in     by Linley Rose 21-04-2016

Who are we being as a Coach?

There are many of us calling ourselves coaches and yet there is not one readily accepted definition of what does it mean when you say “I am a coach”. Whereas when we hear someone say lawyer, doctor, physiotherapist, airline pilot etc., etc. we can all easily relate to the fact that this person has undergone significant training in this specialist area. Often many years.

We can call ourselves a coach without much training at all. Some of us do 2 days, some 6 months, and some 1-2 years all part time. This amount of training still puts us in the ranks of beginner coach. Most coaches I know and work with are committed to getting more coach training and being continually in training of some sort as we progress on our journeys with clients and colleagues. Just like any other profession having CPD is the way we learn not only more techniques, but we are able to receive feedback, interact with likeminded professionals who have a different perspective, a different toolbox, and we build our confidence that our coaching is safe and gets results for people. This stimulates us to be better and add more knowledge and skills. Our clients have increased safety and confidence in our coaching. Malcolm Gladwell talks in his book Outliers about the 10,000 hour rule for outstanding success.

How much training and experience is appropriate before we call ourselves a coach continues to be a dilemma for many people - both coaches, our clients and third party purchasers. The ICF and other organisations do attempt to give this dilemma some context with their credentialing programmes.
I truly believe that all coaches no matter how little training has been received have a positive intention about their work. I believe many coaches find it difficult to continue making the financial investment into training because of the income they make. My biggest wish is for all of us to be able to hand on heart declare we are always in training and that we have supervisors and/or mentors.

Wouldn’t it be magical if we all had the courage to say I really value what I offer, I will price my service accordingly so I can attract clients who value the achievements they make as a direct result of working with a coach, and I can always manage my ongoing training commitments?

Wouldn’t it just be so much better if we all co-created a common story about our training and commitment to always sharpening the saw? That we have the courage to say “I am a junior coach” or “I am an intermediate coach” or “I am a senior coach” which would be understood globally as a definition of both that persons hours of coaching experience and the hours of training received.

Linley Rose (MCC)