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#58 Joakim Muschött on the topic of coaching: Tips and Tricks

Joakim converses with his son Johan Bertil Muschött about the method of coaching and how you as a PhD student or PhD can benefit from professional coaching. He also talks about the different occupations and how they differ and what services you may expect as a coachee.

Published onSep 28, 2018
#58 Joakim Muschött on the topic of coaching: Tips and Tricks

We are joined by Joakim Muschött who is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) that has coached leaders at all levels in Sweden and internationally. Amongst other things, Joakim is the Founder and CEO of Skifta Utveckling AB – a company that trains leaders and specialists to think straighter and thus helping them to perform better.

Joakim holds a bachelor's within dramatics, musicology, and law and has been working as a theatre producer, restaurant manager, translator, travel agent, and financial assistant. Recently, he fulfilled one of his dreams - he published his first book on the topic “Courage” (Mera mod!: bejaka din rädsla och våga mer).

In this episode, Joakim converse with his son Johan Bertil Muschött about the method of coaching and how you as a PhD student or PhD can benefit from professional coaching. He also talks about the different occupations and how they differ and what services you may expect as a coachee.

Coaching is a method for helping others grow and develop.

– Joakim Muschött, ICF Professional Certified Coach, Sweden


Hi! I am Tina Persson, founder of the podcast PhD Career Stories. Today, I have the pleasure to introduce my colleague, Joakim Muschött. I learned to know him at the Job Security Foundation – Trygghetsstiftelsen - in Stockholm, Sweden. Trygghetsstiftelsen is a job security foundation supporting governmental employee after becoming redundant. The foundation can, among many other things, support PhDs and researchers in their transition from academia to industry by providing professional career coaching, seminars and workshops. It was here, when I was a new coach, I met Joakim. Joakim being an excellent career coach and as well providing great seminars in career topics.

Joakim’s background very shortly: He is ICF Professional Certified Coach since 2003 and he is running his own consultancy company, Skifta Utveckling AB in Sweden, covering topics such as team development, entrepreneurship, executive coaching and career counselling. He holds a bachelor within dramatics, musicology and law and has been working as a theatre producer, restaurant manager, translator, travel agent and a financial assistant. He’s also been working for non-profit for the men’s shelter in Stockholm. Recently, he fulfilled one of his dreams - he always wanted to be a writer! And recently he published his first book with the topic “Courage”.

So, welcome to listen to Joakim! All the best Tina

Johan Bertil: I'm Johan Bertil Muschött and I'm sitting here with my dad today outside in the beautiful Värmdö, in the archipelago of Stockholm. Dad is a professional coach and he wants to talk to you today about coaching and career counselling and I'm going to guide you through this. So, could you first give us a brief introduction to yourself?”

Joakim: “Well thank you. My name is Joakim Muschött. I’m running a company called Skifta Utveckling, where I’ve been working professionally with coaching since the year 2003. Since I'm also working as a career counselor and I’ve been noticing a lot of people are mixing up this occupation with the coaches. So I want to talk little about the method coaching and the different occupations: career coach, career counselor, certified coach and job coach.”

Johan Bertil: “So why is that important?”

Joakim: “Well, people considering going to a coach - they might feel hesitant to do so if they don't know what it is, or have built their opinion on insufficient facts. In media coaching had some underserved bashing since people mix it up with other occupations or are suspicious to things that might just be another buzzword. Coaching became [a thing] about forty-five/fifty years ago and after that every consultant suddenly became a coach! Even though [they had] no or very little education. All of this contributed to professional coaching’s questionable reputation, which it sometimes still has. There's a lot of people listening to this pod trying to make a career change - a professional coach might help them, as well as a career counselor. It's important to sort out what is what so people know what service they might wanna to ask for.”

Johan Bertil: “Okay, so to start with, what is coaching really?”

Joakim: “Coaching is a method for helping others grow and develop. Coaching is about asking a certain type of questions in a certain sequence in order for the one getting the coaching to find his or her way to solution, without others advice. The experience of this give us strength and we take action with new motivation and power. The coaches question follows a certain pattern. And the more experienced the coach, the more he or she can use his or her own personality in the sessions, and weave together with the method and the questions. You can say that coaching takes at least two people - the coach and the coachee. Professionals practicing coaching are certified, or striving to be certified, according to the branch organization ICF - International Coach Federation. A part of coaching is also the coach giving the coachee feedback on how the coachee relates to the goal and targets he or she brings to the coaching.”

Johan Bertil: “I heard you said certified coach - what do you exactly mean by that?”

Joakim: “Well, thanks for asking. Being able to work with coachee in a professional manner of course takes education as when you're a psychologist. The education is given by organizations accredited to hold education in a professional manner. When the education is over, the coach can apply for getting certified at the branch organization ICF - International Coach Federation. You can get certified on three different levels actually:

The processes for getting these credentials are really thorough and even when you're getting the first one – ACC - you're still seen as under education. You’re not through. You will be seen as a professional first at the next level – PCC. And after that, you can deepen your competence and apply for a master.”

Johan Bertil: “What does it take to get certified?”

