“The Answer to the Problem is Here, Inside You.”

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The other day I saw a wedding video on Facebook. A group of men performed the great and terrifying Maori haka with words especially written for the occasion. Millions have watched the video. Some people felt that the haka was threatening and/or insulting, but no, it is a great sign of respect, according to NewZealand.com

The message of those shouted words (Yes, I had to Google it, out of curiosity) is profound.

“No matter how long you reflect on it, the answer to the problem is here inside you.”

The full text follows below:





Ki aro
Kia whakaronga, kia mau!

Hi !
Ringaringa e torōna 
kei waho hoki mai! 
Kss Kss

Tika tonu! 
U – e!
Tika tonu!
U… e!
Tika tonu atu ki a koe, e tama
Hiki nei koe aku whakaaro, pakia!
He hiki aha to hiki?
He hiki roa to hiki?
I a ha hā!

Pay attention
Listen up, take your stance!
Arms outstretched,
out and back!
Kss Kss

What is right is always right!
In – deed!
What is right is always right!
Ah… yes!
Be true to yourself, my son!
My concerns have been raised about you, so pay attention!…. .
What is this problem you are carrying?
How long have you been carrying it for?
Have you got that? Right, let’s go on.

E tama, te uaua ana
E tama, te mārō
Roa ina hoki ra
Te tohe o te uaua na
E tāu nei.
Āna! Āna! Āna! Aue… Hī!
So son, although it may be difficult for you
and son, although it seems to be unyielding
no matter how long you reflect on it 
the answer to the problem 
is here inside you.
Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! Yes, indeed!


In coaching, trusting the client is paramount: The answer to the question the client struggles with are already within the client.  The coach’s task is to help the client find it, not to find it for the client. It’s a bit like a sculptor who sees an image in a rock and uses a hammer and chisel to set it free.  The client is the sculptor – the owner of the dream or the intention – the coach and her/his processes are the tools that enable the client to bring it all to fruition.

It sounds simple and it is.   But if there is no trust it won’t happen.  Trust also has to be mutual.



The elegance of a good coaching conversation is as beautiful to witness as a pas de deux in ballet.  The ballerina leaps, knowing that her partner is there to support her as she flies in a world of dreams and possibilities.

Funny how hearing a coaching message in a haka evokes the elegance of classical ballet. Not surprising though – coaching is about curiosity and creativity. And trust. And, as we coaches say, dancing in the moment.

© Delphine du Toit (2016)

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