Coaching is quite fashionable nowadays, and you’ve surely already heard it. It’s common to hear about a sports coach, a personal coach, a team coach, and even a musical coach… but how much do you really know about this concept?
To be clear about what we mean, we must ask ourselves what a coach really is and, above all, what their philosophy is.
A coach is someone who works with another individual and helps them achieve the goals they’ve set for themselves. To do so, the coach uses a set of tools that make it easier for the client (the coachee, in professional terminology) to become an observer of their own situation and pivot towards a new path that they will eventually discover, where endless new possibilities open up that they may not have been able to see before.
Once they’ve discovered the new way forward, the coachee designs an action plan, committing to a set of steps that will help them move forward in achieving their goals.
How do I find the right coach for me?
Nowadays, there are endless coaches, and the difficulty lies in finding that needle in a haystack for yourself. If you want to know what you should look for when selecting a professional coach who has the necessary training to help and advise you properly, the most important thing is to look at their resume.
What official certifications does a professional coach need?
Professional coaches are under the umbrella of the ICF (International Coaching Federation), which is the organization that gives the title legitimacy and obliges all its professionals to work under its code of ethics with all their clients.
The ICF has set forth two international certifications:
- ACSTH (Approved Coach Specific Training Hours): certification where the fundamental concepts of coaching are studied.
- ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program): higher level certification that delves into the subject, learning tools, and practice with real clients.
Do all coaches work the same way? No; in coaching, there are three schools:
- The American School, whose founder is Thomas Leonard (founder of the ICF).
- The European School, which was developed by Timothy Gallwey and John Whitmore.
- The Chilean School or Ontological School, by Fernando Flores, Rafael Echeverría, and Julio Olalla.
Regardless of the model or the school used, all coaches are committed to establishing this profession and accompanying their clients until they reach their final goal.
What aspects of an individual does coaching work on?
From now on, I am going to focus solely on the model of coaching from the Chilean School or Ontological School, which is where I am trained and certified as coach.
The ontological model works with the individual on five meta-competencies that will help them on the path to their goal. These meta-competencies are:
All these meta-competencies are qualities of the individual. This means that all of us have the ability to access and develop them. Our experience shows us that they are all qualities that unfold and expand with self-knowledge and personal growth.
Why decide to go to a coach?
Imagine the following situation:
Raquel is a technician in a large company. She has been working in the same position for more than 15 years, is well established, and is considered a good professional.
Despite having a stable job and being good at what she does, she has been feeling empty for a long time, doing a job that is far from something she’s passionate about; it feels mechanical to her. She also feels that she can give much more than she does, and she would love to be able to be promoted within the company to contribute all the wishes and ideas she has to be able to add more value to herself and the company.
The problem Raquel has is that she doesn’t know how to take the first step, which is making her stay anchored to her position. She feels as if she has a weight on her head that’s keeping her from moving forward and starting to move toward achieving her dream.
It is precisely at this point, when you feel that something must change and you notice you must make some important decisions in your life, and it seems like the time has come to “break away” from everything.
At this turning point, Raquel may make the decision to contact a coach and tell them about her situation, how she feels, where she is, where she wants to be, and examine the weight that’s not letting her move forward.
The coach will work on various facets of her life with her. They will try to give her the confidence and legitimacy to go from feeling a weight on her head to feeling something new that drives her to achieve her goals.
In this process of empowerment, Raquel is first going to realize that she is the only person who can decide whether to do something or not to address her situation. She will design an action plan, proposing a set of steps to get started in achieving the objectives she decides to achieve.
How can this be applied to the personal sphere? To the professional sphere?
Coaching can be applied in both areas. We have just seen one example of how it can help us in a professional way; however, it also has its place in personal matters.
Since the best way to see things is through examples, I’m going to show you what happened to me with a client who came to me with very specific needs.
One client told me, “David, I need you to do a training for students in the computer science specialty because we’re seeing that, since people can leave home now and we’re continuing with the classes at the center, we’re seeing multiple students who are too afraid and shy to leave their homes, come to the center, and be with other people here.”
I was struck by how people can look at the same problem from different perspectives and how the personal decisions we make can affect us so much and our future.
Finally, after looking at the situation in detail, I decided to do an emotion management training. We decided to do the training online to contact the students initially. In the training, we dealt with topics such as understanding what limiting beliefs are, how they limit us, and how we can transform them.
We could also see the emotions and moods; we talked about the legitimacy of emotions and how to give each one its space and its place.
It was just an initial contact. We worked on more things later, but these lines help me show how coaching also helps us personally with our day-to-day difficulties and concerns and how it helps us achieve that personal goal that we’re not sure how to face.