Gianfranco Nocilla EN [gianfranconocillacoachen]
What types of coaching do you do? Who are your clients?
I mainly do Career Coaching, followed by Executive, Team and Corporate Coaching. My emphasis on the "corporate environment" derives from my experience as global R&D senior project leader in a fast moving consumer goods multinational company.
My definition of coaching is "the art to facilitate the development of the human potential, in order to reach significant goals". Subsequently, I do also Personal Coaching to non-corporate clients, who seek and need major changes in their life.
What the two coachees' categories share is the presence or the necessity of a transformation, the need to make clarity and plan a path towards balance, satisfaction, fulfilment and excellence, which is in line with their deep values.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you, the type of work you do and/or the place where you do it?
I practice my coaching activities in Italy and France but I have had also several English and German coachees.
Thanks to technology and my mobility, I have no problems working abroad or with coachees from abroad.
I invite you to visit my web site/blog on career coaching: www.gianfranconocillacoach.it
How did you get into coaching?
In 2003, a Director of the company I was working for proposed to me a short coaching path to “accompany me” in my imminent expatriation to France.
Once in France, I started investigating the coaching, firstly through books and then through training courses. Already in 2004 I started coaching colleagues and assistants.
In 2009 I attended a Corporate Coaching programme accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and in 20120 I got my ICF credentials as Associate Certified Coach (ACC).
Do you have innate qualities, or is it something that you learned?
Innate qualities? Study? For sure a lot of study and in-depth analysis of close subjects concerning human development, learning and the business world and evolution.
Then, it's necessary to "cement" all this material with a huge passion and a true interest towards coaching and the coachee's progress.
I like reminding that the International Coach Federation (from now on "ICF") defines coaching an art, not a "job".
What must the person you are helping contribute?
Coaching implies a relationship of mutual growth, based on trust, honesty, transparency, confidentiality, goodwill, good faith and, of course, on an extremely sound professional coaching background.
Nevertheless, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of a coaching programme, it's necessary that the coachee respects the pre-condition of willingness. In other words: the client has to spontaneously "adhere" and support the coaching activities, assuring involvement and engagement.
What motivates someone to work more efficiently?
There are numerous factors that can motivate someone to work more and better or, on the other way around, can cause a breakdown in efficiency, motivation, self-esteem...
Maybe the main motivator is working for a clear goals, which is congruent with your own aspirations, character, ambitions. If you work for something with which you can identify yourself and which is coherent with your principles, then your efficiency, creativity and results will dramatically improve.
On top of that, a chain of small and big successes helps to reinforce your self-esteem and self confidence, with immediate positive effect on your performances.
As a coach, I intervene on both these levels: I help the coachee to find and build his desired and "aligned" future and to build as well a winning image of himself.
How do you work on the emotional plane?
For sure not denying the existence of the emotions...
Emotions - sometimes even strong - are a key element of each coaching relationship and, as a coach, I have to be able to read them without being overcome by them.
Sometimes, for instance when the coachee shows a pattern of inactivity or denial, I sense an emotional blockage; if the relationship is already strong, I ask the permission to deal with it. Obviously, the coachee is free to decline without compromising the coaching relationship, but being clearly informed that the progress speed could be influenced by his denial.
Can positive thinking can be developed into a habit?
Frankly, I do not consider "positive thinking" as a panacea or an indispensable element for a deep personal and professional development process. It's more an effect of a process than a pre-condition. Moreover, positive thinking is often associated to "motivational coaching", so popular nowadays but also so different from "pure" coaching.
Having said that, the coach always pushes the coachee to reflect on his own successes and mistakes, to learn as much as possible from them and to reinforce a winning image of himself.
How does one learn to listen?
First of all with exercise, engagement and a lot of study. It can sound strange, but the deep, contextual listening - typical of coaching - is not an easy activity: we are so used to interpret, to anticipate, to give advices.
