Certainly, PCI’s Coaching Process Brings Parents
by Gloria DeGaetano
Founder, Parent Coaching Institute
CEO, Parent Coach International™
There are few things I absolutely know (death and taxes), but I can honestly tell you, "Certainly, PCI's coaching process brings parents positive changes." When parents work with me, or a parent coach I have trained through the Parent Coach Certification® Training Program, I know they, their children and families will enjoy many positive benefits.
How can I be so sure?
First of all, I have seen this process work time and time again for the last fifteen years with my own clients and with parents that PCI Coaches serve. And by "work" I don't mean everything results in perfection. Not at all. By "work" I mean that parents gain tremendous insights, increased understanding and appreciation of self, spouse, and the child/children. They also receive fresh approaches to decrease or alleviate the parenting concerns that prompted seeking a PCI coach in the first place. And of course, there is always uncertainty and ambiguity involved—we are dealing with life, after all. But as Robert Quinn states in his provocative book, Change the World, "I am certain about the outcome of the uncertain process." (p.108)
As a coach, I allow myself to feel and be uncertain as I ask questions, listen carefully and strive to ascertain how to help parents gain what they want—without being judgmental or telling them what to do. In this space of not knowing, I can concentrate more on what I am hearing directly from the parent that actually works for them. Their lived experience is honored and their reality is embraced every step of the way. With this paradoxical approach, both coach and client are able to gain clarity within the muddiness of the present reality, while focusing on what works to gain desired outcomes.
It is quite a profound process and it only takes 10 to 12 coaching sessions (weekly or twice monthly) to reap strong, sustainable outcomes. In my personal coaching practice, I can't and don't promise lasting changes with less than 10 coaching sessions. It took time to develop the current situation and it takes time to unravel it and gain knowledge about the important influential factors. Throughout the coaching process, I seek to discover the "leveraging spots"—those factors that make the biggest differences and then work with my clients to eradicate the negative influential factors while amplifying the positive influential factors. This takes some time.
The PCI Coaching Model™ I developed also supports my sense of surety. Over a three-year process I decided to study thoughtfully what I had been doing in my previous 20 years of working with parents that had worked so well. I have devoted my career to providing what I perceive as the "missing pieces" in family support. In developing the parent coaching profession, I wanted to directly address these in a focused way. This resulted in four core concepts that shine light on what is so needed for parents in our modern world while applying brain science and innovative change process approaches in a practical way. Positive results stem from the synergistic interactions of these four major components. The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts!
There are three more reasons why I am certain 10 coaching sessions with me, or with a PCI Certified Parent Coach® using my coaching model, will give parents a new lease on life. These are Compassion, Co-Creation, and Commitment.
I believe that feeling heard is all about, "How well were my feelings heard?" When I coach, I want my clients to experience my empathy for their situation in every coaching session. PCI coaches are trained to open their hearts and be authentic. This doesn't in any way take away from their stance as experts and can't interfere with the necessary boundaries between client and coach.
Compassion as a focus in our professional lives makes us true "servant leaders." Our clients know we have only their best interests in our hearts and that we work mindfully to keep ourselves out of the equation. Consequently, clients are put at ease to truly be themselves. They can allow themselves to participate in the coaching process fully—whole-heartedly, one might say.
The only thing I enjoy more than creating is creating something with someone else. When parents hire me, or a PCI Coach, we make sure they know that their participation in the process is key. In fact, as the experts of their children and families, parents bring important knowledge and know-how that we do not have and that is absolutely needed for the coaching process to be successful. In an age of the know-it-all expert dispensing quick-fixes like candy (and addicting parents to the need for yet another quick fix that doesn't work in the long-term), parents I work with find it interesting and refreshing, and sometimes daunting, to understand that we coaches don't hold the answers for them.
Rather, the answers will be created between coach and client during the coaching process. Sure, we coaches have great ideas, practical suggestions, and terrific understanding of child and teen development. We bring our knowledge and know-how to the process and offer it to our clients. However, what pieces of our knowledge and know-how that will be useful and activated in the lives of our clients is largely determined by the parents' knowledge and know-how. A co-constructive process is a beautiful, respectful dance of honoring the wisdom within each—client and coach—and deciding collaboratively what advances the process for the client's desired outcomes. Here truly two heads, and two hearts, are better than one.
I like to acknowledge that there must be 2 m's in the word "commitment" because commitment takes more of me that I ever thought possible. At PCI we don't toss around commitment lightly. We know that parents with limited time and resources are making a big commitment to work with me, or a PCI Certified Parent Coach®. We understand how difficult that can be, the sacrifices that may be involved. We very much respect parents for their dedication to their families to make this commitment. It is indeed necessary for a positive outcome. Nervous waders need not contact us. We want to work with moms and dads who wish to take the plunge and dive deeply, knowing that tremendous rewards await them when they resurface.
As Robert Quinn reminds us: "Most people want to be told how to get extraordinary results with minimum risk. They want to get out-of-the-box results with in-the-box courage." (p. 188)
I, and PCI Coaches, help parents discover their out-of-the-box courage to fully commit to a deep change process. And the extraordinary results speak for themselves.
Copyright © 2015 Gloria DeGaetano, all rights reserved.
Gloria DeGaetano, an internationally acclaimed educator and author, is the creator of the Parent Coach Certification® Training Program and the founder of the Parent Coaching Institute.