Andrew J Calvert is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with him. He impressed us with his innovativeness and wisdom.
He found his path to coaching through a mentor who instilled the importance of reflection and communication. From honing sales skills to navigating the intricacies of leadership and personal development, he discovered the universal applicability of coaching across various life domains and organizational levels.
His mindset played pivotal role in shaping his identity. Confronting limiting beliefs became a transformative journey, and he candidly shares how overcoming his own obstacles laid the groundwork for his coaching philosophy. As an adept coach, he employs a unique approach, blending elements of positive psychology, metaphor, and analogy, creating a collaborative dance with his clients.
He invented the Serendipity Engine card deck, a dynamic fusion of oracle, positive psychology, and reflective prompts, providing clients with fresh perspectives and practical solutions to navigate challenges. His coaching style, characterized by a rich tapestry of influences ranging from Taoism to subatomic physics, sets him apart. Each coaching session becomes a creative exploration, where clients lead, and he orchestrates a harmonious interplay of ideas and insights. Here is what he said.
Meet Life Coach Andrew J Calvert:
Name: Andrew J Calvert
Pillar: The Spirit, The Mind
Who is this coach for: Anyone who wants to calm the noise in the mind, gain clarity, and understand the reasons behind what they are facing and how to move forward in life.
How they can help: By using various tools and techniques like The Empty Chair, Self Determination Theory, and the Serendipity Engine card deck for both reflection and to help offer practices for clients to use between coaching sessions.
First of all, how are you and your family doing after these Pandemic times?
Lucky to say we are doing well, a combination of good living conditions (we live on the edge of the rain forest that is Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore) and a close knit family have blessed us.
We had our struggles but a positive mindset, and each of us having a focus (from studies, to art, to teaching, to coaching) helped us get through those dark days.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
The pandemic affected my clients in many ways.
The pandemic magnified many things.
Coping mechanisms like partying, holidays, spa days etc. were no longer available, which laid bare and magnified underlying issues with their careers, marital or social relationships, or even a lack of purpose or meaning in how they were living.
These all resulted in my clients redefining their relationship to the work they performed, the career path they find themselves in and to facets of their life as mundane as the way they commute or the amount of time they spend outdoors.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
1. The power of nature.
I was lucky enough to walk in the rain forest near to my home.
Those walks for 30 to 90 minutes daily, and in all weathers really helped my reflect on my own life, my relationships, my values and beliefs.
If we had not had the pandemic I might never have had the space and time to engage so reflectively.
2. Another lesson was the impact of listening in connecting with other human beings.
Daily I would call friends from school, college, from my time in the US, UK, Hong Kong and beyond.
I realized the power of giving your attention to another, and really listening, how cathartic that can be and how listening deepens connections between us.
3. I also came to be clearer that progress appears in many forms.
And that often the client is making progress but their inner narrative (often not their own voice) tells them what progress they are making is not enough or not a high enough quality.
Helping them explore what their inner narrative is and where it comes from allows them to change the way the see the world and realize greater results.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
I came to coaching through several paths:
A spiritual teacher shaped my journey with questions for reflection and self discovery.
My studies of Eastern and Western religions led to a love of questions (not just answers) and the joy of reflecting on those questions.
On a more practical day to day level, I came to coaching through one of my early bosses, who coached me before and after every training program he had me attend.
That process used my existing skills, communication, story telling and my innate curiosity, to become a successful salesperson (an entirely new skill).
My exposure to coaching skills for leaders, sales managers and retail managers helped me see how coaching is applicable in all walks of life and at all levels of organizations.
As I grew in my career, I found that I and my team got better results (both personal and business) if I coached them rather than told or mentored…
Over the years I’ve led team members who have lost babies at 8 months of pregnancy, faced cancer, family members with Alzheimer’s, and also those getting married for the first time, first time parents, starting a new business, moving city or country.
Each situation taught me the power of the gentle question, the offer of support, the gift of listening.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
Great question; my biggest obstacle, has been my own mindset.
How I thought about what I “deserved” in life, my beliefs about my education, up bringing, life choices, all contained limiting beliefs (and ironically all held the seeds of my growth too) and I still work on them with my own coach!
And it is in the realization that my biggest obstacle held the potential for my biggest lessons helped me clarify my what and how of the way I coach.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
I developed the Serendipity Engine card deck to work with my clients.
The deck: part oracle, part positive psychologist, and part mirror… allows me to focus my clients on the chronic situations or relationships they are dealing with through a new lens, giving them different ways to approach what has previously had them “stuck”.
The cards also help me provide mediations or practices to help prevent over thinking between sessions.
The use of forcing connections, uncovering unconscious associations and deep listening really help build, and innovate these relationships.
The cards work particularly well with long term clients to help bring a freshness to our conversations.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
My love of laughter, organic farming, subatomic physics, Taoism, Buddhist philosophy, Christian values, positive psychology and a host of other ideas, philosophies and approaches to life blend with a solution focused coaching approach.
Each coaching session is a “dance” or an improvisation where the client leads and I follow, using metaphor and analogy to help them connect dots and look with new eyes at old and current challenges.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
My clients have remarked about their ability to gain greater clarity around the “what” they are facing AND a deeper understanding about the “why” they are facing that situation or challenge.
They also like the ‘no nonsense’ practical plans we co create to help them get moving in the direction they
One client told me she has been able to quieten the “noise of her mind” so she can, “listen to the whispers of her heart”.
And in those whispers are her dreams, goals and higher aspirations.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
As I mentioned earlier, I use the Serendipity Engine card deck for both reflection and to help offer practices for clients to use between coaching sessions.
I also use a few models, Self Determination Theory is one I use a lot.
The Empty Chair is one technique I enjoy as is the life timeline, which provides the coachee and myself great insights into their values, beliefs and the story they tell themselves.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
I think I’d prefer to have a super ear trumpet to listen to the whole world.
There is so much noise, with so many touting this or that “fix” or solution.
The more someone feels heard, the greater the chance for them to listen to the whispers of their heart!
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
How we are all interconnected, the energy we give out as parents, friends, colleagues, vendors, spouses, all reflect on us.
How our thoughts create the world around us, in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Jill Bolte Taylor a brain researcher details her findings tin this Ted Talk.
If our thoughts create our world as Taylor suggests, for me that brings up one of my favorite quotes “whether you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are right!”
Understanding the power of our thoughts has been a great gift and one I still reflect on.
In running my small organic farm, I learned that planning, preparation, and proper rotation are crucial, but that timing, a time to plant, nurture, weed, fertilize, tend, to harvest and to lie fallow, are also important elements for us all.
Understanding there are cycles within us and around us and that coming to recognize and then harness those cycles unlocks incredible potential.
Your final thoughts?
My journey has been a special one, and as I’m fond of saying, “the journey IS the destination”.
Having lived in Europe, Asia and the USA, worked on the land and in office and, worked with machines and people on products and processes, I have been blessed with a range of experiences and skills that allow me to work with my clients to get extraordinary results.
Where You Can Find Andrew J Calvert?
If you liked this interview and you would love to learn how to calm the noise of your mind so you can listen to the whispers of your heart, go to www.andrewjcalvert.com and see how Andrew can help you.
If you’d like to check out his deck of coaching cards called Serendipity Engine, go to https://www.andrewjcalvert.com/serendipityinstructions and learn more.