Center for Coaching Certification

The Significance of Letters

What are we talking about with “the significance of letters”?  As a professional, it’s important to have credentials. This means having letters after your name. In some environments, it almost becomes a necessity.  It may be important to list as many letters as you can after your name to demonstrate your education, your expertise, and your skill in what you offer. The Significance of Letters

What does this have to do with coaching?  What are the reasons that people want to earn those letters, the credentials as a coach?  Often the biggest reason is credibility.  It demonstrates that you have knowledge and a skill.  Think about it this way: whatever professional you’re going to hire, do you want to know they’ve been trained, that they have the knowledge?  For example, no one is going to a doctor who doesn’t have the MD after their name.  Nor hire an attorney who doesn’t have the credentials. It is a very important way of saying, yes, you care about professionalism. It shows you care about learning and enhancing and upgrading your professional skills.  It shows you invested the time and effort in the education because you want to provide excellence as a coach.  It shows you have the knowledge and skill set to do this kind of work. It is about the credibility!

Another reason the letters are significant to coaches is accountability.  Specifically, when through coaching certification you earn the opportunity for membership in ICF, or earn a credential from the ICF, you’re accountable to the code of ethics. It also means you’ve done the coach specific training that teaches the competencies (because there are standards for membership which includes standards for training that you completed to earn membership). It is a clear demonstration of your coach training and that you are accountable to the code of ethics.

 

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Telling is a Fail – Asking is a Win

Think about parenting a teenager.  As much as parents want their children to listen to what they are told, sometimes teens just have to make their own mistakes. When they make their own mistakes, they learn and then they move forward.   Telling is a Fail – Asking is a Win

It’s a very similar concept with coaching clients. Whether or not the coach thinks the client came up with the right idea doesn’t matter. It is what the client thinks is the right idea. If it works great; if it doesn’t work, they’re going to learn from it and do something different next time.

During coach training we learn that telling someone is not coaching.  It’s unethical for a coach to be telling. Telling interferes with the client’s growth.  The coach’s job is to be a partner who sees the client as fully capable. An ethical coach stays true to the role as a coach.  This means asking the client questions and supporting them thinking it through to discover their own answer.

When a coach partners with a client to create their own plan, there is a return on the investment for coaching.  The client develops and grows as an individual and as a professional. They will develop confidence in themselves and in their ability to figure it out. Best of all, the client will own the answer they come up with which increases follow-through and success.

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The Impact of a Coach Telling

In the previous blog a scenario used in the coach training class on ethics was provided where the coach gave the client the answer.  In this blog, the possible outcomes are explored. The Impact of a Coach Telling

If the coach gives the answer and the client does not use it, how did the coach cause harm?  They caused harm because the coach interfered with the client figuring it out and doing it.  They interfered with the client coming up with their own idea. They also interfered with that person’s development. If I give you the answer, the next time you have a question, you’ll come back to me for the answer. This repeats itself over and over in the workplace. Think about managers that are overwhelmed.  Everybody is dependent on them for everything.  That manager has literally trained the people around them to come to them with their questions, because they keep answering. In this example, the coach gave the idea to the client.  They interfered with the client’s own development by giving the answer because the client had the ability to figure it out.

What if the client starts to use the idea and then runs into a problem and gives up – how did the coach cause harm?  There’s a couple of things going on: first, the clients may say, well, it’s about the idea the coach gave me – it doesn’t work. The client may think, “I tried; it didn’t work. It is the coach’s fault!”   One thing to be aware of is this.  Since it was not the client’s idea, they weren’t invested in figuring out how to make it work.  Since it was the coach’s idea, the client had no investment in making it work.  In this case it was easy for the client to give up and blame the coach. As in the first possible outcome, the coach interfered with the clients thinking and development.

What if the client uses the idea and it works? How did the coach cause harm in a situation like that?   Let’s go back to what we keep saying: the coach caused harm because they got in the client’s way.  The client had no opportunity to think about it, figure it out, and do it.  The coach gave them the answer.  The client has not grown, and the coach is developing an unnatural dependency on others.  The clients will be coming to the coach the next time with a challenge asking, what do I do?   Think also about the impact on their confidence. If they are consistently told what to do, and how to do it, are they building their own confidence in their own skill set in their own abilities? No, of course not. That’s been interfered with too.

