Frequently asked questions

Who are the coaches?

Defining who is a coach and what it is exactly is a difficult thing. The profession still covers such a mosaic of patterns, approaches and techniques that it makes it difficult for a HRD to make a choice. Do they prefer a former operational or a psychotherapist converted to coaching? The two do not have the same approach. Indeed, the coaches come from two major professional origins. These are:

  • Either former business professionals who are interested in and followed a training in human resources, or
  • Psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists who turned to the business world.

We find as many men as women to exercise this profession where the business experience and age are assets. Several training centres don't accept candidates under 35 years. This activity is rarely practiced full time. According to some studies, only 30% of coaches live only of the coaching. A coaching activity is very often coupled to a training activity, counseling, therapy or outplacement, for example.

 

What is the difference between coaching and psychotherapy?

Coaching is not a kind of therapy, even if the consultation appears to be one. What are the major differences?

  1. Coaching is focused on the future and will not necessarily question the archaic scenarios or personal issues from the past like in psychotherapy.
  2. In coaching, questioning focuses immediately on objectives, actual facts and actions to be taken. In psychotherapy, it focuses on the suffering of the individual.
  3. In coaching, one speaks of a client. In psychotherapy, one speaks of a patient.

 

What is the difference between coaching and training / coaching and consultancy?

Coaching is not a training, even if some sequences may include formative inputs; nor is it counseling, as the coach is not a specialist in the field of activity of his customer. He does not pretend to provide answers, but rather to help the coachee to ask questions that he does not necessarily think about by himself. A "push" approach facing a "pull" posture... If coaching sometimes includes a part of training, it is nonetheless different. To take a montane analogy, training is based on a "push" approach - push, encourage to climb - while coaching is part of a "pull" process - pull, stimulate the desire to climb. The coach works on awareness and the development of the coachee’s innate qualities, while the trainer seeks to bring new knowledge to fill a gap or improve knowledge.

If I have a problem with my coach, what do I do?

In the first place, speak frankly with your coach. If the problem persists, the client can contact ECA Belgium.

 

When coaching is paid by a company, how do we reconcile the coachee's interest and the interest of the organization?

The coach must distinguish between the interests of the individual and the interests of the company, intervene without merging with one of these two poles and, as required by ethics, "act in the sense of the global system.” The human subject has to be viewed not as an undivided and isolated entity, but rather as a complex integrating the reality of a complex environment. Coaching lies in the heart of the complexity (Lenhardt, 2006).

 

What is the difference between internal coaching and external coaching in business?

 

  • External coaching

External coaching is provided by a professional coach outside the company. The coach is therefore not directly involved in the situation, he is neutral and not involved in the coachee’s operational objectives in the short to medium term. From his position outside the system of the company, he can broaden the coachee’s reflection and give him a glimpse of wider implications than at first estimated. The coachee can distinguish more effectively his areas of operation and have an increased awareness of the way the system in which he is functions. The external coach does not have an in depth knowledge of the organization in which he operates and is often more expensive than an internal coach. However, he is not involved in the hierarchical or career issues within the company. (Lenhardt, 2006).

  • Internal coaching 

Internal coaches belong to a non-hierarchical structure with managers that they accompany. These coaches are trained and appointed to accompany the development of managers. They are part of the company and, as such, are carriers of its values and its practices. Thus, assistance and support will be necessarily influenced by these elements. However, in-house coaching probably helps to transform the management function, by enriching it with a human dimension and allowing hierarchies to take more responsibilities in relation to the development of each of their employees.

Internal coaches have to find their place in the company as agents of change because they are necessarily dependent on hierarchical issues and are actors in games that they can not escape. (Lenhardt, 2006). Having an internal coach has advantages: integrated into the structure, he understands its stakes, culture, history. He offers skills that can be easily mobilized to respond to a crisis or conduct close support. (Lenhardt, 2006)

 

What is a 'manager coach'?

The manager cannot be confused with the position of coach without endangering the people involved in the relationship. As a manager, he can nevertheless internalize the coaching approach in helping his employees to find solutions in their professional environment. This attitude will serve him from the moment he agrees to temporarily substitute the hierarchical relationship with a relationship of empathetic listening that will bring the interlocutor to put forward his ideas and talents (Lenhardt, 2006).

 

Can the leader of an organization become a coach?

A leader’s identity cannot merge completely with a coach’s identity, because he is bound by an obligation of result, unlike the professional support that is only bound by an obligation of means. Any leader lies however in a managerial ambiguity: be both the "boss" and the "coach". Coaching can become a management style, the leader then taking a posture of resource manager (Lenhardt, 2006).

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