REINVENT YOUR FUTURE

What is coaching?

The International Coach Federation (www.coachfederation.org) defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Coaching frames conversations through powerful questions that help clients achieve their desired outcomes. When you refer to the International Coach Federation's definition of coaching, or one of your own, notice how the following philosophical threads that are woven into ICF's definition. Consider what a coach might say or do to embed these ideals into a coaching conversation or relationship.

1  |  Coaching  is  a  partnership.

The coach and the client are involved in a collaborative process that is totally focused on the person being coached. The coach must create a safe, trusting environment that provides opportunities for fresh perspectives and new ways of being can be explored.  Coaches walk alongside their clients, seeking to unlock their potential and increase their impact.

2  |  Coaching  accelerates  what's  already  underway.

Coaches have a mindset of curiosity and wonder as they help clients tap into their passions and preferred futures. Through deep listening and powerful questions, the coach helps the other person gain greater clarity about what they really want and what goals and strategy they need to employ to get there.

3  |  Coaching  maximize  potential  and  possibilities.

Coaches maximize potential as they move clients from what is to what might be. Coaches look for and develop the strengths, gifts and possibilities of their clients. They help clients move forward, learn from their results, and make course corrections based on new knowledge.

4  |  Coaching  sparks  transformation.

Transformation often shows up through the completion of short-term wins and changes in the "4 As" - shifts people's attitudes, assumptions, words, and actions. These shifts often include trying on new habits and ways of being, or helping people recognizing limiting beliefs that may be holding them back from experiencing a better, brighter future. There’s a strong emphasis on what clients do NEXT so that intentions become reality.  You might hear other coaches say, "If there's no change taking place, then you're not coaching?

5  |  Coaches  view  their  clients  as  the  experts.

Effective coaching draws out the strengths and wisdom of the client. They help clients identify where they can find the resources they need to move forward.

Questions  to  Ask  Yourself and  Your  Colleagues

  1. What parts of ICF's coaching definition most energize you?
  2.  Why do you think that coaching accelerated one's transformation?
  3. What's scares you about being able to demonstrate ICF's definition of coaching?
  4.  How would you describe coaching to a friend or a potential client?
Posted in
Tagged with

28 Comments


Jim LaDoux - August 15th, 2022 at 5:33pm

I appreciate ICF embedding "thought-provoking" into the definition. So much of coaching is about helping people think differently as they rethink their assumptions, actions, approaches, and even their attitude toward change. I also love that I serve as a dialogue partner for change and that people aren't relying on me for their answers and approaches. I also love the focus on accelerating changes. Constant improvement and progress toward a desired outcome usually generates the energy and momentum to keep moving forward.

Shannon Guse - February 7th, 2023 at 7:44am

That clients "aren't relying on me for their answers or approaches" is a reminder that I am not the expert. As a person who typically loves to offer solutions, even when they are not solicited, this practice of helping the clients unlock their own steps to forward moment is always a challenge. Remembering to listen and listen well is key to helping the client engage in the process and tap into what they already know. Our role is to help the client name for themselves new possibilities and ways to approach situations in which they fell stuck.

Becky D'Angelo-Veitch - February 8th, 2023 at 3:18pm

I totally resonate with this! ("As a person who typically loves to offer solutions, even when they are not solicited, this practice of helping the clients unlock their own steps to forward moment is always a challenge.")

Wendy Petrochko - August 15th, 2022 at 7:33pm

I appreciate ICF's definition of coaching to include maximizing a client's personal and professional potential. In our world today everything moves so fast, people do not take the time to stop, dream, reflect and transform. Transformation happens when you can get your dreams and ideas heard by a trusted and safe person, so those dreams can become reality. I know that I have the gift of reflective listening and I want to increase my knowledge of asking thought provoking questions. I would describe coaching as coming along side a person to offer a safe place to be heard and to offer hope.

