Interview with Laura Komócsin, Master Certified Coach,

by Anikó Uj (Germany)

As a teenager, Laura wanted to become a chemistry teacher. Finally, she decided to study economics due to her growing interest in business. After her graduation, she worked for a global management consulting company in various countries such as Malaysia, Norway and the Netherlands. As of today, she has more than 15 years of experience working as a senior executive coach. Having received a lifetime achievement award for establishing the coaching profession in Hungary, publishing 6 books on coaching, training some 1,000 coaches and achieving the highest coach certification of the International Coaching Federation, Laura´s childhood favourite school subject, chemistry, is still her passion. And here is the latest result of her two passions, chemistry and coaching, in one: she created the periodic table of coaching tools using Mendeleev’s periodic table of elements as a basis.

An interview with Laura Komócsin, the Mendeleev of coaching, the Creator of the Periodic Table of Coaching Tools.

Chemistry and coaching seem to be stark opposites. Can you explain in layman’s terms how the two are related?

When selecting your coach, ‘chemistry’ plays a crucial role: how the coach and the client can connect on a personal level to create a working relationship. The idea of using chemistry both in the scientific and interpersonal sense inspired me. In my book ‘Toolful Coach’ I describe 150 different coaching tools. Now I wanted to organise and compress them all into a single page that any coach can have at hand any time, like chemistry students always have a Mendeleev’s periodic table at their hands. This compact summary is not meant for beginner coaches only, but also for experienced ones: I hope to inspire them to constantly experiment with new coaching tools and methods to ensure their client´s satisfaction at the end of the coaching process.

Mendeleev’s periodic table organises chemical elements into different categories and groups based on certain parameters and properties, and each element has a unique chemical symbol. How is the periodic table of coaching tools similar?

This periodic table systematically organises various coaching tools, while assigning a ‘symbol’, an abbreviation for each. The SPARKLE coaching model divides the coaching process into 7 phases, just like Mendeleev’s periodic table divides the elements into 7 rows or periods. Both tables have 18 columns, and the elements in each column are similar to one another. Just like Mendeleev’s table includes categories like alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, and the likes, our system differentiates between tool categories like visual or creative writing tools, or tools best used in business and executive or business coaching (i.e. Assessment Centre, 360 degree assessment, SWOT, KPI). Tools marked with orange are useful in team coaching too. The first and last columns contain the most frequently used tools in a given coaching phase: if you use the tools of these two columns only in a specific coaching phase, it will still be successful. But you can also venture and try out elements from in-between if you have more time or focus on that specific coaching phase (i.e. SMART goals, positive visualisation, pros and cons, scaling, action plan, learning from own mistakes, celebration).

Source: iCN Issue 35  (Business Coaching: Building your Organisation); pages 36-38