In my last Blog on the ‘Three Core Conditions of a Coaching Relationship’, I discussed ‘Unconditional Positive Regard’ as being one of the three core conditions of a successful coaching relationship as defined by Carl Rogers (1) who suggested employing this, along with ‘Congruence’ and ‘Empathy’ as being the other vital ingredients that determine the quality of any therapeutic or coaching relationship.
Let us consider the third of these core conditions; ‘Congruence’. The Cambridge University Dictionary describes congruent as being “similar to or in agreement with something, so that the two things can both exist or can be combined without problems: for example, if our goals are congruent; there is no conflict”. In geometry congruent angles measure the same.
Some might reject the geometric view as the coach and coaches may not, from the outset be ‘measuring the same’. The Cambridge Dictionary definition may help here as it suggests that the two things may not be the same, but “can both exist without problems”. The suggestion is that when success is achieved in the relationship then “congruence” occurs.
Some may substitute “genuineness” for congruence; meaning that you act in accord with your values and belief system, seeking to be real and genuine in your interactions with others. This approach may require ‘movement’ from either coach or coachee (or both) which then results in congruence.
Which ever definition you choose, it is that meeting of minds that allows the energy between the parties to flow back and forth without hindrance thus adding to the quality of that relationship.
(1) Carl Rogers was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.