Common Complaint #1. Coaching is similar to counselling, therapy or mentoring.
You might have heard coaching is similar to counselling, consulting or mentoring. But is that true?
Let us explain why. Patients seeking therapy and/or counselling usually have a problem arising from a specific incident, condition or trauma. A coaching client usually hasn’t experienced any of these. Many clients are successful, fulfilled people already and are looking to raise the bar, experience even more success and become more effective at what they already do well.
A therapist or counsellor usually starts with the past to find the solution to an existing condition. A coach, on the other hand ‘draws a line in the sand’ and starts with the ‘present’ and ‘the future’.
The coach doesn’t have the answers. Instead they have the absolute belief that their clients have ‘everything they need in a given moment’. The client reaches their own solutions through the coach’s skill in asking key questions.
It is a holistic profession where all clients are accepted as the magnificent individuals they truly are.
Mentoring has similarities to coaching although there is a fundamental difference. Mentoring is usually about a specific task, job or process. The mentor is experienced in that particular area and knows the answers. So think of the mentor as the teacher and the coach as the guide.
A coach doesn’t have the answers and requires little experience of the task. The coach merely has the skill at asking powerful intuitive questions which facilitates the client in seeking their own answers from within.
Coaching also provides flexibility enabling you to choose when, where and how you work. You are truly in the driving seat in charge of your own destiny. Some of the Coaching Institute coaches have thriving coaching practices with international clients, others have chosen coaching as a secondary income. Other coaches choose to take these new ‘coaching skills’ back into their workplace to share with their colleagues and improve the company’s and individual performances.
Common Complaint #2. Coaches lack credible qualifications.
Could someone be a good coach without credible qualifications? Sure, they can.
But for someone to be an outstanding coach, it’s important to learn and get upskilled in the core competency skills such as rapport, facilitation, effective listening, effective questioning, reframing and others.
Accreditation is one of the few ways of assessing competence in an unregulated industry. Until the government limits who can call themselves life coaches, this is the best way to ensure you have the level of training and expertise you require.
Common Complaint #3. Everybody can become a coach.
Although anyone can, not everybody is suited to become a coach.
Some people are a little too impatient with people! Or don’t really enjoy helping people. Some people don’t enjoy seeing others succeed. If any of this seems like you, then perhaps there’s another career that you may be better suited for.
A coach develops certain qualities that enable them to be effective with their clients. Some of the characteristics of an outstanding coach:
A CAPACITY FOR SELF-OBSERVATION AND REFLECTION
If we can see ourselves as we are, rather than how we wish we were, we can be more effective as a coach. We will bring an honesty to the coaching that would be missing if we were ‘hiding’ who we really are.
A RECOGNITION OF WHAT WE CAN INFLUENCE AND CHANGE
We cannot control and influence everything. A great coach has the capacity to focus on that which they can control and influence, and thus improve results through being proactive in those areas, rather than focusing on what can only worry them but which they can do nothing.
SELF-AWARENESS OF OUR EMOTIONS AND THE IMPACT THEY HAVE ON OUR CLIENT
By being aware of our own emotions and choosing to manage them effectively, we can become far more effective when we’re with our clients. The client may bring something that’s emotional for them. We don’t then get to be emotional with them, unless it’s appropriate, so we must be in tune with and be able to manage what comes up for us emotionally.
AN UNDERSTANDING OF OUR OWN STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
Knowing where we excel means we can bring those strengths to the coaching conversation. Knowing where we need to improve provides us with a pathway for building our capacity in other areas that are less familiar to us. Being stretched to learn and grow is part of what coaching is.
THE ABILITY TO RECEIVE FEEDBACK WITHOUT DEFENSIVENESS
Feedback does not immediately mean ‘criticism’ and a successful coach has the capacity to take on-board the feedback they’re hearing without getting defensive, shutting down or rejecting the whole conversation. We must be the example for our clients by being open and receptive to the whole conversation, not just the parts of it we agree with or that suit us.
Common Complaint #4. Life coaching can give you the “magic pill” answer to all your problems.
