Let me ask a few simple questions to all of the Professional Coaches from all niches: have you ever been asked by any credentialing body what your income is each year for the past five years? If you were asked, did you report your gross or net income from your coaching business? Were you asked if you are a full time Professional Coach? Did anyone ask you where you trained to be a Professional Coach? Where you asked what your niche is as a Professional Coach? Chances are that you have not been asked all of and maybe none of these questions at all.
The International Coaching Federation (IFC) certainly has some very good training, policies, review boards, and is attempting to be a leader in the industry. There are hundreds of places to find training as a coach that range from unacceptable to excellent. There are many forms of Professional Coaching, from Life Coaching, Executive Coaching, Business Coaching, Recovery Coaching, Fitness Coaching, Yoga Coaching, to fifty other forms of Professional Coaching niches.
All of these forms of coaching share the same skills, tools, and core competencies. If a Professional Coach is not trained on the basic skills, tools, and core competencies needed to excel in this needed and growing industry, they won’t be successful or receive referrals from other professionals or clients. Only the best will be at the top of this exciting industry! Like any other form of employment, you will get out of coaching exactly what it is that you put into it to learn and master your craft. From what I have witnessed, Professional Coaching students are highly motivated people with a calling and a drive to master their niche in coaching and help others to reach solutions and find a better life.
At this point, I don’t think one agency can speak for the whole industry. I know that I signed up for my first Professional Coach training course in 1984 at Norwalk Community College, received an A in the course and 3 college credits. There has been a good deal of chatter around blogs and the coaching industry itself that Professional Coaching Training is headed for a change. The change will be college curriculums and degree programs which will eliminate the lower end unacceptable training that we now see. In fact some colleges, Universities, Academies, and Seminaries are already offering degrees in life coaching.
Some organizations offer continued training for Professional Coaches who have already finished their initial training programs such as the Christian Coaches Network, the ICF, and the Addictions Academy. I applaud any organization that seeks to give their coaches the latest information on laws, skills, techniques, knowledge, and tools that will help coaches to be experts in their respective fields. If we are going to raise the bar, it seems that we are going to have to work together to achieve excellence in this field!
I don’t think a Professional Coaches success or failure should necessary be judged on annual income, but on the fruit of their labor. How many lives have they helped change for the better? You can tell the success of a man by the fruit of his labor, not by the size of his wallet. If a heart specialist saves 155 lives a year and doesn’t particularly make a great deal of money, does that mean that he’s not successful? I believe that’s a personal choice! Some people become Doctors, nurses, and coaches to help people, not for the money. In the Professional Coaching field, the money can be made if you are willing to work for it. Slackers don’t make income in any business!
The most successful Professional Coaches are the ones who receive quality training and then put that training into practice. Individuals who are hard workers committed to their craft, constantly seeking more education, adding to their niche, positioning themselves as an expert in their particular field of Professional Coaching. Driven are those who are called to the field of Professional Coaching, and those who can comfort where they have personally been comforted in life. Excellent training, commitment, calling, coupled with experience, strength, and hope will lead to wisdom and confidence in Professional Coaching.
When the coaching surveys were completed, they forgot to ask me! Doesn’t two decades of helping thousands of people to change their lives for the better count? No anger here, just making a point. The surveys are incomplete and inaccurate. This is not about me. This article is about the truth behind this wonderful Art of Professional Coaching! It deserves our very, very best!
Best of Life!