What is Coaching?

Nowadays we see an increasing number of “coaches”, doing coaching sessions, and anyone, in any area, can very easily  become a coach.  The word coaching has become now rather commonplace and there are more and more people claiming themselves as “coaches”. This has increased the risk of loss of credibility and distrust on the part of those who need effective help to develop their competencies and those of their employees.

Despite having participated in many different trainings on the subject and more recently at an international certification in coaching, which I always find interesting and enjoyable, especially when we meet people who are truly interested in developing their skills and techniques, my specific knowledge and experience, accumulated over decades in many different work environments, is to focus on developing  the skills and competencies of people in the workplace in order to help them get out of their comfort zone and develop themselves knowing  that by achieving that they are also contributing for the development of the company they work for.

Coaching in a business environment is also intended to address the challenges and difficulties that arise in day to day business, at various levels, before situations become problems. The truth of the matter is that we want all employees to rise up to the challenges be able to address them. In my experience in Germany for example, when senior managers approached me and said “Herr Duarte, wir haben ein problem” (Mr. Duarte, we have a problem), I have always answered with the following: “No, we have no problem. What we have is a challenge and eventually difficulties we need to overcome. What is your proposed solution?”

About Coaching

As I mentioned previously, Coaching in a business environment is a way to develop the skills and competencies of people with the aim of contributing to the improvement of their performance and consequently the organization’s performance. It can also help overcome the difficulties and challenges, anticipating them and dealing with them before they turn into “problems” that may become very difficult to solve. Coaching is something that is not to be used only as a corrective measure, as unfortunately,  is still practiced in many companies. Coaching aims to help people in a positive way, to explore ways that help them overcome their limits, limits that they themselves built, realizing their goals and ambitions, benefiting the organization they represent.

Usually a coaching session is a conversation between the coach and the coachee (the person who wants to improve his skills and competencies), in which the coach focuses on helping the coachee to find his own answers to the difficulties and challenges he might have . In fact, we all know that people in general, implement or perform more easily the solutions in which they themselves participated than in the solutions that are imposed. It is a discovery process. A process by which the coachee intervenes in an active way in the search for skills and abilities that can and should develop to improve his performance and consequently the overall results of the company he or she works for.

Coaching Jfd European busines and intercontinental business


My experience as a Coach

A business coach is neither psychologist nor psychiatrist , counselor, trainer, consultant or teacher, even if one uses techniques and tools that these people use.

My decades of experience leading teams in a business environment, in sales, service, admin and finance, initially in Portugal and then in the international arena as a top executive leader in companies that posed different challenges as they were at different stages of development, in different  business sectors and cultures, allows me to say with assurance that I can help you and your company to improve and develop the efficiency and performance of your people, actively collaborating in the development of their skills and competencies to help them achieve their full potential.

I had the opportunity very early in my career to lead teams and have had innumerous professional trainings in the area. However, there was a training course with Ferdinand Fournies that I will never forget. The subject was: “Coaching for Improved Work Performance”.

Ferdinand Fournies said in a very convincing way: “Management is a system of interventions. Things you do to get the things done through others. ” Following this idea, then coaching can be defined as the set of interventions with a cause-effect relationship in People, aimed at improving their skills and abilities so that they are able to do what you expect them to do. More importantly, get them to be able to exceed your expectations! Why? Simply said, because CEOs, Directors of any department, head of a branch or a team leader only succeeds when their people are successful.

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This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)