 

Coaching is about partnering with the client to discover their own idea.  When they implement the idea, if they face a challenge, chances are they will figure out how to move past that challenge and to make it work.

What about ethics in this example?   During coaching certification we learn that giving the answer is not coaching. The coach stepped into a different role – serving as a trainer or consultant. If that happens, the return on investment goes down. When coaching follow your ethics and competencies and stay true to the role of coach for maximum value.

 

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What if a coach gives the answer?

During the coaching certification class on ethics, one of the examples we use is of a coach that was hired by an organization to work with one of their employees. The employee had been with a company for a long time.  The company valued the employee and wanted to keep them.  There was a performance issue. The company had attempted many different things to address this, and it wasn’t working.  Coaching was their last-ditch effort.  If this person addressed the performance gap, then they can be kept in their position.  If not, the person was to be terminated. It really boiled down to that. What if a coach gives the answer?

In this case, the coach was new, and they were super excited about working on this engagement.  The employee shared with them what the situation was, and the coach had an idea. The coach told the client, their idea, “oh, you can do this…”  The coach gave the client what to do and how to do it.  The client’s response was very positive. They said, “Oh, that’s a great idea. I love it. That’s perfect. It’s simple. I can do it. I know it will fix the problem.”

When the coach called me afterwards, they said, “you know, I know you’re going to tell me I shouldn’t have told them. The idea is just that it was such a great idea, and they really loved it.”

Explore the possible outcomes:

  • One possibility is the client just doesn’t do it. They say they’re going to do it, and they don’t. We’ve all experienced that with friends or others we give advice to where they think it’s a great idea and they say they’re going to do it and then they didn’t get there.
  • A different possibility is they start to do it and they run into a problem or challenge and then give up.
  • The third possibility is that they do it and it works.

The question then becomes, how did the coach cause harm?

In the next blog, the answer to this question for each of the possibilities will be explored.

 

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Telling is NOT Coaching

One of the concepts that comes up in talking about coaching is what is coaching and how coaching works. Telling someone what to do and giving advice is not coaching – that may be consulting, mentoring, teaching, or other professional services. Many people have the idea that being the expert, knowing the answer, and knowing the information is how to provide value.  Oftentimes, people come to coach training thinking, this is for me because I’m good at giving advice, as well as good at telling people how they can do it. Telling is NOT Coaching

That’s not coaching!  This is a very common misunderstanding. How do you explain coaching? How does one explain it to somebody who’s unsure? A term I’ve coined is, “coaching is advanced development for advanced results.”

When working with a client, think about multiple services that help them support them. Oftentimes, training makes sense. Alternatively, you may have somebody who’s done the training, and moved to a place where consulting or mentoring makes sense.  A consultant or mentor will give advice; they’ll assess what is going on and make suggestions in terms of what to do and how to do it.  As an advanced development tool, coaching comes after that.

Through coach training, a coach experiences clients as their own best experts.  A coach learns that when telling somebody something, the chances of them doing it decreases. When a coach partners with somebody so that they figure out what they are going to do, the chances of them following through go up because it is their idea, and they own it. The process for partnering is what is gained through coaching certification.

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Group Coaching Enhances Opportunities

What is the potential?  In addition to group or team coaching serving clients well, it is a smart business move because it adds to the options and grows your client base as a coach. Group Coaching Enhances Opportunities

The pros of hearing multiple ideas, sharing common challenges and focus, plus being cost effective are great for clients.

For a coach it is a business builder – some clients will start with a group and then add individual sessions, plus it is another package – group and individual – that can be offered.

Group coaching is an amazing opportunity based on the niche of the coach.  For example:

  • A career coach is smart to offer a package of individual and group sessions with the groups focused on common areas of interest or effort such as job search strategies, networking, confidence, or interviewing.
  • A life coach may offer groups focused on managing ADD, relationships, or transitioning into retirement.
  • An executive coach may offer a master mind group for executives from different organizations or for leadership development.
  • A business coach may offer groups to small business owners wherein they focus on challenges, growth strategies, or succession planning.
  • A wellness coach may offer group sessions focused on nutrition, exercise, or wellness.

