Mariateresa Romeo is an experienced executive coach and organizational behavior professional. She specializes in individual and team performance improvement, executive presence, effective business communication, leadership development, emotional intelligence, and intercultural fluency.
After achieving a Master’s degree in Science of Communication for Business and Organizations from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” Mariateresa worked in the corporate world for over 20 years as a management consultant.
She has supported several leaders at European and US-based companies, managing strategic initiatives for operational effectiveness and organizational changes. Mariateresa is an ICF-certified Executive Coach (EEC – Milan, Italy), Emotional Intelligence Leadership Coach and Assessor (Six Seconds North America), and Neuro-Linguistic Master Practitioner (NLP University – California, USA).
Since 2015, she has coached clients in various occupations and organizational levels, including high-potential employees, entrepreneurs, and Executives.
Through her coaching and training programs, she helps them get clarity on who they are and what they want out of their life and careers. She also enhances their ability to connect, communicate, and inspire others, discover and use their talents best, and improve their wellbeing.
Mariateresa is originally Italian, and she lives in New York City. She is an art enthusiast, a cellist, and a lover of the sea.
Connect with Mariateresa on LinkedIn.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- How coaching works
- How do you know if coaching is good for you
- The difference between coaching and therapy or counseling
- How to choose the right coach
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for High Velocity Radio.
Stone Payton: Welcome to the High Velocity radio show where we celebrate top performers producing better results in less time. Stone Payton here with you this morning. Please join me in welcoming back to the Business RadioX microphone with Komeito Coaching LLC. Ms Mariateresa Romeo. Welcome back.
Mariateresa Romeo: Thank you, Stone. Thank you so much for having me again. Good morning, everybody.
Stone Payton: We’re delighted to have you back on the show. We wanted we had Maria Teresa on a on the coach the coach series. Go check out that interview if you haven’t heard that. But we wanted to get her back and kind of dive into some of the questions and considerations associated with engaging a professional coach. And of course, she is extremely well credentialed. She’s ICF certified and a bunch of other stuff that I’m sure she can she can share with us. Maybe a good place to start. This particular conversation would be just kind of a general overview of what coaching really is and maybe how it compares to therapy and counseling and consulting and all of that. And then we can kind of dive into how do we engage the the right coach for us. But how would you describe the the difference in what coaching really is?
Mariateresa Romeo: Yeah. I mean, this is the most common question actually, and it’s something that I usually clarify at the very beginning, very beginning of any coaching relationship with clients, because it’s absolutely important to set the stage and understand how we can work together. So the word coaching comes from coach and the the the word itself. You see, even in English, we use it to, to describe a means of transportation, right? We talk about the coach or the train, the coach with horses. So the reason why we use this word is because coaching means somebody who can help you go from one place that you don’t like it or there is no more in line with your needs, with your values. So situation you you don’t want for yourself anymore to a future say so. Another place that is more in line with what you want. So the coaching relationship is actually someone who drives you from one place to another place. And when I have to explain the differences between coaching and therapy, for example, because sometimes people get confused and they it happens that they ask me, I don’t know if if for this kind of problem I should go and hire a coach or I should go to therapy. So the first thing to clarify is that at in coaching, we have clients, we don’t have passion, right? So we do not substitute, we do not replace, you know, any mental health care. And most importantly, we base our work on the assumption that our client can be responsible for their choices.
