Research Paper By Anna Lubrano
(Business Coach, SWITZERLAND)
Coaching with compassion
In helping people, we often focus on correcting a problem as we believe it is the fastest and most effective way to do it. After all, we are more experienced and can see what the person should do to live a meaningful life, increase productivity, or learn more.
In our attempt to coach individuals seeking help, most of us naturally take a problem-centered approach, guiding them from where they are to where we believe they should be. We are trying to fix them.
This does not work well to sustain learning, change, or adaptation over time. It might, at times, lead to quick corrective action.
Surely, in certain situations, it can be effective in helping someone achieve an extremely specific and predetermined goal, such as earning a promotion to a certain role.
Researches tell that when the context is a gap or a shortfall that needs addressing, the energy and effort needed to sustain change is typically absent. Such coaching rarely leads to sustained change in individuals, nor does it help them strive toward their full potential, let alone achieve it.
Conversely, when as coaches we can see beyond the problem by focusing on the person by supporting them in connecting to their “dream in the drawer” and a medium-long term vision, the level of engagement and motivation grows as well as the chance to be successful.
This is coaching with compassion: taking care of others by helping them connect with true and deep beliefs, emotions, values, and life purpose: vital resources that help individuals create meaningful and fulfilled lives.
Furthermore, re-viewing values, purpose, beliefs regularly as they can change over the course of life, but the basis for a continuous process that nurtures awareness about learnings and vision.
Another crucial element to consider in coaching with compassion as well as in any helping relationship is the relationship between the coach and the coachee.
When a resonant relationship is created, the coach and the person being coached become attuned as they operate on the same emotional wavelength.
After a coaching conversation, people should feel charged up, excited, and full of purposeful movement toward their dreams and vision. But it isn’t only the people being coached who will feel charged up. Effective coaches, too, will leave the conversations feeling inspired.
In fast-changing environments where recurring restructuring and rethinking are normal, it is of essence that people learn how to leverage the own personal brand to accomplish challenging results in personal and professional life.
A personal brand is mirrored in our image and requires identification, development, and maintenance over time.
Indeed, when I think about personal brand, the first question that comes to mind intending to consciously approach this topic and start on the right foot is “Who am I”?
To implement any marketing strategy that is set to gain authority and build a reputation, it is crucial to be aware of ourselves and our identity.
But above all, it is essential to understand what we communicate about ourselves to others: if we don’t know ourselves, how can others know us?
Personal branding is a process that allows us to differentiate ourselves, emerging from the crowd and giving voice to our uniqueness, exactly as it happens for any brand.
Independently from what we do in our professional and personal lives, how we show ourselves to the world and on social networks it is important. In fact, anyone who wants to find more out about us, as the first thing, would almost immediately go through web searches. In this respect, it is essential to cure our image and tailor the message about who we are making sure it mirrors what we want to tell the world.
Social networks have revolutionized the way we think and act. Just think also of how the way we shop has changed. The focus is increasingly shifted towards communication between people, rather than between companies and people.
People’s choices are more likely to be driven by other people (i.e., reviews) rather than company brands (marketing communication).
We tend to give more credits to a person as it arrives at us being human, whilst we often miss that connection with brands.
To build an empathic brand it is essential to share the own“unique traits” and establish a constructive dialogue with others. Knowing how to correctly communicate our values is of essence to maximize the power of and return of our ability to connect.
“Unlock your personal brand” means truly becoming aware of who you are, who you want to be, how you want to be seen, and what you want to be recognized for.
Coaching with compassion makes it possible to help you truly get to know who you are, what really drives you, where to find your purpose, and how to connect with others on a deeper level. It allows you to become authentic.
If you’ve been attempting to mirror someone else, bringing clarity to this point is a great relief and helps you deliver on your “brand” promise in a way that is unique to you.
Being aware of your “unique traits” and the value you offer, your self-esteem soars.
When you have a clear understanding of who you are, what you do best, who you want to work with, and how you want to use your talent, you also know what you do not want in your life. This helps you optimize your energy expenditure to what is really important for you.
You interact with your audience clearly and consistently, quickly establishing credibility and trust in you. This establishes deep emotional connections making your relationships authentic.
Ultimately, personal branding is not personal promotion, it is not communicating an image that does not correspond to reality, but the need to be authentic to create a strong and empathic personal brand.
There are thousands of brands in the world but your personality, the way you build relationships with your network, your strengths, values, skills, competencies, and attitudes are unique to you.
R.E. Boyatsis and K.Akrivou, “The Ideal self as the Driver of Intentional Change”, Journal of Management 25, n°7 (2006): 624-642
M.Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960)
Helping People Change, Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, Ellen Van Oosten