At the Relationship Resource Center we offer Executive, Life, Stepfamily and Wellness coaching services.
The ICF (International Coach Federation) defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching is not advising or therapy. It is a collaborative partnership that honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. Seeking to elicit solutions, strategies, insights and answers from the client, the coach’s job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.
In order to understand what coaching is, it may be useful to know how it differs from traditional psychotherapy. There are certainly many similarities between coaching and psychotherapy, but there are also some distinct differences. Unlike therapists, coaches do not diagnose or treat mental disorders. Coaching is a partnership between client and coach that assumes the client is the expert on their own life and that the answers and solutions they seek reside within them. Coaching focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management.
Coaching is a profession that supports personal and professional growth and development based on individual-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal and professional success. Coaching is focused on the present, supporting forward movement through using the client’s strengths, gifts, and inherent wisdom to guide them to a more fulfilling future. Your past may come into play in a coaching conversation, but mainly in the context of how it impacts you now.
The coaching process is not focused on a client’s remedial work (healing old wounds), but on moving a client forward, while taking the past and present into consideration. Traditional psychotherapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship between two or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways.Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work and/or personal life.
While traditional psychotherapists diagnose problems and may prescribe solutions, in general, the assumption with coaching is that individuals are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks. Coaching is focused on (re)connecting with what’s truly significant and vital in your life and taking action that is in alignment with your values; creating sustainable positive change – from the inside out.
Ontology refers to the study of our way of being in the world. In Ontological Coaching the focus is on shifting our way of being, supporting deep and enduring transformation. Sustainable change often cannot be achieved by merely knowing or doing things differently, but instead is more likely to be successful when we are able to “be” different. Good intentions tend to break down if we continue to be the same person as we were before we set out to pursue significant life changes. Ontological Coaching is not about changing your identity or your personality, but rather, it’s about making powerful shifts from within that enable you to arrive at a new way of seeing yourself, your relationships, the world, and your possibilities for being and taking action. Our way of being is comprised of a dynamic synthesis of our language, our moods and emotions, and how we hold our physical body. These different aspects of being form a particular coherence that together shape the way we perceive or observe the world. In the words of Albert Einstein, “We do not see the world as it is. We see it as we are.” If your hope is to change some aspect of the world around you, then Ontological Coaching can support you in doing so through transforming the world within you.
The appreciative approach is grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted, and what’s needed in order to get there. It is a strengths-based model for inspiring positive change. The appreciative approach incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback in order to elicit the most positive responses from others, and envisioning success as contrasted with focusing on problems. The foundation of Appreciative Coaching is Appreciative Inquiry, which is the study of what gives life to human systems when they are at their best. It is an organization development methodology based on the assumption that inquiry into and dialogue about strengths, successes, values, hopes and dreams is itself transformational. Appreciative Coaching will shine a powerful light on that which gives you joy, energy, passion, focus, and full aliveness. Its effects in harnessing possibility thinking, positive ways of being, and visionary action can be truly profound.
Learn more about coaching services at RRC from Suzanne Mariner, Executive, Life, and Wellness Coach.