Mariateresa Romeo: They can make decisions autonomously, so they can also project themselves in the future state and they don’t have any kind of mental issue. So we don’t try to solve trauma or addiction or mental disorder in general. And most importantly, coaching. The coaching process is usually focused on the present and the future. As I say before, I can help you move from a situation now that you don’t like to a future state. So it’s a very objective, goal oriented process. In therapy, you usually spend a lot of time also to digging in the past to understand the root causes. Yes, we can do some kind of exercise in coaching, but that’s not the main focus. Therapists are more focused on solving, you know, the root causes. So understand the past. For example, your family history, your relationship in the early stage of your life and try to fix them, to process them, to solve the present problems. So it’s a different kind of way of working. But as I say, the most important thing to understand is that, yeah, coaching, we deal with clients, we don’t have passion, so we do not prescribe, we do not we can suggest exercise of things to do. But again, the client is fully responsible. One of my coaching mentors gave me these examples here ago. And say it’s like a taxi. You you get you get in a taxi and say, okay, please, I want to go there. So you tell me where you want to go. I help you get there.
Stone Payton: How how do I know if and when I need a coach? Like, are there. Yeah. How do I. How do I know if I need one? And how do I know? Okay, yeah, I probably do from time to time. But when?
Mariateresa Romeo: Mm Yeah, that’s a very, it’s a very nice question. You know, usually, um, there is a, there is an approach actually there is a easy technique that I find very helpful in several situations. So, um, I will say the starting point is that you want something, you want to achieve something, whether it is in professional or personal life. So if you take a moment and think about what you want to achieve, the first question is to ask yourself, Is that clear to me? I really know exactly what I want when I want to achieve it. And if so, how do you think you you have a strategy or you are capable of defining your plan to get there? Do you think you have the resources? Do you think you can work on it? Um, the other question is do you feel you deserve. So what are some of the feelings around this specific goal specific situation? Do you feel you, you really are passionate or, you know, you feel some resistance, some self-doubt, other stuff that, you know, you might need clarify from an emotional standpoint. So if you try to really give an answer to those easy questions and if the question is yes, so you have a clear idea what you want when how you don’t have any particular you don’t see any particular obstacle for from an emotional standpoint, you feel motivated to get there most importantly so you know that you can do it. You can commit yourself to achieve this goal.
Mariateresa Romeo: Well, you don’t need a coach. You have already everything clear. You have the resources and you can manage it by yourself. But if you think the same situation and you start saying, for example, Oh, you know what, I don’t know how much I really want this, or maybe it’s not clear how. So I know what I want, but I know I don’t know how or yes, I want it, but I have some self-sabotage issues, for example, or deep inside I start working on it, but then I give up or I get back to the previous habit, whatever it is. So if you see any issue, that’s that’s the good way to say, okay, I need a coach because a coach is someone who can help you achieving your goal so it can help you clarify who you are, what you want out of your life, your career or in a specific situation can help you remove your emotional roadblocks, can help you work on the sabotage, can help you project yourself in the future and come up with a plan, you know, in retrospective. How you can get there can help you understand what are resources that you have right now, or what are the skill that you might need and can help you develop those skill, especially if we are talking about, you know, relationship or communication skills. So to me, this is the yeah, the universe or the landscape where a coach usually operates.
Stone Payton: It sounds like one of the most important foundational pieces of working with a coach is that is this clarity, right? Like getting very clear about what you want? Because I know for speaking for myself personally, sometimes I’m a little bit like a squirrel chasing down shiny objects, right? And so and I get very clear and intense on something for a little while and then maybe jump to something else. But it sounds like that that’s a very important early step in the process, this clarity, isn’t it?
Mariateresa Romeo: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, my approach and this is not only my approach, because this is something that ICF certified coach or at least, you know, coaches who have done a lot of training learn since the very beginning is that the initial part of the process is mainly focused to clarify the goals. So make it clear not only to the client but also to you as a coach, as you can really understand what is exactly where the client wants to go, essentially. And that initial part, I will say, if you do it very well, if you have the client, clarify very well what they want exactly and when and how you have done most of your work right, then the next step is to clear the road of any roadblocks or emotional things. But yeah, as I say before, I mean, if I get on a taxi and I don’t know where to go, I cannot complain with the taxi driver. No, right. Or I cannot complain with anybody. So that’s the thing. The first step is the is the goal. And the other thing that I always highlight in my initial conversation with clients is that we usually say no gap, no coach. What does it mean? It means that if you don’t think that if deep inside you feel or you think there is nothing, you have to change in your life. And at the end of the day, yes, you might come to me and complain about the situation and say, I don’t like it, I’m tired of my boss or I’m not satisfied with my career, whatever it is. But deep inside, at the end of the day, you are comfortable with it. You don’t want to change it. There is no gap. So there is no a future stay because you are not willing to change.
