Above and beyond everything else, a coach is an expert in the meta-discipline of facilitating the processes of self-actualizing. As a meta-field coaching supports, enables, empowers, questions, and facilitates the expertise of the client. This makes the client the expert in his or her own life, in his or her own visions, dreams, values, potentials, and passions. As an expert in process, the coach does not determine what the client needs or wants. The coach has no informed agenda to impose. The coach facilitates the process of the client deciding on his or her own outcomes.
Because meta-coaching is therefore systematic, the MCF have set out an operational description of Coaching specific models that a professional coach will recognise as critical, be able to articulate that which they have studied, and are competent in using them in their Coaching.
Why are using models important? For a movement to become a profession, it has to create and operate from explicit models. This means having an explicit theory, set of variables, set of guidelines for using the theory, and patterns or processes that are derived from the theory. These four elements are critical in having an explicit model.
For a professional coach, the following different facets represent what coaching is and calls for models and processes for handling each of them. The first six govern the coaching process as a profession that works to unleash a person's potentials, the seventh governs the coach's business practice itself.
1) Advanced Communication Model - for a focused conversation
Coaching is a highly focused conversation, a specialized communication that gets to the heart of things as a client explores dreams, hopes, and values. Therefore an advanced model for communication is essential for the ability to quickly get to the heart of things. Otherwise, the coaching degenerates into "a nice chat."
2) Reflexivity Model - For Facilitating Emotional Intelligence
Coaching, by definition, involves and facilitates a client stepping back to the thoughts in the back of the mind. This reflexive awareness of the multiple dimensions of communication refers to how we not only communicate the thoughts "on our mind," but also those "in the back of our mind." By bringing out the reflexive thinking of the self-dialogue which goes on simultaneously in the back of our mind, the coaching conversation is able to get to the heart of things.
The kind of consciousness that humans have is a very special kind, we call it self-reflexive consciousness. This speaks about our ability to think-about-our-thinking, feel-about-our-feelings, and to respond to our responses. A professional Coach will have studied the principles of meta-cognition and utilize a meta-cognitive Reflexivity Model for efficiently and effectively facilitating this degree of awareness.
3) A Generative Change Model - For Facilitating Change
Coaching first and foremost deals with performance change (a change in one's quality and level of performance), yet it does not stop there. A coach also works with developmental change as when a client needs to evolve his or her sense of identify, beliefs, and values. Nor does it stop there. An even higher level of change is that of transformational change. This speaks about changing one's direction, purpose, mission, and vision. These multi-dimensional levels of change indicate the generative change of coaching and calls for a Model of Generative Change so that a coach can determine at what level of change a client is seeking and how to facilite that level of change.
Regarding change, most change models come from therapy change models rather than change models specifically designed for the healthy self-actualizing person, a person who embraces change rather than fights it. In fact, this is one of the two key variables that differeniate generative change from the remedial change of therapy. In therapeutic models of change, clients are expected to Resist and Relapse. Not so in a generative model of change.
If a Coach is a change agent, he or she will obviously have to know how to dance with the mechanisms of change for a healthy person who simply wants to unleash more of his or her potentials, and will work from a Coaching Change Model that specifically deals with this kind of change.
4) An Implementation Model - For Measuring Change
Coaching, while a conversation, is not a nice chat. It is not merely about talking, the bottom line of coaching is doing. To that end, an effective Coach is able to bring about change by enabling and empowering a client to actually incorporate the change and embody it in his or her physiology. In this way the Coach facilitates implementation of the great ideas, visions, and values talked about in the coaching session. Coaching is ultimately about actualizing our potentials and visions. It is about executiing the action plans and following-through to make it real in lifestyle.
To that end, an effective Coach needs several models for Implementing the ideas and visons. At the most fundamental level, there needs to be a personal implementation that empowers the client to embody the changes so that they become part and parcel of his or her way of being in the world. Next, there needs to be a way to mark and measure the change, a way to benchmark even intangible and conceptual principles so that we can know that what we are talking about is making a difference. Therefore a Coach will work from an explicit Implementation Model for measuring change.
5) A Systems Model - For Systemic Change
Because Coaching works with the whole person, the mind-body-and-emotion within many systems--- relational, family, work, cultural, organizational, etc., it has to be systemic in nature. This demands that a Coach has to be able to think, speak, and work systemically with clients. To that end, an effective Coach needs a systemic model that enables him or her to see and work with multiple systems simultaneously. This is critical for ecological reasons and it is critical for the purpose of being effective. It is also part and parcel of being able to get to the heart of things quickly, that is, finding the leverage point in the system.
To work systemically is to facilitate the whole person's mind-body-and emotion system so that what is imagined and envisioned becomes a congruent change that is fully aligned within all of the contexts and relationships of life.
6) A Self-Actualization Model - For Unleashing Potential
Coaching depends upon a unique form of psychology, not abnormal psychology that deals with neurosis and psychosis, not even normal psychology dealing with the average. It deals with the healthy person who is self-actualizing to become his or her best. It deals with the psychology of the person seeking excellence. That's because the kind of human psychology which an effective coach uses works to unleash potentials so that a client will activate his or her best and experience peak performances.
This kind of psychology is Self-Actualization Psychology and was pioneered by Abraham Maslow along with Carl Rogers, Rollo May, and many others in the Human Potential Movement. Given this psychology informs most coaching the professional Coach will work from the current Self Actualiszng Models in the field.
7) Business Model - For Ethical and Business Success
Coaching is ultimately a business. For it to become a credible force in the world, Coaches have to apply the coaching principles to say, develop the business acumen in adding value to customers in the marketplace, market themselves effectively, and create a successful and viable commercial business. Accordingly, Coaches need to create and operate from an explicit Business Model for how they will do business: their market, their niche, their financing of the business, administrative, marketing, etc.
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