Joakim: “Well the right education, as I said earlier, together with having a certain amount of coaching hours and clients behind you. You must also show knowledge of ICF’s ethical guidelines and demonstrate competence within eleven core competences. One of them are meeting ethical guidelines, as I said first, establishing the coaching agreement, establishing trust and intimacy with the client, coaching presence really important, active listening, powerful questioning, direct communication, creating awareness, designing actions, planning and goal setting, managing progress and accountability. This these eleven core competences you must show that you can master before getting your credential.

The certificate will stand for three years and after that you need to renew it, which you can do by showing that your competences are still sharp and valid. For doing so, the coach needs to take on further education and thus keep his or her competence strong and alive, as it should be in all occupations really.

And when you talk about how you do it, the professional coaching is about solving the coachee’s issues. It takes its focus on the human being behind the issue and not on the issue in itself. That could mean that the coaching is getting close to the border therapy, without crossing it. Given the fact how many different forms of therapy there [are], there are more similarities between coaching and some forms of therapy than there are between the many forms of therapy themselves.

A coaching focuses on issues about here and now, and forward, without holding up the coachee’s upbringing and childhood; and [it] can resemble cognitive therapy and essential therapy. The coachee can sometimes talk about the past to explain the present. But in coaching you can ever heal the past or your relation to it, which is sometimes the target of therapy. Usually it's private individuals getting therapy, whereas coaching usually is something for a company. Coaching started with the managers, who wanted to get stronger and more courageous. And now also many employees on other levels are getting coaching to develop themselves, which is really good! You can read more about professional coaching at or, if you understand Swedish.”

Johan Bertil: “You also talk about career counseling. Could you describe that and its differences to coaching?”

Joakim: “Career counseling is actually educating an individual or a group, supervising. It's about helping somebody by educating him or her in the tools needed prior to finding a new job. The person looking for a new job becomes partly a leader for his or her own job seeking project, with a career counselor as the assistant. In the career counselor’s toolbox, you will find working with competence inventory, CV, cover letter, a reference assurance, knowledge of the job market, regroupment companies, networking, LinkedIn and other social media, spontaneous application, telephone technique and an interview training.

The purpose for the education is to make the job seekers self-going in the jobs seeking project. And of course, being a good career counselor could demand education or at least lots of experience of the tools of job seeking and leading people through change. But there is a lot of persons working as career counselor in Sweden having a little or no education at all. And the same goes unfortunately for coaches.”

Johan Bertil: “I see, but to me the description of a career counselor sounds just like a career coach.”

Joakim: “Well, the career counselor also knows the art of coaching. Coaching could be used in the job seeking project, if necessary, and it most likely will if one loses his job and needs a new one, or wants to change line of business for other reasons. You could benefit by being helped with sorting out your own thoughts and feelings, as well as, what you're longing for and want to do, and sort that out from the demands of the surrounding world. Looking for a new job might be shifting occupation, a line of business. Listening to your own voice might take courage, and if so coaching can be a big help. So career counselors mastering the art of coaching sometimes call themselves career coaches. You could say that the coach works with the job seekers emotional or mental challenges, whereas the career counselor provides the hard tools for them. And also career counseling taking place when somebody's laid off from work is sometimes called outplacement.

Johan Bertil: “So career coach is a career counselor that knows the art of coaching.”

Joakim: “Yes, you could say that.”

Johan Bertil: “And finally, what is a job coach?”

Joakim: “Well, the Swedish Employment Agency, they hired so called job coaches around 2008/2009 and got a variety of consultants with a variety of competence. That contributed to cave out and diminished the word coach and coaching itself. What the Swedish Employment Agency wanted, and should have I asked for, was career counselors.

Then came the TV series called Coach Annah, [it] went on Swedish television in 2012, which furthermore contributed to make fun of and question the profession of the coach. So the word job coach is used today of more organization than the employment agency and has become synonymous with people working with career counseling or career coaching actually.”

Johan Bertil: “Okay. so when meeting a career or a coaching resource what should we think about?”

Joakim: “There is still misunderstanding between these occupations and rolls, it’s best to ask how the coach works when you meet up with him or her. What tools are used, if any, and what can you anticipate from the sessions. In that case, you don't need to get lost in the roles, but instead understand what service you might get.”

Johan Bertil: “That's really good, and if you summarize this…”

Joakim: “Well, to summarize it, coaching is a method of questions and feedback for helping the person getting the coaching - the coachee - to find its own way to solution to his or her issues, without others advice and at the same time getting the courage to walk the path. International Coach Federation, ICF, is the world's biggest organization for coaches. If you have the right education you, can apply to ICF to get certified. There are three different levels of certifications, which demand various lengths of education and experience. Career counselling is supervision, educating and advising in career issues and comprehensive help with competence inventory, CV, cover letter, knowledge of the job market and interview training. A career coach is somebody working with both career counseling and coaching; and the word job coach was the Swedish Employment Agency’s invention. It was a miss-guiding word for a career counselor but has now got the meaning of sometimes a career counselor and sometimes a career coach.”

Johan Bertil: “Well thank you, dad. And that wraps it up for today. I hope you enjoyed listening! I am Johan Bertil Muschött signing of from Värmdö, Stockholm.”

Joakim: “Well thank you!”

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