Today I am going controversial. There is a lot of noise in the coaching world right now about whether coaches should be required to go through formal coach training before they hit the market with their services.
I will say straight out, that I stand firmly on the side of the qualification advocates. It is my contention that hiring a ‘coach’ with no formal coaching training is a very risky undertaking – buyer beware I say!
Someone once said to me, “I can understand the need for a fitness coach to have a qualification, they are dealing with bodies after all. I just don’t see why a life coach would need a qualification.”
Are you for real?
Is dealing with a person’s entire life, business or career not important enough that you would demand a qualification?
Allow me this illustration; would you allow a very gifted though unqualified surgeon to operate on you or on your child?
No! So why hire a coach, even a gifted or successful coach, without an accredited coaching qualification?
Of course, this brings us to the question of what constitutes ‘coaching’. There are a great many people marketing themselves as coaches and selling coaching as the great fix all. Hang around long enough and you will quickly conclude that coaching is the magic bullet that will set you free from debt, get you the perfect body and the ideal relationship (maybe even eternal youth…)
What is coaching then?
Let’s start with what coaching is NOT;
- Giving you the 7 “secrets” to grow your business (client base, mailing list, social media followers….)
- Walking you through you the blueprint for your 7-figure business
- Teaching you how to master marketing to increase your sales
- Telling you how to do anything (lose weight, save money, find a partner)
- Giving advice about anything e.g. relationships, parenting, money
What I have described above may be best classified as teaching, training, mentoring or counselling, not coaching. They all require that the trainer, mentor or counsellor has some experience and knowledge of the subject matter that the client is inquiring about. They share their own knowledge, viewpoints and experience with the client.
Coaching is a unique partnership in which the coach very often has no experience in the business, industry or even life situation that the client is in. In fact, the best coaching often happens when the coach has zero personal experiences like the client. What?? Yes!
Pure coaching comes from the space that the client is the expert in their own situation and simply requires a light to be shone on their path to illuminate and reveal the answers they cannot yet see inside them. The risk when a coach identifies too much with the experiences of the client is that the process can be tainted with the coach’s unconscious biases.
- Always holds herself in the place of deep curiosity, asking questions that open new insights for a client.
- Never assumes they know the best way forward for the client.
- Suspends judgement while holding a client in a compassionate space of accountability.
- Never tells, always asks. It is in the asking that the coach provokes shifts of insight in the client, who is then able to create a new version of life for themselves.
- Always stands for your highest good and will call you out for playing small
As you can imagine, it takes some skill to suspend one’s own opinions, thoughts, and biases in favour of the client’s higher good. It requires maturity and high emotional intelligence to manage one’s own triggering when a client presents obstacles that we too have had to move through in the past. There is an art to holding silence with a client while they search their inner mind for an elusive answer. There is a fine distinction between holding accountability for a client and being the taskmaster. This is where coach training comes in. These are the skills that are taught and examined in a rigorous coach training program.
Now you are asking the right question.
As a coach, I give you a question in return; what do you want to achieve?
If it is skills you are looking for, hire the person who has mastered online marketing. If you think advice from another will solve your problems, then a counsellor is your person. If you want a wise elder who has walked the path and can point out pitfalls or good shortcuts; you are looking for a mentor.
If personal growth is what you are after, you may be looking for a coach. If you are a seeker who wants new results in life and understands that your current life is the byproduct of your old unconscious thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, you may be looking for a coach. If you want to grow from the inside out, rather than the outside in, you would need a coach.
How will I recognise the ‘real’ coach’?
Coaching requires an investment of both time and money. Before you engage anyone who will support you to create change here are some tips;
- Interview them. Rapport is a vital part of the coach-coachee relationship. Interview as many coaches as you need to until you find the right fit. This relationship will radically change your life, you don’t want to get it wrong!
- Ask them for their qualifications/accreditations. There are several regulatory bodies in the industry; I trained under the International Coaching Federation. World Association of Business Coaches is another reputable body. Also, not all coaching programs are equal, beware the ‘weekend certificate’ coach training.
- Confirm that they bind themselves to a code of ethics and don’t feel shy to ask for a copy of it.
- Talk to past clients if you can. A reputable coach will not simply give you the contact details of their clients, however, I will contact past clients and ask them if they are willing to take a call from someone interested in working with me. Usually, they are only too happy to help. My clients are cool like that!
Are you the right client for coaching?
My clients are unique people; they are seekers who understand the fundamental truth that what happens inside their minds reflects in their outer world and to change their outer experience, they must change their inner world.
They are looking for inspiration and revival in their souls.
This is what I give them.
Clients who have worked with me 1:1 leave each meeting feeling inspired and purposeful. Over 90 days my clients blossom into inspirational, purpose-driven human beings who have defined a legacy for themselves and are springing out of bed daily to achieve it.
Usually, their businesses grow, their marriages thrive, their children blossom alongside them, and they even lose some weight. Those things though are all natural by-products of living an inspired, conscious and purpose fuelled life.
Is this you? Are you a seeker? Are you longing for fulfilment that seems elusive?
Then, let’s chat. You can book a no obligation chat with me to see if I am the coach for you. Even if you decide that I am not your coach, I guarantee you will leave the call with a fresh perspective on life!Book a FREE Coffee with Coach T