Apology / Apologia – coaching


Sara here: I have gotten some response to the post I offered about coaching.  I’ve offended some and for that, I apologize.  That is why this is titled “apology/apologia.”  It is to say that I am sorry for causing reaction – and I would offer my argument to support what I believe about coaching with all sincerity.

I used the term “judgement” and that was a poor choice of words.  Let me be clear that I didn’t mean that anyone was “judgmental” in working with other people.  Language is a tricky thing.  I suspect we often don’t communicate by speaking the same language.

Let me take another run at this.  I was talking about the relationship that should exist between a coach and a client.  I firmly believe that a coach has the responsibility to remain neutral toward client and client’s situation.  A coach’s responsibility is to assess rather than vote.   I substitute vote for judgement because I mean taking a position (rather than being judgmental).  By refusing to take a position, the coach can be curious about the effectiveness of a client in ways that are outside the coach’s experience.   Language does make creating the distinction challenging.

By the way – there are weaknesses in the world and in people, no denying.  However, the job of the coach is not in the area of weakness.  What differentiates a coach from other helping professions is that they to assess how the client sees themselves, help them expand their perspectives and open clients up to their own blind spots.  Ergo, the difference between fixing what’s broken vs discovering new paths.  In fact, in the world of neuropsychology: the work of Daniel Goleman, David Rock and others is reinforcing this understanding of coaching and its effectiveness in helping people change…creating new neuropathways rather than trying to redirect old ones.

I don’t know if I am making this any better!  Here is my last word – I would invite anyone curious about coaching to join us this week at the International Coach Federation annual conference being held in Fort Worth (Oct 27-30).  Come meet coaches and here the distinctions from those more articulate than I!
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One thought on “Apology / Apologia – coaching

  1. I’m with you — see previous comment to original post.
    I think you did a fine job expressing yourself and the problem isn’t with language per se but with the online medium which lacks emphasis, tone and inflection.

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