By Dr. Pedro Cortina, Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute
Originally published in Linkedin Publications

As an expert in the field of leadership and entrepreneurship with two decades of international operational experience, people often ask me what is my definition of leadership. Few concepts have been defined and redefined as much in the history of humankind, and yet my answer now is as clear as ever: an extraordinary leader or entrepreneur is someone that transforms obstacles into opportunities.

Inquiry-Based Coaching ™ (IBC) is the particular methodology we use to actually identify and transform obstacles into opportunities - for real! These include important perceptional or factual obstacles that we may experience, or that may be experienced by the people or teams around us. This method extraordinarily accessible to all who may be interested. IBC is comprised of a series exercises that we present our clients as an invitation to inquire into their own obstacles.

With Inquiry-Based Coaching ™ we allow ourselves and our teams to see and access internal options and possibilities that we might have never imagined using our original or typical approach to taking care of specific and concrete issues. 

IBC is a specific methodology in which coachees are guided through several specific questions allowing them to experience the following process:

  1. Identify specific obstacles that make it impossible to achieve a particular outcome. 
  2. Dissolve and clear out the preconceptions, beliefs, and assumptions that impede this obstacle from being fully addressed.
  3. Reframe the situation in ways that allow for significant new insight and offer new, specific, and concrete approaches to move forward.
  4. Take responsibility and commit to ongoing transformation and the achievement of extraordinary results through our own genuine findings and not through imposed external models or suggestions from consultants. This is the key to long-term positive transformation, to the implementation of positive patterns, and to self-reliance.

IBC is also an extraordinary 'accelerator' that clarifies our direction and clears our path towards full engagement. IBC can be practiced as a guided facilitation with the support of someone else. IBC can also be practiced by individuals, teams and organizations alike as well as offered by coaches in their own practice. In essence, and in my experience, IBC uses our perceived obstacles to eventually notice the gems that are already available for us in that moment.


In this process of inquiry, we allow ourselves to see and access internal options and possibilities that we might have never imagined in our original state of mind. As we practice and integrate IBC in our lives, our perceptional obstacles, tend to gently fade giving way to that internal clarity where integrity, understanding, action, and connection naturally and effortlessly arise.

In my experience, the scope of IBC is incredibly vast and its applicability seems to be basically limitless. I have personally applied and brought IBC into incredibly difficult situations in the realms of innovation, organizational development, counselling, coaching, leadership development, education, as well as core business practices such as sales, marketing, strategic planning, production, distribution, etc.

The results of honest ongoing practice in IBC, or its profound integration within a team or organization can produce truly extraordinary results. 

Theorizing and talking about IBC has its complications. It is a clearly practical and applicable tool. In my experience, IBC is about practice, integration and depth. The results of an honest ongoing practice in IBC tend to be truly extraordinary.



To learn more about bringing IBC into your life or the life of your organization please visit Please feel free to get in touch with us at

+ + +


Dr. Pedro Cortina is the Managing Partner at the Innerland Institute He is an author, speaker, counselor, facilitator, trainer, philosopher, transformation specialist, and leadership consultant. He is the author of Curflexion: Living the Infinite Space of Being, a guide for moving away from our underlying human experience of separation and unfulfillment.



We bring the power of Inquiry-Based Coaching ™ to individuals, coaches, leaders, teams and organizations