About Coaching

Inter­na­tional Coach Fed­er­a­tion (ICF), which regroups over 16 000 mem­bers world­wide defines pro­fes­sional coach­ing as an “ongo­ing pro­fes­sional rela­tion­ship that helps peo­ple pro­duce extra­or­di­nary results in their lives, careers, busi­nesses, or orga­ni­za­tions. (…) With each meet­ing, the client chooses the focus of the con­ver­sa­tions, while the coach lis­tens and con­tributes obser­va­tions and ques­tions. This inter­ac­tion cre­ates clar­ity and moves the client into action. Coach­ing accel­er­ates the client’s progress by pro­vid­ing greater focus and aware­ness of choice. Coach­ing con­cen­trates on where clients are now and what they are will­ing to do to get where they want to be in the future.”

David Skib­bins (2007, Becom­ing a Life Coach) sug­gests that coach­ing roots are in the approach Plato describes in Meno, the account of a dia­logue between Socrates and Meno, a young boy slave. Meno asks Socrates if virtue could be taught. Socrates sug­gests that if they both have to deter­mine if virtue could be taugh, they have to define virtue first. Their  dia­logue con­tin­ues in the same spirit.

This is the essence of coach­ing. A client comes to a life coach with some ques­tion­ing. This could be at a very per­sonal level — the client’s search for spir­i­tu­al­ity or his life pur­pose — or rel­a­tive to a sin­gle aspect of his life like his work, his cou­ple rela­tion­ship or sim­ply the deep inner dis­sat­is­fac­tion feel­ing about his life in gen­eral. Coach then sug­gests explor­ing the sub­ject together, with­out impos­ing him­self as an expert. Through a series of ques­tions and voiced thoughts, the life coach brings the client to elab­o­rate his own under­stand­ing of the prob­lem he brought to his coach in the first place. This opens the door to two fun­da­men­tal ele­ments for a sat­is­fy­ing change. The client him­self: 1) designs a solu­tion he is com­fort­able with. 2) chooses the way to arrive there with­out to put out of bal­ance the sat­is­fy­ing aspects of his life. 3) walks this path by tak­ing actions. His coach will strongly sup­port him on the way, help­ing him to keep mov­ing  towards his goals through home­work or assign­ments between coach­ing ses­sions.  Dia­logue between client and coach will go on through mul­ti­ple instances, or ses­sions. It will spread from the ini­tial con­ver­sa­tion, up to when the client has reached his goals.

Some­times a client requests coach­ing ser­vices because he looks for the best way to reach an objec­tive some­one else imposed to him, at work by exam­ple. In addi­tion, a client is not nec­es­sary an indi­vid­ual. Coaches work with groups too, by exam­ple, a team who must meet spe­cific objec­tives. Work envi­ron­ment coach­ing is called orga­ni­za­tional or cor­po­rate coach­ing. Indi­vid­ual or group coach­ing, the approach is about the same. Meth­ods are adapted though, in order to work more effectively.

In a coach­ing rela­tion­ship, the client is not in psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress and fully in charge of the whole deci­sion process. There­fore, it is impor­tant to state that a coach­ing rela­tion­ship is nei­ther a ther­a­peu­tic ses­sion, nor a con­sul­ta­tion process. See Coach­ing vs Ther­apy vs Con­sul­ta­tion for more about this.

In con­clu­sion, the objec­tive of life coach­ing is to help a client (or group-client) to find his own way to change when comes the need, to assume full respon­si­bil­ity of change, and to take all cred­its for results.

In that spirit, con­tact me for a free explo­ration session.