You know, I hear the darnedest things. During my time as an Executive and Personal Development coach, I have heard a range of assumptions and beliefs that people hold about coaching as a profession. These are assumptions which in my experience are rarely true, and in some cases completely in opposition to what the field of coaching is all about.
I guess it's fair to expect a certain amount of unawareness towards coaching, because even though it's growing rapidly, it's still somewhat in its infancy. It's almost as though coaching as an industry is still only speaking to "early adopters" - to the visionaries who see what is possible and chase their vision of transforming their own lives and the organisations that they're a part of. Coaching hasn't quite captured the attention of the masses yet. Most families have a family GP, a dentist and some have a therapist, but not every family has a coach yet. Why is that? Perhaps your average family hasn't yet seen the value in coaching.
Perhaps as a society, we've made some assumptions about what coaching is. And we aren't to be blamed really, because what do we do when we are given new information? We try to make sense of it, and one of the ways we try to make sense of things is by using our existing reference points. When I ask a person who is new to coaching to think of a profession where you sit and discuss your goals and challenges with a professional. What do most people think of? For many, they think of therapy, counselling, or even psychiatric treatment, because that's their current reference point.
Needless to say, this causes some challenges because coaching is not therapy, mentoring, counselling, consulting or psychiatric treatment. And so, we have some ground to cover in the coaching industry, to address the assumptions and lack of understanding about what coaching actually is. I'll start in this article, by addressing two of the most common assumptions that I've heard people make about coaching, and how these an assumptions are sadly at the detriment of those making them.
If you're not sure what coaching really, truly is, then read on to see if you've made any of the following assumptions, and how they could be holding you back from hiring a coach, and potentially getting in the way of you accessing your most powerful states and inner resources.
I don't have problems, therefore I don't need coaching.
This is one of the most common assumptions that people make about coaching. As I mentioned in the introduction, many people liken coaching to therapy of some kind, and because therapy consists of healing old traumas and overcoming mental health challenges, many folk assume that in order to hire a coach, you first must have a problem to overcome. However, this is in direct opposition of what leading developmental coaches do. When people ask me to explain coaching to them, I explain that I facilitate healthy individuals to expand themselves to the farthest reaches of their potentials. In fact entering into a coaching relationship presupposes that you are mentally ready and capable of growth.
So if I don’t have a problem, what do we do in our coaching sessions? I hear you ask...
Well if you don't have a "problem" then all the more space, time and resources we will have to invest in your goals. We discuss your visions, goals and desired outcomes. To put it simply, a highly skilled coach will facilitate your awareness of what you want, your strategy for achieving what you want, and awareness of anything getting in the way of your outcome. Even the healthiest of human beings have blind spots in their thinking and behaviour, that could do with a second perspective.
So if you're considering hiring a coach and wondering if it's right for you, remember that coaching is a process for unleashing your potential. Whether you want that next promotion, you want to build your confidence, ask someone out on a date, or access greater motivation in life - whatever it is that you want for your growth and development - a coach may just help you get there faster.
Coaching is Woo-Woo, or Coaches aren't qualified.
Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it's really not.
In Australia, the coaching industry is not regulated and just about anyone can call themselves a life coach or business coach, so you might run into a little unguided support if you choose just any coach.
There may be coaches operating a coaching practice with little to no certifications. Not that this alone makes anyone a bad coach, but if you don't want to gamble on your outcome, I'd recommend hiring a certified, qualified coach. A coach who has studied their craft under guidance, and have had their skills monitored in a practice environment. Yes, we exist!
There are a few accredited approaches to coaching, like the Meta-Coach system. In fact, Meta-coaches are trained above and beyond the requirement for membership to the International Coaching Federation. The training to become a Meta-Coach is demanding and comprehensive. Prerequisite training in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Neuro-Semantics is required before undertaking the Meta-coach training. Meta-Coach students are rigorously bench-marked across 7 core competencies that must be demonstrated in front of mentors to obtain certification. If you want to read more about Meta-Coaching's systematic approach to coaching, read here.
So when you decide you're ready to hire a coach, you need not choose just any coach. Instead, seeking out an qualified coach such as an associate certified meta-coach will provide you with peace of mind that you're in good hands. So how will you know which coach to hire? Ask them about their training and experience.
There is immense power in coaching, and by holding yourself back from the experience, simply because of the above assumptions, could be holding you back from unlocking your highest potentials.
Did you ever wish there was someone that you could run your ideas by? Someone to spit ball with? I'm not talking about a 'Yes Man' who agrees with everything you say. I'm talking about someone who will take you seriously, listen compassionately and have your best interest in mind, all whilst co-creating your biggest visions and aspirations.
If that sounds like something you want or need, contact me to discuss your needs.