Personal and professional development paths
ICF defines COACHING as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching helps clients to define and take action toward the realization of their visions, goals or desires. Professional coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build the client’s level of awareness and responsibility and provides the client with structure, support and feedback.
The COACH does not work on the “problem” that the client brings, but works on the client, on his or her “mindset,” that complex system of beliefs, desires and reasonings that, to date, slow him down so that they become functional to the results he wishes to achieve. The coach does not investigate the causes that led him to his current situation, but observes and reflects the client’s way of “functioning” in relation to his aspirations. In the mind of the coach there is no idea of “fixing” something or someone, but there is the idea of EXPANDING perceptions and reasoning and enabling the individual to let his or her full potential FLOURISH. Coaching, rather than INformation, provides opportunities for deep TRANSformation, broadening perspectives, shifting points of view.
Each of us already possesses everything we need to achieve a fully satisfying life… the point is that aspirations, beliefs and desires are limited by experience and are influenced by context, which sometimes leads us far away from our Essence and the full expression of our Daimon, the intimate talent that knows perfectly the Way to our full realization. Through the coaching process, the CLIENT gains greater awareness about his or her desires, learns about and guides his or her mental processes so that they accompany (rather than hinder) his or her goals, clarifies the direction to take, and finally defines concrete actions (or “non-actions”) to move forward.
Rather than freeing you FROM something, coaching makes you free OF create something…
DIFFERENCES PSYCHOTHERAPY vs COACHING
- In the therapeutic approach, generally the PROBLEM is at the center of the helping relationship and the psychotherapist, expert in that problem, guides the process in the healing direction, based on the reference theory (psychodynamic, relational-systemic, cognitive-behavioral, etc.) he has chosen to explain the cause-and-effect relationships of the problem. At basis there is the idea of a “fault” that needs to be fixed and that its causes need to be understood, so that it can be processed, then overcome and thus solve the upstream problem.
- In the developmental approach of coaching, the CLIENT is at the center of the relationship, he is not to be “fixed,” and is he the self-expert. The COACH, for his part, is skilled in active listening and questioning. He does not guide the process, has no explanatory theories to refer to, but follows the client by accompanying him on his journey, illuminating his every step with the “lighthouse” of awareness. An awareness that comes to him from the being able to look at himself in a perfectly clean mirror, which a good coach knows how to be. The coach does not delve into the causes of discomfort, because he does not consider it essential to shift your gaze to what you really want, that is, to determine and then choose, the results to be achieved.
Understanding the causes can offer relief in the immediate term because our minds structurally need “cognitive closure,” that is, to understand the why of events. However, this understanding does not always foster the creative energy that is needed to glimpse an alternative vision. Looking back at the past, in fact, continually brings it back to the surface, nailing us to it and preventing us from proceeding toward our own blossoming. To become who we are, we need to recover the ability to think in a free way, to imagine, without the constraints of experience. Certainly not to make the same mistakes again, but to access what we really, intimately wish to realize and with which, over time and overpowered by events, we have lost touch.
WHEN YOU MIGHT PREFER A COACH
➢ If you feel stuck, like at a dead end with no exit or at a crossroads with too many options;
➢ If you are in the midst of a major professional or personal change and want to make informed decisions
➢ If you have a dream or project to realize and would like to be accompanied along the way
➢ If you want to regain enthusiasm and creativity in your daily life as well.
➢ If emotions overpower you and you are no more able to use them constructively.
WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED A PSYCHOTHERAPIST
➢ If you have a clinical disorder (depression, anxiety, addictions, compulsions, etc.);
➢ If you feel the need to process a traumatic past before facing the future calmly;
➢ If you feel that it is necessary for you to understand the causes that led you to where you are, in order to move forward with more awareness
Psychotherapy and Coaching, therefore, are not necessarily contradictory, they simply act according to different paradigms and can, if necessary, be complementary ways.
- A consultant offers guidance based on his or her “technical” knowledge to achieve a goal on a subject about which he is an expert. The client relies on the consultant, who interprets the client’srequests and indicates the behaviors to be followed to get to the result.
- A mentor offers advice based on his or her direct experience and serves as a role model.
- A coach does not offer advice, at most shares an experience, where he finds it useful to create empathy and in any case Always with “permission” and without attachment. The coach has confidence in the client’s resources and not ne plays requests, but allows the client to better listen to himself from various perspectives, so as to gain more awareness about what he really wants, then choose for themselves The way to get there. The coach, as it were, holds up the (clean!) mirror within which the client looks at himself, and from time to time moves its position to allow him various angles Of observation.
WHEN YOU MIGHT PREFER A COACH
➢ If you want to clarify what exactly you want and what value it has for you, and then define the steps to achieve it
➢ If you need to understand WHAT to do before you decide HOW to do it and then proceed to create your project one step at a time
➢ If you feel “misaligned” and want to find coherence and meaning in what you do.
WHEN YOU MIGHT NEED A COUNSELOR/MENTOR
➢ If you are clear about what you want and how to get there, but
you lack the technical knowledge or skills
➢ If you are going through a major change and prefer to be guided by someone who will pass on their experience by suggesting what to do
Counseling, Mentoring and Coaching, therefore, do not necessarily compete with each other, they simply act differently and can, if necessary, complement each other. In some areas of expertise a coach can also act as a consultant and/or mentor, the important thing is to be able to define the interventions for what they are, avoiding confusion .