Interview with Derek Deasy
Derek Deasy is a renowned member of the coaching community. We had a chat with him to highlight how he sees Wave and what this new coaching approach is bringing to the world.
Derek Deasy co-directs both the INSEAD Coaching Certificate and the Essentials of Coaching programmes, and works as the primary director of the Advanced Programme in Coaching Groups. He is also a member of Wave's Scientific Board
What was your first reaction when Adri Falcon told you about Wave?
My first reaction was: it can't work. The human connection is too important, what happens in the room with the client is everything. I thought it would be a psychological evaluation tool but not a coaching tool.
I tried an early version of Wave. What was interesting was the sense of relatedness with the coaching experience. It was more than just answering questions on a computer. Coaching exists to provide sources of support and challenges, a mental model to understand the world - and my experience with Wave captured these essentials.
How is Wave different from any other coaching offers that exist today?
I'm familiar with a couple of web-based coaching approaches. They typically provide a roadmap for their clients to follow: physical health, nutrition etc. It is good stuff and important for people who like that type of approach.
Wave, on the other hand, is highly personalized. It works with what clients bring rather than prescribing a roadmap. It is very different from one person coaching you in a room. Wave offers accessibility: you don't have to go on a waiting list, you don't have to travel, etc. You can just start working on your objectives.
Coaching is a subjective experience: do I trust this person in front of me? That depends on the space that the other person creates. How you fill that space as a coach creates the possibility for development, movement, whatever the target is. It depends on the coach taking their role seriously, their capacity to learn, that they have a good supervision system and are developing continuously.
Wave is of a different breed: it doesn't depend on one person' wisdom. It depends on many people's wisdom. It makes Wave more capable of coaching people.
People often ask me how to choose a Coach? I tell them, set meetings with 3 people and see the one you're most at ease with. Setting those 3 meetings is going to be a practical complexity: waiting for the coach to be ready, taking time... Not great when you're eager to grow and develop. Again, the real strength of Wave is that it is accessible.
I encourage people to try Wave knowing it is not going to suit everyone. No one coach suits everyone.
The activity of coaching is best described as a weak occupation. It doesn't have the protection of a profession. The access as a supplier to the industry is very easy. Anyone can use the word coach. People are trying to deal with standardization but we're not there yet.
What you get with Wave is a lot of wisdom and concern, and a drive to provide coaching in an ethical manner in a space where ethics hasn't caught up with tech yet.
Why do you believe in Wave's radical approach?
The big thing about this radical approach is that it's disruptive in all the right ways: it democratizes coaching. We want to provide high quality coaching to people that may not have other ways to access it.
What would you say to people who feel that coaching is profoundly human and that technology should not be part of the mix?
A challenge Wave might face is that people may not perceive it as "coaching" - which was initially the case for myself. People might think of it as a psychological evaluation tool.
So I would encourage people to try it and decide for themselves.
Why do you think coaches should be interested in participating in the movement Wave is creating?
Wave is not going to reduce the waitlist of current coaches. It is going to open coaching to people who would not have tried it otherwise, because of barriers to entry such as cost etc. it is not going to push the status quo in the beginning. Though it may do so if people begin to choose Wave over an in-person coach.
Coaches should get involved to become part of a very well-put together coaching implementation experience who will help you as a coach with your clients.
Anything else you'd like to add?
As a parent, I think I know tech but not the way my children know it. Technology is part of our lives. And this is especially true for young people. Resistance to Wave will likely come from people in my generation, not the younger more tech savvy generations.
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