Justas Janauskas asked the following question:
"Povilai, coaching still has a poor reputation in Lithuania and is often related to success teachers and semi-scam. Could you explain in your own words what it is, and, given your specialization in IT, explain how it can help a professional to transition from a Software Engineer to a Head of Engineering position?"
Bellow, I cover the following:
1) How do I see the reputation of coaching?
2) How do I define coaching?
3) How do I do coaching?
4) Why do people use coaching?
5) How can a leader benefit from coaching?
1️⃣ Reputation of Coaching
Indeed, in Lithuania, the reputation of coaching is very mixed ranging from negative among regular people to neutral or positive among executives, especially middle or C-Level. However, in English-speaking countries, the reputation is much more positive and straightforward.
2️⃣ Definition of Coaching
- NOT success consulting, although some people who promise wealth and luxury may call themselves 'success coaches'
- NOT skills training, although coaching is also based on experimentation and reflective thinking
- NOT mentoring, although the coach often has professional experience in his/her area of specialization (e.g. former exec coaching current execs)
- NOT therapy, although coaching draws from psychological theory and therapeutic techniques (e.g. listening, mirroring, feedback, experimentation)
As a coaching psychologist, I define coaching as a profession as we as a conversational learning tool based on established psychological theories and therapeutic techniques. The goal of coaching is to help mentally and emotionally functional people (individuals or groups) achieve short-term or long-term goals in their areas of interest. These include work, career, life, health, and other.
3️⃣ Application of Coaching
We support our clients by asking thought-provoking questions, challenging their thinking patterns, and providing feedback. Contrary to parents, teachers, friends, life or business partners, we are much more professional and ethical in our approach. This means that we give priority to scientifically-informed techniques and interventions. Also, we pay careful attention to the client's agenda as opposed to our own.
4️⃣ Goals of Coaching
The reason why people use coaching services is the same reason why they read books, listen to podcasts, attend workshops, and go to university. In other words, they want to become better than they were yesterday in terms of their knowledge, effectiveness, productivity, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and wellbeing.
5️⃣ Leadership Example
Speaking of your given example, a software engineer who is new in one's leadership role will definitely have to learn a lot about oneself and one's role in a very short period of time. Because almost every strategic decision counts, the price for mistakes is much higher than before.
If that is the case, a coaching partnership will help you get a head start in your role. You will have a safe and supportive space to collect your thoughts and feelings around important questions and decisions. Furthermore, you will build resilience in the face of pressure and failure which, to a certain extent, is inevitable in a new leadership role. Of course, for a coaching partnership to work, the client should feel intrinsically motivated to succeed and have necessary organizational support.
Justai, what reservations do you have when it comes to choosing coaching services or any other form of personal growth, including, but not limited to training, mentoring, self-help, or therapy?
I talked to Vitoldas Masalskis about coaching psychology, research, mental healthcare, and a little bit about one's life and worldview.
It was a deep and meaningful conversation. 💛
Some of the topics include:
➡️ Do you need counseling, therapy, or coaching?
➡️ Why psychological knowledge is important?
➡️ When should a coach refer one's clients?
➡️ Why is coaching psychology on the rise?
➡️ How to learn more about coaching?
We both agreed to meet for the second round in the future. 👌
P. S. The video is in Lithuanian. 🇱🇹
Recently, I did an experiment: I went for a walk in the park and coached myself for an hour.
This way, I wanted to make sure if I could facilitate changes in my worst enemy: me.
Essentially, I would ask myself probing questions and try to answer them as sincerely as possible.
- "How does it make you feel?"
- "What do you mean by...?"
- "What would happen if...?"
- "And if so, then what?"
In the beginning, I was worried that by talking to myself (not out loud, of course), the only outcome I would end up facilitating would be a psychotic break! Of course, it didn't.
To the contrary, I experienced a different break, i.e. a breakthrough in my thinking which reminded me about the importance of negotiating healthy habits with yourself instead of overworking (my case) or indulging in drinking, eating junk food, or playing computer games.
Moral of the story: if you are making the conscious choice to waste your time on self-talk, waste it properly by coaching yourself to improve your state of mind and wellbeing.
This is John.
I am very lucky that John is my coach.
Yes, I am a coach myself and I am more than sure that every professional is successful in his own field because of several reasons.
Sure it is lovely when others are saying that I am a successful coach.
Here is the essence: success (good, great, bad etc) is the result of partnership with successful (first its about attitude) clients, same mindset coaches and my team members - all them are my partners.
I am grateful that I know several of them and can serve them.
One of my success reasons is John Serrao.
John helps me a lot during our coaching dialogues (live in person ore through zoom).
There is John’s merit that I am this kind of coach today. And after each conversation with John I am getting closer and closer to the coach I want to be. The level of this that kind of goal is getting higher each time and guess who is lifting it? Yes, John is lifting it all the time.
Today I had a coaching conversation with John and it was hard to find the right words to express my self and name the situation that I was stuck in.
I just wanted to be clear with topic is a priority for me: self realisation or relationship.
Decision was made? We found the answer? Long story short - it was damn difficult. No kidding. Damn f***ing hard!
Here what I found out: authenticity is the key.
And here is the point: being authentic I can be uncomfortable for others, even awkward sometime.
Even more than now? O maybe - finally? I am curious about it myself.
This is how everything could turn when I have my own coaching sessions. This is who is John, my Coach.
Yes, I pay him for his professional help and that kind of serving will cost me in the future (we still didn’t finished our year long coaching process and I already asked him to work with me one more year - it will be the 4th year in a row).
Now more than ever I believe that people are getting better with the coach then without. I am getting better. For sure. (its ok that even very slowly - I hope I have some time)
Does it resonate with you?
Great, so who is your coach?
#coaching #leadership #business
John Serrao is the top level coach (Master Certified Coach according the standarts of Internatianal Coaching Federation) from India.
He is also the author of seminars, training programs, he is a keynote speaker in all other the world.
Several times he was in delivering workshops in Lithuania.
Last time - in a cozy meeting with other coaches. You can find more details in John’s LinkedIn profile or I suggest to talk with him in person.
When? I am sure that you will find a way. And maybe sooner or later I will invite him in Lithuania again. Will you join?
You are more than welcome.