MarQuita Carmichael - August 16th, 2022 at 10:02pm

I agree Wendy, the world is moving fast and expectations for immediate responses can be overwhelming. In the coaching experience that "pause" to reflect and try new approaches to move out of a place of "stuckness" is a great offering. Thank you for sharing,

Tom Pietz - August 16th, 2022 at 7:58am

I really appreciate the phrase, to "maximize" their personal and professional potential. Because that is what gives me the greatest joy when people are able to improve their lives by concentrating on action steps and get results they have hoped for.

In describing coaching to a client, I like the words used yesterday that we are not an archeologist digging up the past like a counselor, but rather, an architect helping facilitate the building of a new future. I shared that in Bible study this morning and the group really resonated with that. I also said that my role is to ask powerful questions that led to deeper insights and provokes action towards a preferred future.

MarQuita Carmichael - August 16th, 2022 at 10:05pm

"...my role is to ask powerful questions that led to deeper insights and provokes action towards a preferred future." This resonates with me as well. Thank you for bringing this up.

Lea Kone - August 16th, 2022 at 9:26am

What parts of ICF's coaching definition most energize you?

The words "maximize" and "potential" jump out at me in the definition. Whether for sports, professional or personal coaching, I think these terms hit on the essence of the role of a good coach.



Why do you think that coaching accelerated one's transformation?

I think we can only take ourselves so far. The "naysayer" voices in our head invite us to give up, feel bad about ourselves and lose focus. A good coach challenges these internal recordings and invites us to try for incremental change.



What's scares you about being able to demonstrate ICF's definition of coaching?

I am a little worried about taking on or feeling the emotional burden of the clients issues.



How would you describe coaching to a friend or a potential client?

Permitting a trusted and trustworthy individual to help achieve your goals and dreams.

Kim Boldt - August 16th, 2022 at 1:53pm

What parts of ICF's coaching definition most energize you?



I appreciate the balance within the definition: coaching as not simply a professional tool, but as a partnership for a flourishing life, personally and professionally.



Why do you think that coaching accelerated one's transformation?



I suspect many people are simply longing to be seen, affirmed and encouraged. Having someone who is "for you" walk alongside you for a period of time is profoundly motivating. One of my mantra's is "human beings are not individuals, but persons". We are irreducibly social. Individuals are complete in themselves (undivided ones, as the term literally means), but that is true of no human being. Transformation comes through all things social as person-in-relation: our sense of being beloved, our vocational value, and so on.



What's scares you about being able to demonstrate ICF's definition of coaching?



I am nervous about my ability to provoke creativity. Less so about thought-provoking, although I'm nervous about that in a different way (how to limit my contributions).



How would you describe coaching to a friend or a potential client?



I would describe it was a friendly provocation towards transformation and growth.

MarQuita Carmichael - August 16th, 2022 at 9:59pm

The very first part of ICF's definition of coaches, "the coach must create a safe, trusting environment that provides opportunities for fresh perspectives and new ways of being can be explored. Coaches walk alongside their clients, seeking to unlock their potential and increase their impact." this energizes me because creating a safe space is a gift I see myself offering the client/coachee. Once they enter the space they are free to reimagine what could be and steps they are able to come to their anticipated outcomes.

Having conversational partners that stay engaged and are focused on the expert, the coachee can help a person move and transition because the coachee is heard, and free to explore options that their colleagues, family ad friends may not support. The coach becomes the safe place create their next.

Jeff Smith - August 17th, 2022 at 10:13am

What parts of ICF's coaching definition most energize you? "Coaches have a mindset of curiosity and wonder as they help clients tap into their passions and preferred futures. " I use the language of God's preferred future a lot with churches I've served and love the idea of connecting people's passions to where they and God wants them to go to next.



Why do you think that coaching accelerated one's transformation? I think just being more intentional about ones goals and dreams helps accelerate progress.



What's scares you about being able to demonstrate ICF's definition of coaching? That if people aren't growing/changing, we aren't coaching. It makes sense, but if the client is the expert and ultimately responsible for changing, it's scary to rest my success as a coach on the motivation/dedication of a client.