One of the common misnomers of coaching is that is solves life’s problems. Coaching doesn’t “solve” anything. What coaching does for your client is actually much more empowering that just that: Coaching helps you learn how to think, so the thinking that caused those problems in the first place is replaced with a new and more resourceful thinking pattern.
Life coaching is about assisting a client in closing the gap between where they are and where they want to be. It’s about working with someone who wants to achieve more in their life. An effective coach will assist their client in discovering what is important to them, what is missing from their life or their business and what outcomes they are looking for. They will then ask questions, listen, and reflect back what they hear, challenging their client’s thinking in such a way that the client will consider new ways of creating the transformation they are seeking.
Common Complaint #5. Coaching is for people who have significant crisis in their lives.
This misconception usually comes from the assumption that coaching and therapy are similar, where in fact, they are quite different.
Life coaching is not just for those who are going through a major crisis or significant issues in their life. Of course, as a life coach you can assist people who are stuck, struggling, unsure and lack a clear sense of direction of what’s next.
That said, life coaches are in a position to support driven, goal-oriented people who lead perfectly “normal” lives. People come to life coaches for many different reasons.
It could be someone wants to improve their career prospects, or wants to learn how to communicate better with a colleague. Perhaps there’s a relationship challenge. Some people want to be better public speakers, or have a specific project they wish to deliver.
Coaching can assist with overcoming fears, breaking through limiting beliefs, achieving goals, improving relationships, improving health and driving home a specific outcome.
A person hires a coach not because they want to talk about their problems, or know why they do what they do, but to explore new ways to solve problems and develop new strategies for improving their results.
Common Complaint #6. Coaching is unregulated and there are no standards around coaching to help coaches with.
Contrary to the popular belief, there are standards around coaching. The International Coach Guild (ICG) establishes a Coaching Code of Ethics and holds its members responsible to meet the code and professional standards, ensuring they understand, advocate and apply the Code of Ethics in their coaching business and situations. Find out more about coaching recognition and ICG here.
Common Complaint #7. People with real “flaws” cannot become coaches. You must have a perfect past history to become a coach.
Coaching isn’t about perfection. You’re not here to “fix” anything in your client’s life. There is no “insisting” – as coaches, we do not tell clients what to do or how to be. If a client wants to take the “scenic route” rather than the short cut, then a professional coach should accept that.
What this means is you don’t have to be “perfect” in any way. Your own story is the most important thing you have and a massive part of who you are. Your story helps you connect with others and as you learn more about your client’s story, offering a part of yours will help build stronger trust and connection, and help ensure their success.
With more life experience comes more life lessons, wisdom and knowledge on how to best interact with, connect with, and help others. There is nothing quite like seeing someone using your experiences to consider and resolve the challenges in their life.
Common Complaint #8. There is a lot of upselling once you join a coaching school.
The Coaching Institute offers a choice of pathways between Internationally accredited and Nationally recognised courses, as well as a selection of alternative certification courses to choose from, such as Disruptive Leadership, Ultimate Influence, EDISC and Meta Dynamics™.
While most of our students prefer to become internationally recognised, everyone is different and it is important to choose the right qualification to meet your needs as a future coach.
The Coaching Institute (under Sharon Pearson’s leadership) lives and breathes the philosophy of building relationships with our students and prospects, which eliminates any need of seeking out people who may not be ready to start their journey yet, because the right kind of people who are also a match for our community come find us on their own.
In your coaching journey, there comes a time when you’re ready to upskill, find a new certification that supports your coaching business or upgrade to the next level of your coaching course. Each pathway offers something different to explore. For example, a Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching is for someone ready to immerse in Meta Dynamics™, learn and apply the marketing side of business, and take the leap from an introductory level to a more advanced level. Only you can decide whether you’re ready to play the bigger game or not (yet). The WOW team is there to guide you through the way.
We provide support throughout your program, and also expect at this level for our members to seek assistance when they require it. This is an adult learning program and we’re here to assist with moving you towards your success. There are calls placed to you periodically, Q&A sessions, Coach and Connect events in some states, an extensive online community and classes to participate in most weeks.
Whilst the support is extensive and ongoing, we do have the expectation that our members are prepared to accept feedback and will seek it out when required.