Coaching is my passion and my profession, and I have always been fascinated by the wealth of knowledge that is out there regarding the helping profession. If I search Google Scholar for “Coaching” then I get approximately 2 million results. A lot. As a psychologist by degree my education was based on scientific models of human behavior and the researcher mindset, so I am pretty critical of the knowledge I am engaging with.
It is not in my LinkedIn profile, but I literally wanted to be a rocket-scientist in high school. I went to learn advanced physics and mathematics back then. I took all the extra classes I could. So I do have some hardcore “what is science” beliefs. Fortunately in those years I realized that I have a stronger interest in people than in rockets so my attention turned to psychology, but the core beliefs stayed with me. I just became a lot more open and accepting, not just for people in general, but for types of knowledge and research as well 😊.
I like to question the sources, the validity and the applicability of the theory I am meeting with. My questioning is not “negatively judgmental,” I do not mean to discredit, I am curious. I want to know if I am engaging with the fantasy of someone, or with something that has been proven to be true. I know, I know… there is no such a thing as “true knowledge,” but I don’t mean to open a whole philosophical debate here. I am curious about the strength of the knowledge that I am engaging with.
In the recent years of my self-development I have met with lots of thoughts regarding the helping professions. I have heard about neuronal-level changes in the prefrontal cortex as a result of a single conversation, brain’s grain matter density related to the level of certain psychological constructs and messages of angels being delivered in certain manners… believe me, I have seen lots of things.
And truth be told I was not convinced by some of them.
From my curiosity and dedication to professionalism came my mission: I want to strengthen the scientific foundations of coaching and I want to enhance the credibility of this profession. My way of doing this is to support the spreading of “good knowledge.” And for me the good knowledge has some valid background to it. Yes, we can have a good discussion on what constitutes a valid background.
I was the International Vice-President of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council for three years (and I was in a similar position in the Hungarian organization of EMCC later). EMCC organizes research conferences, publishes books and articles regarding the science of coaching. I loved that and I still love it. What I found on my journey with EMCC is that lots of practitioners find the research results dry and hard to apply. Non surprisingly the key theme of all the EMCC research conferences was about bringing research and practice closer to each other. As there was always a gap. We as human-centered helping professionals seem to need a science that looks human.
"I want to strengthen the scientific foundations of coaching and I want to enhance the credibility of this profession. I think that human-centered helping professionals need a science that looks human."Zoltán Csigás
The ONCoaching podcast is my next humble endeavor in contributing to the bridging of this gap. What I found is that meeting the researchers, getting to know their background, their relationship to their topics can inspire the learners for deeper understanding and engagement with the research material. And let’s be honest, sometimes it is simply easier to hear someone tell you the fancy research results instead of reading whole articles.
Well, all the other fancy names were already taken. 😊 I like to be ON, active and working. ON could be an acronym for “Opposite of Nonsense” – something that makes sense too.
In this series I aim to bring well-known coaches, and coaching researchers to the microphone and interview them about these topics. Their background, favorite topics, and current research interests. I can see the flames of their passion and I’d like to pass on the light.
Come, and join me in the conversations!