have worked. He is masterful in his approach.
Director of the Center for Executive Coaching
I am a female in-house attorney for a mid-size national corporation in the construction industry. I called on David to help me find my way in my role and to improve my relationships with my management, co-workers, and staff. He was the perfect coach for my needs.