Coaching The Person, Not The Problem: Vision Coaching

Not so long ago, the IOC (Institute of Coaching) presented “Vision-Based Coaching”, led by professor and coach, Angela Passarelli.

While Passarelli did not necessarily eschew the use of goals in coaching, her point, as I understood it, was that goal-setting should not be where the process starts. Goal-oriented coaching, I think she was saying, pulls the coaching sessions toward problem solving while Vision-Coaching was person directed.

For her and advocates of Vision Coaching, the essential step was to work with clients to establish and get to know their “Ideal Selves,” followed by getting to know their “Real Selves.” In effect, it’s not so much what do you want to accomplish, but who do you want to be in life; what is the client’s personal vision statement.

From that critical place (the Ideal Self in Being) will flow the “what do you want to do,” or the goals. It’s being then doing.

I asked her, borrowing from IFS, if the True/Ideal ‘Self” is often blocked or hijacked by a client’s protective parts, how is the coach to determine if the Ideal Self is the authentic one. Happily, again in line with our post of a few days ago, she said listen to the voice, attach the client’s body language.

I would add, Muscle Test.

What are we then coaching for: Aspirations, compassion, heartfelt connections to goals: Vision Coaching


Coaching for external expectations, preventative concerns (“I don’t want to screw up, get fired”) i.e. unidimensional focus, (“I want that job; I want a raise). Goal Coaching without establishing the Ideal Self from which all else flows.

Are you a Vision Coach is the final take-away. I think.