Article Summary:Dispelling common myths about coaching, and the coaching profession.
1. Coaching is a new profession
For sure it is not... it has been around as long as the human race with great coaches like Socrates, Olympic coaches, religious icons worldwide and other philosophers. There is nothing new about people assisting people to greatness and the word coach has been around since the early civilization.
2. Most coaches have a full-time practice.
Most coaches do their work part-time or integrated into other work such as consulting, training, teaching, workshops, writing, speaking, etc. Coaching clients is part of what they do.
3. Mental health care practitioners don't make good coaches.
Oh yes they do! They are incredible listeners and already have many of the basic coaching tools of powerful questioning, sharing observations, speaking the truth, co-creating relationships and come from a place of caring and empathy with their clients. They are way ahead of the game.
4. Coaching ISN'T consulting.
Certainly it is. It is a form of consulting with additional skill sets learned by training as a professional coach.
5. You have to have certain credentials to be a coach.
This is your choice. Clients aren't looking for people with credentials; they want people who get the job done. If you want to go through a credentialing process, you can, but you can be a coach without that as it is a form of consulting - NOT a licensed profession with a lot of regulation
6. You must belong to a professional trade association to be a coach.
You make your own choice. If you find value, there are organizations you can join. If you aren't an organization type person, there is no need to be a part of any coaching organization. Trade organizations are choices individuals make and there is no requirement to belong to any organization.
7. You have to have years of training to be a coach.
There are programs that take into account your college credits, life and work history and then determine what core skills you need to be a coach and some of the programs can be done in less than 8 months!
8. You have to take telephone classes or go to workshops to be a coach.
There are programs that allow you to use your peak adult learning styles, and co-create with a mentor, how you best learn and provide you the opportunity to determine which learning you want to do. For example: research, work experience, community service, reading, attending workshops, training, etc.
9. Coaches get clients because they use the laws of attraction and they don't "sell".
I bet those coaches don't have a lot of clients and don't make a six or seven figure from coaching! Everyone in a business that wants to have clients uses the laws of attraction combined with sales. Coaches who make a living from coaching do sell their services and combine the laws of attraction for an inner/outer approach to reaching clients.
10. Coaches focus on word of mouth marketing and that creates a full practice.
I ask you "what is a full practice?" If you want a few clients and to pick up an extra $1-2k a month, rely on word of mouth marketing. If you want to make a six-figure income plus (even only 50k plus!), you'd better combine word of mouth with Internet, written communication, ads, mailings, publicity, etc.
11. Everyone is a coach.
Come on! We can all think of lots of people who we would not consider coaches.... People who aren't successful, who are negative, who we wouldn't want to give us assistance. No - not everyone has the ability, skill set, or composition to coach others to success.
12. The coaching profession is for people 30-40 years old.
While many coaches fall into that age bracket, retired folks make great coaches and have lots of extraordinary work and life experience.
13. Everyone needs a coach.
I wish everyone the chance to try on coaching and see if they like it and if it is for them. Many people may not feel they need a coach or may not accept coaching or be open to change. Not everyone will need or want a coach.
14. Coaches should develop a specialty niche where there is a need in society.
Instead, they can think about their past career and life experience and the what they are knowledgeable about and coach that area or people in their industry. Forget about what people need and focus on what is easy, effortless for you and where you know the greatest number of people.
15. Coaching is about having a lot of forms, resources and checklists to give clients.
Coaching is a relationship with a client and is client directed so how or why would the coach be giving clients this information? From listening to the clients deeply, the coach will assist the client in identifying client-directed, NOT coach-directed resources.
16. Anyone can make a living at coaching.
Anyone who has coaching skills, previous work/life experience, has a vision and strong desire and passion to coach AND is willing to do some selling blended with the laws of attraction and that is NOT everyone.
Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP, is the Founder of Comprehensive Coaching ? The Professional's Coach Training Program. A popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, Terri is also a sought after Public Speaker. She is the author of the bestsellers "Stop Managing, Start Coaching", "Work Yourself Happy", "Coaching for an Extraordinary Life" and "Create Your Ideal Body". She can be contacted via the web site at: TerriLevine.com or by telephone: 215-699-4949.