It is now accepted that emotions are part of the coaching experience, either on the part of the person being coached or the coach. However, this was not always the case. Historically, emotions in coaching were approached with caution. Early on, it was suggested that coaches should consider referring coaching situations that generated strong emotions to other professionals.
Coaching is not psychotherapy. However, much has changed since then and coachees are now advised to be able to work with strong emotions. Emotions in coaching today are part of the process. It is established that one must be confident in the face of strong emotions and manage one’s own emotions, but without being dominated or overwhelmed by them. For example, statistics show that 40% of employees do not feel appreciated by their company. This, of course, generates negative emotions in employees that can lead to depression, sadness, frustration and demotivation, just to name a few.
As José L. Meléndez CEO and Co – Founder of ChVmpion Mind says:
“He who believes that he can overcome a depressive state, languor, burned out at work, emotional fatigue due to his toxic routine, in a solitary way, is a deluded person who digs his own pit with his own thoughts”.
This means that, in order to manage emotions correctly, professional help is needed in most cases. However, the issue of emotions in coaching should not be considered to have been cleared up. In fact, according to studies, there are still three different perspectives on the treatment of emotions in coaching; in the following lines we tell you more about this…
Three possible perspectives on emotions in coaching:
It should be noted that emotions are at the core of social psychology, which is concerned with how people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the real, imagined or implied presence of others. Emotions are not simply subjective feelings; they are, above all, a way of relating to the world around us. Emotions indicate our intention to act. Thus, in human beings, emotion implies behaviors that are expressed in their personal and professional relationships. Hence the importance that emotions can have in coaching.
Emotions should be ignored because they are neither relevant nor useful.
Coaches who favor the behavioral approach as a coaching model believe that people’s emotions should not be overemphasized. For, they can be detrimental to their commitment to change. Here, emotions in coaching are a neglected aspect that could affect the process. Although the behavioral coach acknowledges current problems, he focuses more on the future. It avoids the emotional that can only lead to the past, unhelpful to what the person wants to achieve. Taking action, despite the emotions, will allow the client to reach his or her goals more quickly.
However, according to studies on the subject of emotions in coaching, it seems that it is almost impossible for a coach to exercise his skills without taking into account the emotions of individuals or teams. Even when coaching is clearly performance-oriented, such as sales or presentation skills coaching, emotional reactions can often block performance. Thus, attempts to ignore emotions can limit the effectiveness of coaching.
Emotions are disruptive and must be regulated.
The second perspective on emotions in coaching derives directly from the concept of emotional intelligence, according to which emotions must be managed or even suppressed if they are disruptive. And here, we are talking about both the emotions of the person and those of the coach, who may feel uncomfortable when a person expresses strong emotions.
It is worth asking the question Does repression of emotions require a significant expenditure of energy? The answer is yes; because the individual must constantly observe and adjust when experiencing an event with a significant emotional charge. So, is emotional regulation and re-evaluation better? Of course, re-evaluating an emotional event in order to manage it would be the most effective way to be able to overcome the emotionally charged situation.
However, in both cases, whether it is repression or regulation of emotions in coaching, the person’s learning may be limited if emotions are treated simply as something to be observed and regulated.
Today, it is known that the memory of an event is largely influenced by things one may have seen or heard after the fact. This phenomenon has been seriously studied in relation to witnesses who are questioned in a trial and whose version of an event may vary over time. It is not uncommon to experience the same phenomenon in coaching, when the client’s account may not be an accurate description of what actually happened, but what his or her memory has made of it. The repression of emotions in coaching and their regulation can accentuate this phenomenon.
Emotions in coaching are information to be accepted and analyzed.
The third perspective simply considers emotions in coaching as information that can be useful in understanding the object of the strong emotion and developing strategies to deal with it. According to this perspective, it is not a matter of repressing it or trying to regulate it. Awareness of its existence and its acceptance as a fact that has an impact on what the person is experiencing can then be the trigger for eventual change. This third perspective also points out that, in working with emotions in coaching, coaches are exposed to three key complications: the definition of the problem, the memory of the problem and the language of the problem.
Working with emotions in coaching presents a number of challenges for coaches. In this regard, four questions have been formulated to help coaches adapt their practice to the manifestation of strong emotions on the part of the individuals or teams with whom they work:
- How can I help people see emotions as valuable information?
- How can I create a shared understanding of the emotional experience with the person?
- What research strategies will be helpful in gaining the best possible insight into emotional experience while minimizing memory problems?
- To what extent does my own judgment influence our interactions?
ChVmpion Mind is a help in terms of managing emotions in coaching…
As mentioned above, ChVmpion Mind is a coaching platform that focuses on the physical, professional and emotional well-being of individuals and teams. Through a 21-week plan, it is possible to improve mental health and motivation through mindfulness. In addition, to generate healthy habits through physical exercise, which, of course, positively influences the emotional health of those who decide to join the plan.
ChVmpion Mind is a tool that helps you reinvent yourself and bring out the best you have to give. This will translate into the personal achievements and professional goals you’ve always wanted. All you have to do is make the decision to accept the ChVmpion Mind challenge!