Introducing my third guest: Joel DiGirolamo

Welcome to the third episode of ONCoaching podcast! This time my guest will be Joel di Girolamo!

By title, Joel DiGirolamo is the Vice President of Research and Data Science for the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Joel leads a research team whose goals are to advance the understanding of how coaching works and to understand how coaching is evolving and enhancing society. Robust research is the foundation of tools that can be used to build high performing organizations. Joel is passionate about developing innovative and robust research that will provide this foundation for continued exploration.

If I was a competitive could say that Joel and I were rivals a few years ago. He led – and still leads – the research activities of ICF, and I was in the same position at EMCC. I have always thought that our organizations support such a big community that we can “live in peace” and I can say that I have never seen real confrontation between them. However, there were boundaries, and the appropriate level of secrecy.

"Now, after I have left my VP Research role, I had the chance to have a more unbound conversation with him" 

Joel has more than 30 years of staff and management experience in Fortune 500 companies and is the author of two books, Leading Team Alpha and Yoga in No Time at All. Joel holds a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Kansas State University, an MBA from Xavier University, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP), the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Joel is an Associate Editor for Consulting Psychology Journal and the author of numerous academic papers and book chapters.

What I admire in Joel’s approach is his contextual knowledge. As you’ll listen to the conversation you’ll hear him citing fellow researchers from here and there, making historical links and so on. He really sees the relationships of coaching and coaching research with the other fields of science. Making science contextual is vital. No field can stay “on its own” for a long time as they inform, challenge and validate each other in the scientific discourses.

I also appreciate his big-picture thinking. As we started to talk about their research on the use of coaching skills and their impact on conversations he quickly extrapolated and reflected on how these skills are – and will be – making a difference on the organizational, community or even societal level. Thinking on this horizon is inspiring. Sometimes I hear coaches complaining that “it is hard to save the world by supporting one person at a time…” but listening to Joel reinforces the idea that our profession could have a huge impact.

In this conversation we have touched on a number of topics. Why do people change? What are the commonalities and differences between coaches and therapists? Coaching skills and coaching cultures. Artificial intelligence in coaching, a topic that fits the previous conversation I had with Jonathan Passmore.

You can listen to the conversation here:  

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