It's necessary to become "egoless", that is to put your ego aside, ceasing judgement, prejudices, previsions, advices, projections, expectations, negative emotions... It's also important to learn to listen not only to the words, but also to the verbal and non verbal messages sent by the coachee, which represent the 93% of the global content of a normal communication!
Both of the following are necessary, but how are dreaming and realism balanced?
Coaching can be metaphorically seen as a bridge between the current disappointing situation and a successful, satisfactory future.
So, at the very base of coaching (that is in the phase of the macro-objectives definition), there is a visioning activity: the coachee has to imagine and "pre-live" the desired situation, aligned with his values, ambitions and reality. Once defined, verified and challenged, the goal is confirmed and the coachee is accompanied in the definition of a concrete action plan.
So, here you are a second bridge: from imagination back to reality.
Discipline and creativity: are they two forces in opposition, or are they complementary?
Discipline is not the opposite of creativity and there isn't any complementarity relation between the two.
The disciplined creativity is much more powerful of an uncontrolled creativity; the creative discipline is not oppressing like the military, inflexible one.
As a coach, I train the coachee to practice his own creativity and to make it realistic and implementable through the discipline of an action plan.
What are your personal relationships like with the people you work with?
First of all professional: the coaching practice is regulated by a strict ethical and deonthological code (I adhere to the ICF one).
That being said, I add that - considering the context and the themes of a coaching path - the relationship with my coachees is never "aseptic": if there is no alchemy, openness, trust, mutual esteem, reciprocal interest, the coaching does not give good results.
Generally, I create strong and long-lasting links with my coachees.
When the coach is confused or lost, where does he/she find a guide? Who is the coach of the coach?
One of the main characteristics of a professional coach is to be "coachable", that is to be open and available to be coached by other colleagues.
Being coached by a professional coach helps the coaches clarifying and solving personal and professional issues. All the coaches I have met - even master coaches, having held senior positions in complex organisations - have been, in turn, coached by other coaches.
I kindly remind that ICF requires a verifiable coaching programme before accrediting a professional coach. Moreover, to renew the credentials, it's necessary to certify a coaching path with a mentor coach about the key-coaching competences.
Can an excess of self-esteem be the worst obstacle?
The excess is always an obstacle, coming from and absence of balance.
As already stated elsewhere in the interview, for me coaching is the "art to facilitate the development of the human potential, in order to reach significant goals". To succeed, it's necessary to make the coachee develop self-esteem and self confidence, balanced with openness to feedbacks and new points of view and with a good level of humility.
How do you recommend selecting a coach? Should it be someone who has followed the path that he/she wants to? Should it be someone they admire?
The right coach is the one who answers the best to the coachee's needs.
In my opinion, the best process to select a coach is the following one:
1. identify the area on which you want to focus the coaching path;
2. once clarified the macro-area, look for a credentialed coach having experience in that specific field. To make this research, use web sites, blogs, the word-of-mouth of former coachees, the databases of professional federations loke the ICF...
3. then gather specific information on each selected coach through his web site, blog, references, former clients, asking them how and in what areas the coach was particularly helpful and effective;
4. once identified the potential coach, contact him to ask questions on his areas of excellence, on his mistakes and on what he did learn from them. (A coach who states that can cover all the fields or denies to have ever made mistakes is not credible.) If you feel that you can trust him, then you can start your coaching path!
I do not agree with the second question: the coach is a professional of the change, an expert of the human development, not a mentor or a consultant, who needs to know the context of his coachee. He needs to inspire empathy, to master the contextual and deep listening, but for sure not to share the same path of the coachee. And why? To give advices? The coach does not give advices: he supports the coachee more deeply, in a different way...
If someone wants to initiate a self-transformation, what general advice would you give him/her?
If he wants to initiate a self-transformation, it means that he feels the need of a deep change and that he has already got going.
So, I suggest him to further investigate the reasons of his current frustration and the direction he would like to give his own transformation.
And to contact me, being an expert tranformational coach: it's not enough to understand the root of a transformation and even to identify its final destination. HE NEEDS A COACH to really carry his transformation out!
Gianfranco Nocilla EN