What makes Global Focus coaching unique?
We are building a global community of coaches that celebrates many diverse ways of being and cares about the collective good— for humans and the planet. Coaching resonates with us because it honors our inherent wholeness. We created Global Focus Coaching as a home for you to step into your unique power as a coach, integrating all parts of yourself.
What is coaching?
The International Coaching Federation “defines coaching as defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. At Global Focus Coaching, we also like to think of coaching as “human alchemy”— a transformative and dynamic partnership between coach and coachee that invites in all the complex aspects of the human experience on a path to more joy, clarity, and values alignment.
You may have heard the term coaching in reference to sports coaching. Centuries ago, the English word “coach” was also slang for a personal tutor. In the 1990’s, the field of interpersonal coaching began to emerge via the notable contributions of a coach called Thomas Leonard, who, inspired by the Socratic Method, founded the International Coaching Federation (ICF), an organization that is still seen as the gold standard for coaching education accreditation. Life coaching at this time was especially focused on making people more productive at work.
The 1990’s was the decade that the modern field of coaching, also known as personal coaching or “life coaching,” truly began. Since then, the field has expanded to encompass many coaching niche sectors, including leadership, management, entrepreneurship, wellness, mental and physical health, skill-building, life transitions, relationships, and more.
While many of the development of modern life coaching as recognized by the ICF have centered on North American and European coaches, we want to honor and acknowledge that many foundational practices in interpersonal coaching have been used for centuries in indigenous cultural traditions around the world. We recognize the patriarchal and capitalist origins of the modern coaching field, and reject the use of coaching solely to optimize human productivity. We believe that there is magic in the coaching process and that it contains the potential to help us live life in ways that are more fulfilling and aligned with our values.
Is there a difference between coaching, interpersonal coaching, and life coaching?
We use the terms coaching, life coaching, and interpersonal coaching interchangeably. Sometimes we use the term “life coach” to distinguish between interpersonal coaching and sports coaching. Within the life coaching industry, people often just refer to the profession as “coaching”.
What is the difference between coaching and counseling/therapy?
There are defined ethical delineations between coaching and counseling or therapy, and in some cases, such as mental health coaching relationships, there may be overlaps between the two. Both coaching and therapy can support a client’s mental health and wellbeing. Coaching tends to focus on the future and usually involves visioning, an emphasis on what’s working, and setting goals for the short and long term future. Therapy tends to focus on healing trauma, using the past to understand the present, and building skills for managing emotional issues. Coaches are not qualified to provide therapy and the ICF provides clear guidelines on when to refer a coaching client to therapy.
What is the difference between coaching and mentorship/consulting?
Consultants and mentors both provide subject matter expertise in different ways. A mentor often provides many of the same types of a support that a coach might offer, but would also give guidance from their own life experience in the same field as the mentee. A consultant is often engaged to offer guidance based on their expertise in a specific field. While coaches may be subject matter experts in some areas relevant to their clients’ lives, the coaching relationship does not involve offering advice to clients.
What are the different styles and philosophies of coaching out there? Do you train people to a specific style?
There are many coaching styles and methodologies out there that draw from the fields of psychotherapy, sociology, and anthropology. Every coach is different, and we make sure to expose participants in our trainings to a range of coaching styles and philosophies. Our training curriculum has been designed from our combined experience as coaches, DEI practitioners, and educators. Key influences in our coaching methodology include anthropology, trauma-informed psychotherapy, restorative justice, nature-connected inquiry, mindfulness, forum theater, gentle horse training, expressive arts therapy, Yoga, Ayurveda, birth work, dance, DEIB theories, and intercultural dialogue. Learn more about our course offerings on our course catalog.
Is coaching a viable career choice?
Yes! Coaching is growing as a field, and certain sub-fields of coaching are rapidly expanding, including mental health coaching, wellness coaching, relationship coaching, and business coaching. In addition to the opportunities to have your own coaching practice, there is a growing demand for trained coaches to work with larger coaching providers. There is a broad range of what coaching careers can look like, and we make sure to expose you to different types of coaches in the field during your program. You may choose to run your own coaching business, integrate your coaching skills in your existing work, work as coach through a larger company that provides coaching services, or use coaching as a side hustle for additional income.
Are your programs accredited by the ICF?
As a graduate of our professional coaching certification, you are eligible to apply for an ICF ACC or PCC credential. Once our Level 2 accreditation is formalized, the ICF will retroactively approve graduates of our 2023-24 Pilot Program, Coaching for Complexity as having completed an ICF-accredited Level 2 coach education program.
How important is it for me to hold an ICF credential?
An ICF credential can signal to potential clients and employers that you are highly trained and experienced. In our experience, employers looking to hire coaches generally prefer candidates with coach training that meets the ICF’s Level 2 accreditation standards. We believe in the importance of upholding a high standard of ethical practice in coaching, and ICF-accredited training ensures that a certain baseline of ethical standards are met. Some coaches may decide not to pursue the credential if it is not highly valued or recognized in their field. Pursuing an ICF credential is a personal choice, and you will need at least 100 hours of documented coaching experience before you are eligible to apply.
Your company’s mission and values talk a lot about being holistic, de-colonial, anti-racist, feminist, and inclusive. What does that actually mean?
Our mission and values underpin the way that we design programs, think about coaching, make business decisions, and engage with each other and with you. Something we have both noticed about the coaching industry is that many of the ways of signaling legitimacy and credibility in the field of coaching are also signals of proximity to whiteness, masculinity, and heteronormativity. We recognize that coaching is not just a valuable business tool that can increase productivity and profits but a fundamentally human process with real social value. We are constantly thinking about things like our own unconscious bias and unpacking internalized beliefs from oppressive systems may perpetuate harm, so that we may radically imagine a more just and beautiful future where we are in right relationship with one another and the earth.
Why are you called Global Focus Coaching?
Although we are a North American company, our co-founders all come from backgrounds in intercultural and international work. We invite in knowledge and expertise from many different cultures and worldviews to inform our approach, and we aspire to help unlock the potential of coaching for people around the world by building more opportunities for access to coach training. We are excited to engage with the complexity of a world with different languages and cultures and are in constant relationship with that complexity in our own lives.