“Coaching is a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance”. Wikipedia . What Can A Coach Do For You?
Life coaches encourage and assist clients on a range of professional and personal issues. Coaching is not about giving advice, counseling, mentoring, or administering therapy. At least it should not be about those things unless the coach is formally qualified in those areas and input is agreed. You can hire a coach to help you with specific professional projects, personal goals and to facilitate transitions or challenge limiting beliefs and behaviors to enable personal and professional development.
An effective coach will enable the client to develop potential and facilitate the development of plans for transition to positive growth and change. They may operate in the role of a sounding board and challenge thinking rather than advising.
Coaches may be hired to address issues relating to business, but business is a part of life and personal and professional issues and ethics naturally cross-over. In a survey of executive coaches, 3% of respondents reported that they were frequently hired to address personal issues and 76% said despite being hired to address business related issues, they did become involved with personal issues. This is not surprising when we consider issues relating to life – work balance. Both need attention if we aim to improve and develop. A successful coach will positively enable a lasting impact on both of these aspects by working predominantly on either.
Are Coaches Qualified?
If you go to Udemy it is possible to pick up a life-coaching certification course for around €12. I am not in the business of challenging these training providers, but I must ask; are these courses able to turn out fully qualified coaches?
A recent survey asked coaches about their views on qualifications for coaching and only 29% of respondents thought that qualifications are necessary compared to 28% who said, “not at all”. On psychological training, 13% thought it was important while 45% said not.
This raises ethical questions. Would you be happy going to a gynecologist for a psychological challenge or, vice-versa? This may seem an extreme example so to dilute it a little; Would you expect a doctor to cut your hair? There is a counter argument in that my coaching mentor and teacher was a schoolteacher before becoming a successful and respected coach with “high-end” clients. Yet the journey from teacher to coach was by no means a short course for €12.
Who Am I?
Personally, I would not expect any client to consider me as their coach without the training and experience I hold. My journey started in the 1980’s with a British degree in Community and Youth Studies which among other subjects included sociology, social psychology, counseling and an informal aspect of education with what I prefer to describe as Education for Life; commonly called Personal Development. I worked in the “corporate” side of that industry for 20-years and followed post-graduate programs that enabled me to train other professionals in the industry and develop managerial skills.
Considering that I didn’t feel that social psychology was enough, I went on to qualify as a psychologist with a university honors degree and put theory to practice over the next 10-years before an accident forced my retirement from the world of education. Developing my own business was the logical step and even given my experience, ongoing professional and personal development never stops. In short, we need industry experience and appropriate training before we can begin to develop successful coaching relationships and coaches too, need to participate in a constant process of learning and development.
Do Clients Always Know What They Want?
The answer to this question may seem an obvious, “yes” and for the greater part, clients always know something about what they need. However, “light-bulb” moments often turn the spotlight to issues that the client wasn’t initially aware of yet recognizing these often leads to exponential growth in the client’s understandings and growth. By seeking a coach, clients are already motivated for change, the role of the coach is to enable them to take steps beyond the original need assessment. This demands deep-listening and the ability to hear between the client’s words.
Any Good Coach Can Help
This is not always the case. The right match between client and coach is essential if optimal growth is to develop. Positive chemistry and trust are essential, this is why I offer free 20-minute sessions to all potential clients. My CV experience may sound quite extensive and impressive but that alone does not guarantee that I am necessarily the best fit.
What Should A Coach Seeker Look For?
- Has s/he coached in a similar setting to yours?
- Is there a clear coaching methodology?
- Will it be possible to measure the Return On Investment (ROI)?
- What qualifications does the coach hold?
- Has the coach been coached in any area of their development?
- Does the coach know how to manage client – coach dependency?
- Do they have any experience you think might be necessary? CBT, Therapy, Psychologist . . .
A Coach Is Not A Therapist
While some coaches may have the training and experience to offer Cognitive Behavior Therapy for example, if the coach is hired to enable the challenging of limiting beliefs, that is what they should be doing unless it has been agreed that they might use CBT techniques. If you are collaborating with a coach on personal skills development, it is inappropriate to expect a coach to offer advice relating to the specifics of your business. It is unlikely that they will have the experience to do so.
While the lines are fine, the challenge and responsibility for the coach is to know where the lines are and respect them.
One of my goals as a coach is that I want all clients to leave the relationship with a healthy sense of self-reliance. It is in the best interests of only my bank account if clients become overly reliant on our relationship. The client interest must always come first, and a coaching time frame must be agreed at the start of the relationship.
The coaching process is all about you. That is where it begins, and it must end with an improved you.
Personal Development with ExGro
ExGro is accountable to the organizations we work with and individuals who personally choose our coaching services. Every individual or organisation are accountable to us for their learning and developmental progress. This is not just a system of delivery; it is Education for Life and it demands action.
- Programmes are delivered 1 to 1
- In small groups (maximum 20 participants)
- In conference groups
- Delivery is live or online and can be a mixture of both.
- Some “outside of presentations” work should be expected.
The more investment we place on the individual leads to improvement in many aspects of life and external input and less time is taken to achieve goals.
Personal Development can have a positive impact on any area of individual life that is considered appropriate or necessary by the individual. It might be about how to best manage the household and all that entails or, how to be more effective at work or socially. Needs assessments are always conducted before any work is accepted and undertaken with any individual or groups.
Coaching and Tools That Help
Relating to these there are plenty of tools that can help with your Personal Growth and Development whether you feel challenged or just seek to advance the way you respond to your world. Please leave your contact details in the comments and you will receive a prompt response. Alternatively, you can send an email. Please understand that your contact details will never be shared outside ExGro or published on this website. Confidentiality is always assured.
If you would like to know more about ExGro Coaching Services and Events, please click over to the Education For Life menu item.
Comments and Questions
Leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.
I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy
Peace & Light
Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience coaching in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, clinical psychologist and friend, Leo Faerberg.