It’s 2016, and the entire planet is exploding with professional coaching training and life coaching! There are coaches and coaching schools popping up everywhere you turn, individuals calling themselves masters and experts, and schools claiming to be the best of the best. How does your average person looking to train as a professional coach, or wanting to hire a coach know who are the experts in the industry and who are the charlatans? This could be confusing for anyone! Pretty headshots and strategic marketing do not make experts.
A Look at Professional Coaching Training
First, let’s take a look at training schools; how do you know if they are any good? How long have they been in business? What are the credentials and qualifications of their instructors? What is their curriculum based on and who is the author of the curriculum; what are the author’s experience and qualifications? Most importantly what do past students of the school have to say in their testimonies about the school and the school’s curriculum and instructors? Have the school’s students gone on to be successful people in the industry? The testimonies should be in person first, then video, then written as far as the weight that they carry. Does the school test the students with challenging exams at the end of the training? Does the school require a minimum passing grade to receive a certificate in the course? Does the school require a certain amount of supervision hours under an instructor who is a master coach in the industry? Does the school require that students demonstrate competency in all aspects of coaching through live role play or submitted a tape prior to graduation? Does the curriculum cover the eleven core competencies of coaching, ethics and responsibilities, state and federal laws, action planning, contracts and other forms, tools, skills, marketing, engagement through disengagement, and other coaching activities? Does the school offer continued support and training in specialized niches?
Do Your Due Diligence
An excellent school that trains professional coaches should be able to answer all of your questions, and they should have former student’s testimonies available for your review. Before you call a school, compile a list of questions that you want to be answered by the school, and see how well they do at answering them for you. If the school is just in business to take your money, and they don’t care about your training, it should show fairly quickly. They won’t want to invest much time in you; they will only want your hard earned cash. It’s a buyer’s market right now, so don’t be pressured into anything that you’re uncomfortable to do. If something doesn’t feel or sound right, check it out; do your due diligence. You work too hard for your money to throw it away on some fly by night school! There are some excellent schools and instructors, and there are also lots of bad ones.
A Look at the So-Called “Experts and Masters!”
Now let’s talk about the so called, “Experts and Masters.” In my opinion, someone cannot possibly be an expert or a master at anything unless they have been doing whatever it is for a minimum of ten years. No course or training can or will ever make someone an expert or a master, that comes with years of experience, because only with time can a person gain the true wisdom that a real master or expert requires. The root of the word expert even comes from the Latin word “expertus” which means, known by experience.
When I see people post ads calling themselves experts and masters who took a two-day class and have had a couple of clients, I just shake my head. A real expert will be well established in the industry and will have many testimonies of people they have helped. When looking to hire a coach, ask questions, where were, they trained, what experience do they have, how many clients have they served, do they have a coach, do they have any specialized credentials, qualifications, or training, any other questions that you would like answered. You can always tell successful people by the fruit that they produce in their lives. Do they have people thanking them for helping them in their lives, and are they doing amazing things? Have they really established themselves as an expert in the industry? Ask them, why do you feel that you’re an expert in the field if they advertise themselves as one? Many coaches will give you a first session free, which is a wonderful way to see if you feel comfortable with the coach, and to ask your questions. Remember, you work hard for your money, you want to hire a great coach!
Everyone Should Have a Mentor or Coach
I called a coach one day who advertised with the ICCN; he offered the first session free. I was pleasantly surprised at how versed he was on many topics. It was a wonderful, worthwhile experience, even though he was a younger man, he was an experienced coach. I have utilized mentors all through my life, being a former competitive athlete, I know the value of a good coach in my life. Any coach who does not have a mentor or coach in their life is missing out, and for that matter, any person.
Experts and Masters Have Paid Their Dues
Please don’t misunderstand my words, I don’t intend to say in any way, shape, or form that coaches with less than ten years of experience cannot be excellent coaches, that was not my point at all. What I am saying is if a coach is going to call themselves an expert or a master, they better be able to back it up! I just don’t think that it’s reasonable or fair to coaches and to those in the industry who have paid their dues and committed to the industry for decades, for someone to come along and call themselves experts in six months, or a couple of years. It cheapens the whole industry.
Coaching: The Wild West!
I realize that until coaching is regulated in some way, it will be a bit like the Wild West; however, the consumer must come first, or all will be lost in the long run. Coaching is a wonderful thriving and growing industry, and it will continue to do so for many years to come with integrity, honesty, and sound ethics. I sincerely hope that a few individuals who think gorilla marketing tactics will work for professional coaching and fool the consumer come to understand that coaching clients are not going to fall for such tactics.
Professional Coaches Empower and Change Lives!
Professional coaches empower and change lives; the experts and the masters know that the only way to long-term success is ethically keeping the consumer as their priority.
Rev. Dr. Kevin T. Coughlin Ph.D.