Mariateresa Romeo: At the end of the day you are just self complaining. So coaching in that case can also help you clarify. That is not so uncommon that people come to coaching saying, Oh yeah, I want to revamp my career or I want to have a better habit and be a management better my manager, my work life balance better. But at the end of the day, they enjoy what they are doing, even if there are some ups and downs and they are part of the life, it’s okay. They are okay with what they have. So one of the thing that really coaching can bring is clarity. It’s clarity. It’s clarity about what you want, it’s clarity about what you feel. And I think it’s important. It’s an important step and sometimes you need an external help. I know people might come and say, Oh, you know what? I can do this by myself. I can, you know, sit down and write down my thoughts or whatever. Meditate. Yeah, absolutely. All those kinds of stuff are extremely important. But the coach is also a professional, somebody who can help you with your neuroplasticity. So your ability to develop new neural networks, that means which means see situation from different perspective and most importantly, finding new way to solve your problem. That’s what we do at the end of the day, right behind the scene, the work that we do, that’s the thing. So that clarity can come from a real coaching process where you sit down with somebody, you talk to them, and most importantly, you engage yourself in that relationship because it’s a it’s not only having someone to talk to at the end of the day. It’s a process.
Stone Payton: What a great way to to frame all of this. One of the phrases that you mentioned was clear the road. Could you share like an example of what clearing the road might look like for someone?
Mariateresa Romeo: Yeah. So I’m I’m an emotional intelligence coach. Also. I’m certified in emotional intelligence. So most of the time. Oh, that’s a good example now that I’m thinking about it. You know, when you know that you have to do something like, for example, my doctor told me that I have to lose weight or even if I don’t have a doctor’s prescription, I would like to look thin. I would like to have a better a healthy life, whatever it is. And so you know exactly what to do. You know that you have to sleep more. You know that you have to drink more. You know that you have to exercise at least one hour a day. Maybe you can go to a doctor and get a better diet and say, okay, I have to eat more healthy food so you know what you want. And you say, okay, I don’t need a coach. Right? But the moment you start, you start doing it at the very beginning and everything is fine. You feel energized and then maybe after 1 or 2 weeks, you see, for example, I know that I should have my exercise now, but yeah, no, I’m going to stay on the couch and watch TV instead. Oh yeah. Yes. I really promised myself that I would never drink a lot. But you know what? Yeah. Let me get grab some drink. So whatever it is. So you get back to the previous previous habits or you are not consistent most of the times.
Mariateresa Romeo: And I don’t want to generalize things, but what happens is at least what I experienced in my, in my career as a coach is that there are some emotional roadblocks. So from a cognitive standpoint, from a rational standpoint, you are on it. You know what you want. You know how to how to get there, you’re fine. But from an emotional standpoint, there is some resistance. So, for example, you don’t feel joy, you feel a kind of sense of frustration. You are you know, you are you are having a moment in your life where everything is you have you have, you have, you must. But what is that you really want? So clearing the road for me is also working on those kind of underlying aspects that are not in the surface. Like, you know, like the iceberg. You see the top of it, but you know that below the water, under the water there is a lot. So the coach is someone who can help you get there. You can help you show. Okay. What are some of the feelings associated to this coach and how can you navigate those feelings in order to, of course, achieve your goals? But for example, at the same time, honoring other needs that might be on the way in this moment cannot help you to get there.
