The first relationship we ever have is the one we have with ourselves. This is how Christine Asmar Francis, founder of Viviti, sees relationship. People run their lives based on relationships. Nevertheless, where do Coaching, Mentoring, Consultancy, Training and Counseling play their roles in relationships?
Christine Asmar Francis explains more about them…
- What is VIVITI?
VIVITI Coaching & Mentoring is the Brand of my coaching practice. It stands for VItality which life, the essence of being. VIsibility without which we cannot achieve our purpose and the TI is you in Spanish, hence vitality and visibility for you.
- How did you start with it?
After receiving my first Diploma in Management Coaching and Mentoring in 2008, I was working mainly with individuals, and at that time, the objective was to expose myself to clients and practice my skills. The Natural path was to continue my professional development by starting to work with organizations. Therefore, I enrolled myself with the Coaching academy in the UK as a protégé student where I was taking a variety of courses, one of which was how to coach small businesses. During one of these courses, and it is always the case with coaching, I had the awareness that I needed to start coaching myself for my own business. It was there that I was inspired to start a practice instead of a business and the ball started rolling for me.
- Who are the clients of VIVITI?
My clients vary from sole business owners to SME’s and sometimes big organizations. I have had the pleasure of working with clients who want to set their own business to clients who were into their business for a short time and others who have been operating for a long time.
- How do you define coaching?
My simple definition of coaching is that it provides people with time to think. Life has become too fast and we tend to rarely work on ourselves and on our business. Coaching allows people to connect to who they really are and what is important to them, assess and reflect on what is working well and what is not working.
- What is the difference between coaching and other practices such as mentoring, consultancy, training and counseling?
These practices are required for different reasons mainly in businesses, and they fall on spectrum from non-directive approaches to directive approaches. The least directives are coaching and Mentoring then comes consultancy counseling and last comes training. Coaching and mentoring fosters awareness and accountability and empowers the client to find their own solutions. They facilitate change and problem solving while keeping the agenda of the client at hand. Coaching is a more structured relation and usually has a time limit. As a coach, you come in and out of a client’s life ensuring that you not only have empowered them, but also provided them with the tools and techniques that they can use alone. In my experience, a client might request your services again in different intervals after the initial work. Mentoring could be more of a long-term relationship and usually is probono, i.e mentors do not get payed for their time, it is their way of giving back to the people they engage with. It is more about sharing their condensed experiences and connecting their mentee with their networks without influencing the outcome. They are both action driven.
On the other hand Consultancy, is about diagnostics made, out of which solutions are suggested based on previous experiences and best practices, could follow implementation or not. Training is more of a short-term thing, it is about imparting knowledge and it is up to the person to apply it or not in the work environment. As for counseling, it is counseling deals with the past of a client: a counselor works with a client to resolve these issues to enable them to move forward.
- What is your coaching approach?
My approach is very organic; I never come in with a plan in mind for my clients. First, I listen to what is being said as well as what is not being said (reading between the lines kind of thing), to identify the real needs rather than the obvious ones. People always tend to address their needs at the first level. What I try to do is to always go deeper in understanding the real issues and challenges. By the end, the desired outcome is always to increase performance and efficiency and the only thing that is standing in the way of that are usually the beliefs and behavior of either the person or the collective group that work together. Ideally, I would start by revisiting their values, mission and vision and see how congruent and then move forward, unless obviously there is a more pressing issue to be dealt with. However, we always make sure we get these covered in the program.
- What are the services you offer as a business coach?
As a management coach and mentor specialized in culture transformation, I am usually brought in for many reasons and can deliver many different services. The services vary from one to one coaching following a program or assessments made by the company, to executive coaching, to team coaching, to tailor made.
- What are the challenges you faced (or are still facing) with Viviti?
I would say the maturity in the market and the misperception of people about what a real business coach does. People are always keen to get answers from others and our role is not to feed into that desire. Clients usually expect to get quick fixes for their challenges and expect to get the manual of how to do that whereas with coaching people become the best they can.
- What are your future plans?
I have been willing to expand the territories that I work in and I am in the process of creating collaborations with business partners to do that. I have started a book project that has been hibernating for past year and half or so. I believe it is time for it to rise up.
- Who is Christine Francis Asmar?
Good question and thank you for asking. It has been a while I have not asked myself this question! I am an evolving soul who is growing and contributing. Passionate about making a difference in the life of those who cross my path both on a personal and work level, I am a believer in people and their capability of living a value driven life. I am blessed to be able to work in my passion, this is what coaching and mentoring are all about. That is who I am.