PETYA WIENAND: SELF-REFLECTION AS AN HONEST TALK
The mentor and transformational coach on re-establishing trust
Petya Wienand is a Membership Director at International Coaching Federation Bulgaria Chapter and а BetterUp Fellow Coach. She has a Master’s degree in Organisational Psychology and as a coach and mentor supports people to relate better at work and in their personal life.
What guiding principles do you subscribe to in your work as a coach and a mentor?
Coaching and mentoring are different things. Coaching is based on supporting the client in revealing their own talent and strengths through active listening, Socratic questioning, and offering mirror summaries of their thinking process. Mentoring relies on guiding the client based on expert knowledge.
The main guiding principle that I subscribe to is being ethical, aligned with the Code of Ethics that governs coaching at the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Firstly, this means maintaining confidentiality about what the client is sharing, agreed in the coaching contract.
What comes next are honesty and clarity. Often, clients who are new to coaching might expect the coach to give them a kind of formula that would magically resolve an issue they may be struggling with. Yet, there are no such formulas as we, as people, are all unique, albeit very similar. Honesty is crucial for establishing clarity on how coaching can be of benefit to the client, and how it cannot.
Thirdly, a guiding principle that I subscribe to is non-judgmentalism, to ensure I participate as an unbiased partner. Coaching relies so much on creating a psychologically safe space for the client to be able to face and accept how some core beliefs they cherish might be helpful and limiting at the same time. Helpful questions are often hard, and sometimes might even be shattering to what we had previously believed. This requires true courage for honest reflection. The coach is the one to support the client to nourish this courage. The only belief that should never be questioned is the belief in oneself, that one is worthy, simply as a human being, having their needs of belonging, autonomy, and mastery met.
How are conflicts addressed in the field of coaching?
Conflict is part and parcel of life. In the field of coaching, first, there is the possibility of conflict of interest relating to the coaching relationship, which is addressed in the coaching contract.
Then, there are the conflicts that form part of the coaching content, the conflicts that the client is going through. Addressing them goes through defining what they mean for the client, exploring and expanding the perspective with the understanding that each conflict has at least three levels that need to be considered: the level of what the conflict is about, the level of emotions, and the level of how the client perceives themselves, i.e. who they are in the conflict.
What is the role of trust in effective communication and conflict resolution?
Essential. I would quote Steven Covey Jr, who says: “Trust is the one thing that changes everything”. Effective communication is the tool to resolve conflict and it is not possible without trust. Conflict resolution is understanding that the only victory is to win a relationship back, to re-establish trust.
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