The Coach as Facilitator

Adrian Pepe 1If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to get far, go accompanied. – African proverb.

The Coach and the Facilitator carry out processes that, although differ from one another, have points of convergence, allowing each one to enrich his work with the experiences of the other.

Coaching is a process in which the Coach accompanies the client (or coachee, as some professionals prefer to call him) in reaching a previously agreed goal, making use of their own resources and skills.

It is about the client reaching his maximum potential, which is also the objective of the Facilitator: to develop his Learning Partners until they reach their maximum potential.

Both the Coach and the Facilitator help people discover their own strengths, possibilities and ability to change.

There are facilitation tools that can enhance the Coach’s work and empower him in his work of observing the client in his performance. But it is also necessary to point out that there are competencies of a Facilitator that the Coach should avoid applying because they are contradictory to the Coaching process.

At any given time, the Coach can identify a skill, knowledge, attitude or value that improves the performance of his client. If he chooses to learn and the Coach has the competencies to facilitate the process, he can do it with the proper authorization, making clear that his job is not to educate or teach, but to have the client search within himself what his possibilities are.

In the process of Coaching, it is necessary the Coach’s presence to converse and observe the client’s language, corporality and emotionality (which can only be perceived through the first two), in order to show the results of his observation. When there is a dissonance between body and language, the Coach realizes that there is a breakdown on which to do his job.

At certain times, the Facilitator also observes one of these three dimensions or all at the same time to show the Learning Partner the behavioral changes (which are sometimes not obvious), which are called learning.

Instructional Design tools can be very useful and powerful for the Coach. Being able to identify the need, the audience, elements of the person, prior to the work of Coaching, facilitates and enriches the process.

Before beginning a Learning Experience, the Facilitator performs a pre-assessment of the participants, which allows him to know their learning styles, their representation systems or their learning needs. This tool is perfectly adaptable and exportable to the world of Coaching and widely recommended.

What is important is that it is wonderful to be a Facilitator, but Facilitators have to accept that the field of Coaching has its privileges. Coaches have to accept that the Coaching ambit is extraordinary, but that the facilitator’s work is also significant and important. And those who have the advantage of being both, must know to find the double line that separates and delimits both processes, because it is not possible to be a Coach and a Facilitator at the same time. It is necessary to recognize that both have their power, both have their space.

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