Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.
International Coaching Federation
ICF goes on to say,’ We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome, and times we feel stuck. Partnering with a coach can change your life, leading you to greater personal and professional fulfillment.’
Coaching is also a psychological process of diving below the surface of the conscious human mind to reframe limiting beliefs that hold us back from our aspiration value potential leaving us disempowered. Let’s look at a few concepts based on psychology that influenced the development of coaching.
Freud’s Unconscious Mind: Digging Deeper
Sigmund Freud made the unconscious conscious. His iceberg model with deep-rooted and hidden emotional traumas is the goldmine to coaches and therapists alike. No matter that Freud thought all such traumas arose from childhood and repressed sexual desires. We have become more liberal now. In any case, the hidden treasures of the mind when explored unlock potential. 80% of coaching in our experience stems from insecurity of one form or another, arising from childhood experiences.
Jung’s Archetypes: Embracing the Self
Carl Jung expanded the individual unconscious to the collective. He differed from Freud in saying that the unconscious can be an excellent servant if we know how to use it. Jung’s universal archetypes based on Self, Ego, Shadow, and Animus/Anima, as well as metaphors, are powerful tools in coaching. Coaching guides individuals and teams through life’s Hero’s Journey in discovering their inner archetypes and true selves. We find metaphors very powerful to explore with coaching, especially combined with visualisation as a storyline.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Building Strong Foundations
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the hands of a good coach assists clients in identifying and fulfilling their fundamental needs, such as safety, belonging, emotional validation, and self-esteem, before moving towards self-actualization. Coaching helps build the client’s aspirations by securing their foundational needs. Maslow’s framework is a very powerful tool to explore values, beliefs and the Who Am I purpose of clients.
Seligman’s Positive Psychology: Cultivating Happiness
Martin Seligman’s positive psychology emphasizes strengths, happiness, and flourishing. The process moves people from their learned helplessness to a reframed state of energised action through the ABCDE framework. Coaches leverage this approach to help clients focus on their strengths and develop a positive mindset. Coaching helps clients to nurture positive emotions and strengths to harvest happiness. The ABCDE model is a very powerful reframing tool in coaching.
Bandura’s Self-Efficacy: Empowering Belief
Albert Bandura’s concept of self-efficacy underscores the importance of self-belief in achieving goals. Coaches work with clients to enhance their self-efficacy, motivating them to overcome self-doubt and attain success. Coaching provides the wind beneath client’s wings, enabling them to soar to new heights by bolstering their belief in themselves.
Skinner’s Operant Conditioning: Shaping Behavior
B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning principles are applicable in coaching, particularly in behavior modification. Coaches assist clients in establishing positive habits and eliminating detrimental ones. Coaching can sculpt, molding raw behavior into refined, productive patterns.
Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development: Navigating Life Transitions
Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development help coaches understand clients’ developmental challenges. Coaches guide individuals through life transitions by addressing their specific developmental needs. Coaching helps to direct individuals through the intricate map of life’s stages.
Kubler Ross’s Change Model
Kubler Ross’s 5-stage grief model, derided in recent times, is an extremely powerful change management model. Grief arises from loss, which in turn creates a change. Coaches can help clients understand the stage they are in and then support their movement forward.
Otto Scharmer’s Theory U
Otto Scharmer’s Theory U based on the shift from a closed to open state in the mind, heart, and will creates not only personal transformation but also systemic societal transformation. Used in coaching along with Design Thinking, we find it very useful in creating change in systemic teamwork.
Learner coaches can use these as foundational toolkits in their journey.