Stone Payton: So I know that there are quite a number of people in the coaching profession. I know that some are very well credentialed, others are not. Here in little old Woodstock, Georgia. There are a couple of coaches in some groups that I’m a part of. But how how can I increase the chances of choosing the right coach for me and what I’m trying to get done?
Mariateresa Romeo: Yeah, that’s a very good question. So first of all, I have to admit that the word coach is overused, right? People call themselves coach for everything. It’s user. And also not only in our professional coaching environment. You use the word coaching in the sports entertainment. You know, you have your acting coach if you want to do that kind of career. Um, so the to me, what I usually recommend the client is to first of all verify their credentials in terms of not only if they are certified but also the, the study, you know, their education, their certification, because as I say before, effective coaching is not something that you improvise. It’s not something it’s not just because you are good at talk to people or you are good at listening to people. You can be a coach. I mentioned before that we we really work on the way people behave and most importantly before that, we work on the way you see things that we work on, your languages. We essentially stimulate the neuroplasticity. So that’s the way to the first step to me is understand this person, where they come from, do they study and yes, what what type of study, what type of certification. And as I said, a very good coach is not somebody who just sit there and listen to you or give you some advice. That’s not it’s not it’s somebody who leverages some techniques, somebody who can really master what we call the powerful question that are those questions can can help the client having this kind of aha moment and shift perspective.
Mariateresa Romeo: So important thing really, one of the first thing is the education. The second thing is that it coach at the end of the day have his own specialty. Usually you can work on everything as long as it is in the area. In the space of the coaching, as I say, is not therapy. So but at the end of the day, for example, myself, I specialize in business and executive coach, but it is the result of my life. I’ve been in the working in the corporate environment for more than 20 years, so I don’t have to be an expert. That’s the thing to become a coach. So one of the most common mistake is that people say, Oh, have you done this in the past? Have you had this kind of situation in the past? No, I don’t have to. I don’t have I’m not a consultant, so I don’t have to be a subject matter expert in your specific problem. But what I found, at least for myself, that really helps is the fact that since I’ve been in the corporate environment for 20 years, years, I really can speak my clients languages. I don’t. I easily get what they are going through. I really understand the dynamics and then the even the wording they use, the way they frame things. So that can also help sometimes, you know, you might want to look for a coach who specialize in that specific topics or in the area if it is more a life coach, is a more a career coach or executive.
Mariateresa Romeo: Um, and the other most important thing is that the credentialing and most importantly the ICF, because I personally think that you need to have a code of ethics and this and you need to work according to a standard that are acknowledged and recognized internationally. I know that most of the coaches do not agree with me. In fact, there are a lot of coaches out there that are you know, they call themselves coach, but they do not adhere to any kind of professional association. But my own perspective is that you need that because the client needs to know what to expect from you, needs to know that you have a code of ethics, that also there is a kind of control over your practice in order to avoid fraud. Any kind of risk. And I think it’s important. So, yes, as a client, I will look at those kind of stuff. And the other thing and to be honest with you, I share this in full transparency and look at do a couple of sessions. If since the very beginning you really feel listened, you feel that this is the thing for you. You feel that you get out from that conversation and you feel comfortable, you feel empowered. Or even if you, you know, had some difficulties, you have that the feeling that this this person can help you.
Mariateresa Romeo: That. That’s the thing. I think that is also important. In fact, my personal approach with clients is that I don’t sell packages right away. I always give them one session to try. Yeah, you you pay me only for one session. After that session, you can decide if you can if you want to move forward and continue or not. Um, because, you know, at the end of the day, ICF defining coaching as partnering with clients. So it’s a real relationship and you might have a good coach in front of you, but from for some reason you might not feel this is the right person for you. It’s like dating somehow. Wow. So there is that kind of connection that needs to come out. And if you don’t have that, that’s absolutely fine. It doesn’t mean that was a this person was not a good coach. It means that it’s not a good one for you. It’s like dancing. You might want to have a good dancing partner where it is. There is this kind of vibe and, you know, so yeah, my suggestion, my recommendation is always to at least do 1 or 2 coaching sessions to try and see if you really feel that’s the right type of work, the type of communication, the relationship the you have with this person. This is what you what is in line with who you are at the end, you know, you feel comfortable with and then you can move forward.
