Home Concepts Strategy Future of Coaching We’ve Lost Our Way AND Our Soul in the Process

We’ve Lost Our Way AND Our Soul in the Process

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This shows itself in many ways not the least of which is the current thrust toward copying one more profession’s system….’supervision’. I’m just curious, but haven’t we spent decades trying almost desperately at times, to provide a distinction between coaching and therapy, only to adopt one of their ways of going about things and thereby blurring the lines even more?

And who is crying for this supervision? Certainly NOT the general membership. I’ve seen no hue and cry over the lack of this being present in the ICF. Yes, there have been some advocates – ironically though, from members who also seem to have a conflict of interest in that some from a company that would provide this service.

I get it. We need something that supports what new coaches go through. I agree, and yet looking for it outside ourselves in existing models denies the level of creativity that is within the membership of this organization. This is a service that used to be fulfilled by mentors before the ICF narrowed the definition of mentoring to something that even the general world doesn’t subscribe to. My coach mentored me in a full range of topics regarding my success. Challenges I was facing with clients, growing my business, my mastery of skills. That’s what I brought to him, after all, I’d hired him as my coach and I allegedly could bring anything I wanted to because I was paying.

We did this with the ISO initiative (the movement by ICF staff to one credential level in 2008) when we sought to measure ourselves more on a professional level as compared to other organizations. When did comparing ourselves to another become part of the ICF soul?

And the members are where stuff lives. If members are the ‘clients’ of the ICF then we are sorely being abused at present by the ‘coach’ having all this research, dialogue and meetings investigating ‘Coaching Supervision’ without first having consulted the client.

The coach, through a partnering discussion, ensures that both the coach and client are clear about the agenda, the measures of success, and the issues to be discussed. The coach attends to that agenda and those measures throughout the coaching, unless redirected by the client. Any potential change in direction of the coaching session is thoroughly explored in partnership with the client and the client is the ultimate decision maker as to whether a change in direction will occur. The coach regularly checks with the client throughout the session to make sure that the client’s goals for the session are in fact being achieved and that the direction and process chosen are forwarding the client’s thinking and/or action about their desired goals.

For anyone who might say…’but this is how leadership functions in an organization’. That’s exactly the problem. Who says we have to be like every, or even ANY other organization? We’re not operating as a coaching organization. We’re operating as a copy of others. Something we wouldn’t advocate for a minute that we do with clients, and something for which we’d get hammered in applying for a credential.

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