Navigating through Coaching

Ram Ramanathan  •  Jul 3, 2021  •  4 min read

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Navigating through Coaching

This article is part of the No Holds Barred weekly column by Ram Ramanathan. It’s based on questions we receive during our weekly webinars.


Nick Allen:

I am struggling as an old school coach where I am agnostic to agenda and a new generation of climate coaches who have a clear agenda and set of passionately held beliefs.

 

Ram 

Dear Nick, 

From my perspective, you’re in a great space as a coach. Those with agendas and beliefs are not coaches, but evangelists, and sometimes cult leaders. 

There is no ‘one truth’. The word truth is untrue and unreal. Our truths are our perceptions, our mind maps. There is not much difference between a monster dictator and an evangelist crusader in terms of mindset. Both can be bigoted. It’s only the perceived outcome that connotes a difference. I may get flamed for this comment.

Those who are my age will remember the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth in the late sixties, leading to horrific population control measures in parts of the world, including India. There was an agenda and a set of beliefs, leading to evangelical mania and solutions. The ‘scientific’ calculations were found to be incorrect. The world has since then doubled and still growing. Though there were very rational and critical questions raised by the group, its focus and suggested solutions were false.

The same could be true of climate control. The same could be true of any control. We don’t control. Nature does. I am being realistic, not philosophical. It’s not the coach’s space to be bigoted in passionate beliefs and blindsided agendas, since there are multiple perceptions of the same reality. This is where the systemic approach to coaching becomes powerful. Multiple stakeholder lenses and views can be brought in, discussed, and debated to create a much larger space of awareness of what any one individual or a small self-appointed group of people can be capable of.

Nature is balanced, neutral, and disengaged. So should be a coach.

 


Ghadeer Zalatimo:

I have a problem separating consulting from coaching

 

Ram

Dear Ghadeer,

If you read Edgar Schein’s books of process consulting focusing on listening and inquiring, you can soon consult as a coach or coach as a consultant. Both coaching and consulting look at the future unlike therapy, which looks at the past. Consulting is considered solution-focused and directive. There is a reputed niche in coaching called Solution based Coaching. It’s not directive and based on coach offered solutions and directions. For best value to the client, coaching should be outcome-focused, an outcome that the client needs, and a pathway to that outcome arising from the client’s mind. 

Consulting can be practiced using a coaching framework of agreement, trust, presence, listening, inquiry, awareness, and action. Into each of these, the coach can bring in experiential expertise in partnership and with respect to the client. In my experience, this is where the world needs and is moving to.

A systemic approach to coaching is very close to consulting by bringing multiple lenses of reality and in-depth research. Coaching as its viewed today can become a narcissistic navel contemplation exercise of partnered dishonesty, to the detriment of the client’s needs. 

Don’t separate coaching from consulting, integrate them. Read Edgar Schein and learn more about OD.

A lot of other questions were answered during the past 2 webinars. Watch the full video below, or on our YouTube Channel.

Coaching Questions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

Questions you are too afraid to ask part-2

If you have a question that you want an answer to, please feel free to fill up this 2-minute survey.

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Ram Ramanathan

Ram

Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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