Stone Payton: Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. Okay. Before we wrap the last topic I wanted to try to touch on is setting expectations for and measuring. And I guess in the final analysis, evaluating the return on investment that you’re getting from the coaching that you’ve engaged.
Mariateresa Romeo: Yeah. Yeah. This is a, um, actually a topic that goes back very often, especially when you work with a corporate environment. Because of course, if I have a private client, a private client, they can easily understand the return on investment because the relationship is just between me and you. We define the goal at the very beginning and then it’s easy for you to understand if you are achieving that goal. Yes or not, in the corporate environment, it’s a little bit difficult because you might need to work with several people at the same time and the company needs to evaluate the overall investment, right? They are paying, for example, a coach to do coaching on an entire team of people or on ten different employees within the firm. However, the the the principle behind is that since coaching is an objective driven process, again, if you define since the very beginning what is that you want to achieve but also what will make you say that it was successful because sometimes you can have a goal but it’s too, you know, not easy to define. And that’s the thing. You can work on that goal, but at the end of the day, you might get to a point and you can ask yourself, Am I doing what I really want? Or me as a coach, I might ask myself, Is the client getting what they want here? So what I do is usually define the goal in a very detailed really.
Mariateresa Romeo: And I usually ask my client this question What will make you say that this coaching process has been successful? And then during the process, the beginning of each session, I usually check in on that goal because it’s something that it might change for some reason, or the client might change idea, but we need to be on the same page on what you want to achieve. So it’s not just going there and talk to a coach and tell and tell them what happened to you this morning. It’s not that it’s a coaching session. Need to have a structure that is focused on achieving that goal and make it measurable, making giving the client the perception if they are achieving that goal, yes or not, in every single session. So that’s the other thing, because that’s one of the reasons why that you do not improvise coaching because it’s something that is very, um, you need to have a technique, you need to have a methodology behind. In this way, you always have the feeling and the perception if that you are achieving your goal, which means you are getting a return on your investment, you are spending your money well, at least for what you expected.
Stone Payton: This has been fantastic. Pure gold. I’m so glad that we set up the time to have this conversation and dive into this topic. Specifically, what is the best way for our listeners to reach out and have a conversation with you or someone on your team?
Mariateresa Romeo: Oh yeah, absolutely. It’s via my website that is w-w-w Kometa coaching.com. Actually in the website you can book a discovery call with me that is absolutely free. It’s just, you know, an open conversation to understand if I can help you, if I’m the right coach for you, etcetera. And also you can eventually book a coaching session at what I call the single laser focus session. Sometimes people do not need a process. They might have a specific situation, a very hard conversation or speaking engagement, something they need to solve right away. So they need a coach to prepare for that kind of engagement, for that kind of event. So I give the opportunity to people to reserve a slot for me. Maybe it can be 60 or 90 minutes to have a laser focus session on a specific topic and that’s it. There is no additional commitment. You can do this via my website and also you will also find a website, all my contact information in case you want to send an email, set up, a different appointment, whatever you need.
Stone Payton: Okay. And that website address one more time.
Mariateresa Romeo: W w w Coach the Coach dot com.
Stone Payton: Well, Maria Teresa, this has been marvelous. Thank you so much for investing the time with us. Keep up the good work. The work you’re doing is so important and we sincerely appreciate you.
Mariateresa Romeo: I really thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure having a conversation with you. So thank you so much.
Stone Payton: Absolutely. My pleasure. All right. Until next time, this is Stone Payton for our guest today, Maria Teresa Romeo with Kometa Coaching LLC. And everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you in the fast lane.