10 Myths about Coaching
Coaching is one of the new buzzwords. Everywhere you turn around, there is a coach, a coaching program, coaching platforms, coaching apps. Life coach, executive coach, career coach, sales coach, health coach, etc.
People who have overcome a major trauma or roadblock in their lives are now ‘coaches’ and want to help other people going through similar situations.
People who were ‘successful’ at business are sharing their experience and are ‘coaching’ other aspiring entrepreneurs.
People who ‘had success’ with supporting actual clients are now ‘coaching’ other aspiring coaches and sharing a ‘proven formula’ for them to become successful coaches.
The internet has created a tremendous opportunity for said ‘coaches’ to reach people in need of true support and confuse them even more with ‘amazing secret solutions’. Said ‘coaches’ usually do not have any formal solid training, therefore their support does not rely on science, but rather on charisma and persuasive techniques to induce the ‘guaranteed results’ promise in the minds of desperate people.
Unfortunately, most of the actual coaches, professional coaches as designated by the world’s largest organization of professionally trained coaches – the International Coaching Federation (ICF) don’t have the time (because they actually coach real clients) and/or the marketing skills to put out content that clearly explains the details about coaching.
The reason I decided to invest time and energy in writing this article is that a few of my clients have spent many thousands of dollars on such ‘secret success formula’ in the past, only to receive a series of prerecorded videos containing general, common sense ‘advice’ and the promise to achieve even greater ‘results’ should they buy the ‘advanced program’.
I just can’t sit and see people getting screwed and my profession being disgraced by crooks that take advantage of other people.
My goal for this article is to bring some light and clarity into the coaching profession, approach, skills and expectations for people considering working with a coach. So without further ado, here the 10 myths about coaching:
1. Coaching will bring me guaranteed results.
No. Nothing and no one can do such a thing. Bound by the ICF Code of Ethics, Core Competencies and also a solid moral compass, a coach should never promise or guarantee specific results. Secondly, it’s just impossible to guarantee such a thing. Can anybody predict the future?
2. A coach will provide solutions
If a coach would provide you solutions, how will that empower you to work on finding inner resources, create new perspectives and generate surprising emerging solutions of your own?
3. A coach needs to have a similar life/business/career experience
The coach does not primarily work with content and information, but with how you are, how you think, how you operate, how you delegate, how you conduct meetings, etc. Therefore, his professional experience needs to be in working with such items, regardless of the industry of her clients.
4. Coaching takes time to have results
Yes. And No. Sometimes, the decisions you make in the coaching sessions are incredibly fast. Finding a new, unexpected perspective may seem even timeless. When a masterful coach manages to offer you the whole time/space for you to learn and create, you will feel beyond time. What takes time is the implementation of your decisions.
5. A coaching session is a discussion
A discussion actually means that two or more people are bringing arguments and trying to impose their point of view. Coaching is a dialogue, a partnership between the client and the coach towards finding new resources, ideas and viewpoints to help the client make progress.
6. Coaching is like therapy
Therapy is usually about the past, is looking backwards, trying to find causes, heal wounds. Coaching is about looking forward, towards the future, finding new options.
7. I’m doing self-coaching
Because coaching involves a partnership with the coach who can offer an objective perspective, is professionally trained and has a specific skillset, self-coaching is practically not viable. Can you safely and confidently change your entire electric wiring system in your house, all by yourself? Or performing brain surgery on yourself?
8. A coach will hold me accountable
This is a tricky one. If you delegate your accountability to the coach, how can you develop a healthy habit of being responsible and accountable for your decisions and actions? A coach can support you to become more accountable, however, he should not take that power away from you.
9. Coaching is like individual consulting or personalized training
Any form of professional support that involves transferring pre-existing information from the professional to the client is not coaching. Coaching is a form of support that ideally happens ‘in the moment’. A masterful coach needs to be fully present with the client, offering absolute support in each session, on each unique specific issue that the client wants to work on.
10. My mentor is coaching me
Mentoring and coaching may seem very similar approaches, yet they are quite different. A mentor is typically a more senior professional in the same career/business path that you are on. Consequently, she can share information, advice and guidance within a specific expertise bandwidth. If you’re a junior accountant, your mentor could be a seasoned CFO. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, your mentor could be an experienced, successful entrepreneur. You can have both a mentor and a coach, however, they each have a different purpose and skillset.
Coaching, as defined by ICF: partnering with Clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
To learn more about how coaching can support your progress and assist you in achieving your goals, I’m here for you, to be of service.
I’m a proud member of ICF Vancouver Chapter.
Have a wonderful day!