How would you describe coaching to a friend or a potential client? Coaching is a process to help you as a client to reach your God-given potential and dreams through thought-provoking questions and careful listening.

Liz Miller - August 20th, 2022 at 3:28pm

What parts of ICF's coaching definition most energize you? Having a "thought-provoking and creative process" is exciting to me - I like that each coaching relationship is unique to the client. It keeps me grounded in who I am accompanying and their specific goals rather than relying on a past experience or assumptions that I'm bringing.



Why do you think that coaching accelerated one's transformation? Coaching provides a framework for clients to think through challenging situations or imagine a transformation that might get muddled in their head. I think having the framework of questions and accountability for next steps helps provide a clarity that is harder when you try to go at it alone. The potential and wisdom is already there for the client, a coach helps keep the focus moving forward.



What's scares you about being able to demonstrate ICF's definition of coaching? I can be a perfectionist and want to do things the "right way" which is challenging when you are working with people - there isn't one right way. I am leaning into trusting the process...



How would you describe coaching to a friend or a potential client? It is a relationship that can be utilized to help work through a challenge or achieve a goal. A coach asks provoking questions that help clients find clarity, next steps, identify resources and support they need, and stay focused on the process of transformation.

Julie Gvillo - February 6th, 2023 at 3:44pm

I love the "partnering with clients in a .... creative process" part of the ICF definition of coaching. My mission statement says that my mission is to nurture delight, facilitate healing, and inspire prayer in people of all ages and from all walks of life through creative spiritual practices. I see coaching as a wonderfully creative practice that nurtures delight, facilitates healing, and inspires prayer. My tagline for my ministry is "Wonder-filled. Transformative. Healing." Coaching is indeed wonder-filled, transformative, and healing. To discover this way of thinking and operating as a means to partnering with people in their transformation and the transformation of the world is joyfully meaningful.



Coaching accelerates transformation because it invites an objective observer to ask thought-provoking questions in ways that cause the client to pause and ponder what new thing God is calling them to in their lives and in their ministries. It focuses on next steps so that clear action-plans are formlated to move a person forward, making progress toward the reality of dreams, and it encourages the client to create a network of support and accountability. Once we say what we want to accomplish out loud, it is more likely to happen because our intention exists in the world.



I don't think I'm really scared, but probably because in many ways, I've been doing this for years with teenagers and colleagues and friends. I'm more concerned about not letting myself and others (the Office of Christian Formation and my presbytery) down as I try to manage the certification course with my ministry (coming out of COVID chaos) in the midst of grief (my mother's recent, unexpected passing which still has me feeling a bit out of sync with my normal organized self.



But I believe incorporating this "delightfully creative, communal process of dialogue around dreams and goals that moves people forward in transformational ways" into my ministry will make a difference for those with whom I work, and I can't wait to see how!

Darren Sutton - February 6th, 2023 at 6:52pm

I also love the 'creative' bent this definition takes!

Julie Gvillo - February 8th, 2023 at 4:27pm

Thanks!

Mel - February 6th, 2023 at 7:29pm

I love your mission statement. I'm still working on developing mine, but I'm finding the process incredibly helpful in guiding more and more parts of my life.

Julie Gvillo - February 8th, 2023 at 4:27pm

Thanks, Mel! It is a process, for sure, but listen to your heart. And if you need some coaching on that, let me know. ;)

Becky D'Angelo-Veitch - February 6th, 2023 at 4:12pm

Right off the bat, the idea of partnering as the basis of coaching stuck out to me. Sometimes it can feel like committees or congregations would be happy for their staff members to do the work on their behalf, and so the idea of partnership (with well defined roles) is exciting.

I think that the constant forward movement of coaching (short term goals that lead to long-term changes) bring about that transformation. How often have we been at a retreat where dozens of ideas are generated to see most of them never make it off of the flip charts where they were born? The coaching mindset of goal setting and accountability partnerships is what can take a conversation or idea to its full transformative potential.

