Psicología y Management del Coaching
Commentary coach: 1976 Book, EST Making Life Work
English articles

The Problem Isn´t What We Do But How We Do It

by Ravier Leonardo5 enero, 2015

Coaching Methodology


Discuss coaching definitions and it´s methodological problem

Tiempo de lectura

4 minutes


RAVIER, L., "Coach Commentary: The Problem Isn’t What We Do But How We Do It" [on line], The Coaching Commons, 2010. [date of consultation January, 25 2015]. Available in


Foto (CC BY-SA 4.0): "Help" de Rupert Ganzer

Citar artículo

RAVIER, L., ""Coach Commentary: The Problem Isn’t What We Do But How We Do It" [en línea], International Non Directive Coaching Society, 2015. [fecha de consulta DÍA de MES de AÑO]. Disponible en

Currently, our profession suffers a serious and prevalent problem.

The main problem with our profession is not the ignorance that exists in the market, is not those clients who come to us not knowing what is coaching, is not the “intruders” who call themselves coaches, nor schools that mix Coaching with NLP, Enneagram, or other disciplines without any distinction. No, all these examples are mere symptoms of a deeper problem.

We are the main problem. It’s called our “methodological inconsistency

Today, all coaches virtually have come to an agreement about what coaching is. All of us can assume, with nuances often irrelevant, that coaching definitions such as the ICF or those of other associations and institutions, exist in the world of coaching.

However, this apparent consensus is dangerous, since we have not yet agreed on how to do what we say we do. Almost 90% of the description of coaching’s definition did not include methodological aspects, or show preference for mixing it with other methodologies like consulting, advising, training, positive psychology, or others.

The Wellcoaches video titled “How Coaching Works” has the same methodological problem.

For many coaches it is imperceptible, or irrelevant, the fact that the coach of the video has a toolbox through which he guides the client, allowing him, even to save the coachee´s life, with a network that cushions his dangerous fall from the ladder.

However, regardless of whether the stages or phases described in the video are essentially correct (meeting to explain the problem or objective; clarification of what is to be achieved through a vision exercise; determination of the action plan and the journey itself that would lead to “success”) the way to proceed for this video coach may be methodologically inconsistent and inefficient in the coaching profession.

This is the coaching definition of the video that explains how the coach works:

“Coaches provide instruction and mentoring to their clients, and help them set goals, define an action plan, and navigate the path until they reach their goals. Coaches facilitate learning and help clients put the learning into action” Wellcoaches

If the essence of coaching methodology is instruction and mentoring, then how, in methodological terms, does our profession differ from other advising or training professions?(or, at most, does coaching would become some sort of advice or training?)

This issue is not trivial at all.

At another time I will expand on this methodological problem and will explain the historical, theoretical and ethical roots of “Non Directive Coaching” as a coherent and efficient approach of coaching.

Also, I’ll discuss any type of coaching that may ignore the importance of methodological issue itself becoming the process of coaching – by contrast, inconsistency, and deficiency.

Meanwhile, I open the debate.

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Ravier Leonardo
ESPAÑA // Leonardo Ravier es doctor en economía por la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) y en psicología por la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). Autor de la "Teoría General del Coaching" (primera tesis doctoral y sistematización teórica de la disciplina y profesión del coaching que, además, obtuvo la máxima calificación posible: "Sobresaliente cum laude"). Fundador de la International Non Directive Coaching Society (INDCS), marca y entorno que facilita la autogestión en red del movimiento internacional del coaching no directivo, de manera voluntaria y gratuita en base a los principios de libertad, responsabilidad y coherencia frente a la idea y práctica de la no directividad en el coaching.

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