This is a paper written for a class where I had to write my own version of a coaching philosophy and how it had psychological and philosophical roots. By all means, there is more to coaching than what has been written here, this is just a basis of free-form writing. Feel free to read and enjoy. 🙂
The motivation to change stems from multiple factors when working with an individual. These factors could come from environmental such as role models, internal such as desires or passions, and situational such as the ability to obtain resources. Psychology has helped narrow down some of these concepts regarding environmental (behavioral), internal (consciousness), and situational (humanistic) (Menendez & Williams, 2015). An individual may rely on all or one of these 3 factors in concordance with their values to drive them through to their goal. An individual has core concepts and belief systems that their ideas of how to achieve things in life stems from. You mix in these values and objectivity of ideas with their environment, internal thought processes, and situational circumstances and you can see into their journey. Once you can see their journey you can also help break through any barriers or obstacles that are preventing them from achieving their goal. This can be done in ways of breaking down on mindset, adding resources or environmental differences, and helping them think outside of their situation.
When helping an individual to overcome obstacles in their journey a coach must be creative or even analytical, like how a psychologist would take on a problem. Psychology and it’s theories have stemmed from a problem that afflicts humanity, whether it be groups or individuals. The theories have a way of digging into a person’s mind, the personal life which includes social groups and family orientations, as well as external factors that have created that individual such as cultural belief systems. Coaching stems from psychology in the fact that a coach must take into consideration what created this individual. Why does this individual think that they have an obstacle in their path? Once a coach can understand who that individual is and why they may think a certain way it helps the coach to realize how to get that individual to think in a different way. If a coach cannot understand who their client is or where that individual came from, they may not be able to support that individual in their dream.
Individuals will come to a coach with a dream. Often coaches use the term goals. However, it is absolutely a dream. Looking into the theory of humanistic nature, we create from within. Anytime someone in history had wanted to achieve something or create something to alleviate a painful situation in their life they had to visualize it within themselves first. A dream is not something that is only happening when we are sleeping. There have been many philosophers or psychologists who touched on the topic of philosophy such as Carl Jung who conceptualize the idea of spirituality in an individual (Menendez & Williams, 2015). This goes into the concept of our own consciousness or in the depths of our soul to where dreams are made. A coach must understand that an individual has created this dream deep within themselves and there is a fire and passion that is burning to release that dream. It is when the coach helps that individual bring it to life in a physical form that it then obtains the concentration of what we consider a goal. To the individual, the dream has already been done it is already there. It is a coach’s job to help bring that dream to the physical reality of that individual’s life.
Strengths and Challenges
The strength of having an individual who has created a dream within themselves is that the “job” is halfway done. A coach does not have to instill an idea into a person to help them out of the situation that they are in. Oftentimes, individuals have within themselves solutions already made and most of the time those solutions have already been thought out and completed within themselves so many times that they’re now running in circles. This can also lead to a challenge for the coach. When an individual has run a dream so many times over but has struggled to conceptualize that dream into their physical reality, they reach a stalemate. A coach now must help them re-discover the initial passion about that dream with enough energy to help them focus it into the physical reality. This is attainable by the creation of actual physical goals, those baby steps that happened between each week that eventually get them to their long-term goal aka their dream.
In finality, a coach helps the individual create these baby steps by taking into consideration the environment/behavioral aspects, the internal mindset and thought processes, along with the situational and cultural belief systems to create the right atmosphere for the individual to grow and learn. As stated previously, the individual already knows the solutions to their problems, it is the coach that must clear the air and give them a safe space to think and re-evaluate what they already know. Most often a coach is more of the support and validator role for the individual so that the individual can seek and find that comfort in knowing that they are on the right path. A coach must be in alignment with the concept of where that individual is coming from and their background, at the same time be outside of the “box” enough to bring into that individual’s life a new awareness. Like many relationships in our lives, there has to be a mutual agreement on certain levels, respect for the levels not in agreement, and support for any levels not understood. This is the entirety of a coach’s role in an individual’s life who is already knowing of the dream but needs that helping hand in achieving the reality of it.
Menendez, D. S., & Williams, P. (2015). Becoming a professional life coach: Lessons from the Institute of Life Coach Training. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Passmore, J., & Oades, L. G. (2014). Positive psychology techniques – Active constructive responding. The Coaching Psychologist, 10(2), 71-73. Retrieved from https://lopes.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=2014-54563-004&site=eds-live&scope=site
Whybrow, A. (2008). Coaching psychology: Coming of age? International Coaching Psychology Review, 227-240.