As a coach, I think the word 'maximize' can be scary. I get all sorts of impostor syndrome thinking about that word! ;-)

I would describe coaching as, "a way to process ideas in a space that gives room to dream and be creative, and then to make commitments to work steadily to implement those ideas and bring them alive in fruitful and tangible ways."

Julie Gvillo - February 6th, 2023 at 8:15pm

I agree, Becky! "The dozens of ideas generated that never make it off the flip chart where they are born" is so discouraging. And I learned a long time ago that pastor-generated ideas go nowhere. It really must come from the congregation for it to bear fruit. That's the exciting part of coaching! And that coaches facilitate the formation of action plans and encourage the development of support networks is really key to successful transformation! :)

Shannon Guse - February 7th, 2023 at 7:35am

When I think of coaching, I typically focus on the tangible steps. I love that you emphasized how this process can and should be joy-filled by bringing the ideas alive in fruitful ways!

Darren Sutton - February 6th, 2023 at 6:52pm

Which word/phrase from ICF’s coaching definition do you fine most compelling? I love the 'partnership in a creative process'.

How would you describe what coaching is to the people you coach? Unlocking the answers already inside us!

What are the unique traits that separates coaching from other helping activities? It's a guided experience toward discovery rather than a quick answer to implement.

What are two strategies for communicating what coaching is and isn’t to a client? a quick 'list' of what it is and isn't comes to mind first!

How do you weave into a coaching demonstration what coaching is and isn’t? Maybe an example, using the same scenario, to show the differences between coaching, consulting, counseling, etc.

Julie Gvillo - February 6th, 2023 at 8:19pm

A guided experience toward discovery .... I LIKE that! :)

Mel - February 6th, 2023 at 7:28pm

I love the creativity part of the coaching definition. It is energizing to watch someone access the creative part of their brain and personality. I believe that everyone is capable of creativity and I'm excited to gain skills to help folx, especially those who may not think they have it in them, access that part of themselves.

Julie Gvillo - February 6th, 2023 at 8:20pm

Right?! 100% agree!

Kim Ness - February 7th, 2023 at 9:53am

I am struck by the similarities in the philosophy of Godly Play and Coaching. In both, the client/child has the answers and we are here to journey with them, helping them to explore and find their best selves (coaching)/connection to God (Godly Play).



We've been using Godly Play at our church for the last 7-8 years. The change I've seen in youth who grew up in a traditional SS model vs the Godly Play wondering model is huge. Today's youth ask better questions, are curious about their faith and the stories of the Bible. They own that this is their relationship with God and it will grow with them.



In coaching, I love the line "coaching accelerates what's already underway." What a refreshing way to approach life. We all have the answers, some are just hidden from us. Our job as the coach is to approach each session with curiosity and wonder about our client - drawing out the amazing gifts already given by God.

Nicole Newton - February 8th, 2023 at 11:07am

I love this connection with Godly Play! Both Godly Play and this coaching philosophy fit so well with my own philosophy that we already have all that we need for the given moment if we can get still enough to access it. I love that coaching focuses on helping clients get still and listen to the knowledge they already have inside them to work their way through whatever problem is in front of them.

Jeany Villanueva - February 8th, 2023 at 10:26am

The greatest takeaway from ICF's coaching definition for me is the altruistic mindset behind coaching itself. This is also what scares me because so much of coaching is centered around asking clients deep thought-provoking questions designed to enable them to reach their own potential without our interference, in the sense of offering solutions to help them. I love that this approach offers clients the opportunity to reframe their mindsets to help draw out their own strengths and solutions to problems. This, in turn, is their transformation. I would describe coaching as a partnership between equals that serves to assist clients with their own individual growth by creating and meeting personally set goals.

Becky D'Angelo-Veitch - February 8th, 2023 at 3:21pm

I resonate with the idea that the same things are scary and exciting! It's as simple as asking the right questions, yet as hard as asking the right questions

Recent

Archive

 2022

Categories

Tags