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  • Marina Movsissian

What is Coaching (and what is it not), for what, for whom?

For the launch of the “Blog” section of my website, today I would quite naturally like to dwell on what coaching is. And by extension, what coaching is not.


I was trained in Coaching by an American but international school, IPEC, which is recognized by the ICF - International Coaching Federation, the organization which "regulates" coaching in the world and which ensures a professional, ethical and quality practice, in the absence of official regulation of the market at present. I obtained my certification as Certified Professional Coach in 2020.


In 2021 I became a member of the ICF, and it is to their code of ethics that I am committed. In January 2022, I also received the ACC (Associate Certified Coach) accreditation, which guarantees a certain level of theoretical knowledge but also more than 100 hours of Coaching practice. A new step in my development as a Coach.


So now that that base has been established…



What is Professional Coaching?


This is a question that I like to ask my (future) clients during our free and non-binding introductory conversation, my famous “Discovery Call” (you can book yours here).

It seems necessary to me, before starting a new relationship from Coach to Coachee, to make sure that we are aligned.


There are several interpretations of what Coaching is. One of the reasons is linked to the origin of Coaching, which is often credited to Sports Coaching. The Sports Coach, whether you are a competitive athlete preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, or a Sunday sportswoman, he/she gives you series of exercises to perform. So he/she gives you instructions. And corrects you. On the premise that he/she knows what to do, and you pay him/her for that expertise. What I would assimilate today more to what is called “mentoring” or “mentoring”, or even “consulting”.


The Professional Coach is not supposed to tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it. The Professional Coach can support you in any area.



The official definition of coaching, as defined by the International Coaching Federation:

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.
We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome and times when we feel stuck. Partnering with a coach can change your life, setting you on a path to greater personal and professional fulfillment.

The definition of coaching, as defined by MarinacoachMe:


The definition of coaching that I offer to my clients, the MarinaCoachMe definition defines Coaching as:

a partnership between the client and the coach, where the agenda is led by the client, using the skills and specialized tools of the coach, put at the service of the client's objectives.

The idea is that the client - you - you have the answers, the resources, within you. I have the right questions, the right skills and the relevant tools to maximize or compliment my client's expertise (yours) on your subjects and objectives. I obviously give the framework to the relationship, and to the session, but then it is a question of co-constructing with my client and of going to seek or create in her what she is "lacking" possibly.


Do you see the difference with sports coaching? Or Coaching of the type “I will coach you so that you are a better Sales / Athlete / Employee, etc.? There is a notion of expertise in the field of the “coached” person. While a Professional Coach can theoretically coach you on all subjects, starting from you, starting from the person who is being coached, and not from a specific expertise, without needing to know your specific field.


Coaching is not mentoring, consulting, or therapy.


Depending on our objective, it may therefore sometimes be more relevant to find a Mentor, a Consultant, another type of therapist, or even a loved one. Would you like to have the seasoned advice of someone who has gone through a similar experience and can share their experience with you? Finding a mentor can be a good idea. Before becoming a Coach, I was a Mentor many times; especially for colleagues at Google who were more junior in their roles, for example, or externally with young women who were looking for their way. It's exciting, but different from what I do now with my Coach cap. Do you want to have a professional point of view and someone who can tell you what to do? For example, do you want to be accompanied on the implementation of your sales processes in your company? At this time, it may be interesting to work with a Consultant. Or hire a trainer. Among the Coaches there is often a double competence with Training moreover, or Consulting. Personally, I am also called upon to offer training, putting more emphasis on my role as a trainer. Do you want to explore your past, work on a perhaps more painful episode? I advise you to consult a psychologist, who will be trained and equipped to accompany you to “heal”. I personally think that it is always interesting to go through work with a therapist. And that we should all have a Coach by the way ;). Even Coaches have Coaches. Why not you ?



In some cases, it may be interesting to consult one of these specialists in parallel with the work that we do in Coaching. During my discovery call with a future client, it is also my role to redirect you if I am not authorized to help you.



Coaching is for what and for whom?


Coaching can address many situations and objectives! Keep in mind to put it simply that Coaching helps to move forward, capitalizing on your resources (even those you don't know you have inside). Everyone can decide to work with a Coach - whether as an individual for you individually, or in a corporate setting to support some of its employees or even several at the same time on a collective format, or offer Coaching to each of its employees and to ourselves as leaders! You wish to be accompanied to gain self-confidence, develop your leadership, improve your balance in life, change jobs or position yourself for a promotion, or during a transition phase (for example you change position, you seek to retraining, you have just become a mother, you are moving or expatriating)? You want to achieve a goal or make a change, and you're not sure you have the energy, the courage or you just don't know how to do it? Then you are exactly in the right place.


Book your free 30 min call here to discuss with me and see if my Coaching can suit you and accompany you on your next step!



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