Get creative!  What focus is common amongst your clients?  Build a group around what they want to explore.

 

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Group or Team Coaching – A Smart Opportunity

One of the most common areas of feedback following the Certified Master Coach or Certified Coach Specialist programs is how excited people are by the potential of adding group or team coaching to their service offerings.  Typically, this is accompanied by comments on how unexpected the outcome was as they hadn’t thought about it as a possibility. Group or Team Coaching - A Smart Opportunity

What was the previous hesitation behind offering group or team coaching?  Some say they were unsure of how to manage multiple people and others say they were unsure of the value.  Some were unaware of how it applies.  After they participate in and lead sessions, they are hooked.  Group or team coaching becomes a positive game-changer in their work.

What is group or team coaching?  Groups are people whose common interest brings them together whereas a team is people who are working on a shared objective.

Coaches working in organizations often offer both team and individual coaching.  Team coaching may involve working with a team focused on a project, how they function, their relationships, or designing processes.

Group coaching also occurs in organizations.  The difference is that in a group each person is working on their own goals and those personal goals are similar.  For example, the group may be high potential individuals working on their leadership skills.

Group and team coaching are high growth areas.  The Center for Coaching Certification offers free group coaching for coaches each week – email CoachSupport@CoachCert.com to learn how you can participate.

 

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Meet Susanna Theo, a CCC CCE Trainer, and part of our Coach Support Team

www.TCACENTER.comSusanna Theo

Susanna Theo is a trainer and virtual assistant at The Center for Coaching Certification.  She enjoys teaching. Having recently moved, she is spending her free time restoring an old home.

What inspired you to become a coach?

I have business communications teaching and court mediation positions.  I already had clients requesting coaching services and one required that I had an ICF certification.

What specific areas do you focus on?

My niche is business and success.

What do you love most about coaching?

Watching people achieve their success points.

What’s your biggest coaching success story?

A client since 2016 has met and exceeded her goals from a just a seed idea.  She came from a super introverted standpoint.  By designing her own future, she bloomed and felt her inner strength.  It visibly changed her in an awesome way.  She became self-assured about her decisions.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome as a coach?

I look at things as moving forward, rather than obstacles.  I go with the flow and take everything as it comes.  I’m very cerebral and introspective and I think about my clients very deeply.

What is one of the biggest challenges you helped one of your clients through?

Confidence building – really knowing their worth and feeling things in their gut.  It is awesome when they feel it and it is a positive strong connection.  The client really takes ownership of the process.

What types of clients do you most like to work with?

Everybody!  I am very open to everyone.  I like to work with people who really want it.

What is your favorite coaching tool?

My words.

What message do you have for anyone considering becoming a coach?

I think everyone should become a coach.  I can see it working for everyone, from parents to teenagers and more.  It teaches us to be active participants in communication, rather than reactive and emotional.

You can check out the rest of our great team at: https://www.coachcert.com/resources/about/team-bios.html

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Meet Dr. Phildra Swagger, ACC, a CCC Trainer

www.PhildraSwagger.com
www.CombinedExpertise.com
Pswagger@combinedexpertise.comDr. Phildra Swagger

Phildra Swagger is originally from North Carolina and holds a PHD.  She thought she wanted to be a school superintendent because she believes in being a teacher’s advocate then found did not like the bureaucracy involved.  She changed careers for nonprofit and charter schools to become a   principal.  Now She resides in Tampa, Florida and has been helping the world through education for 30 yrs.

What inspired you to become a coach?

I’ve been a mentor, advisor, and trainer – and coaching really helps people.  I realized that in coaching I can help you shape your own life and color your own vision.  I can help people live more fully.

What specific areas do you focus on?

I focus on women and empowerment, I’m a success coach.  I work with women who want to be leaders and entrepreneurs. We work on career and personal alignment to be equipped and fulfilled across the board to be your most authentic self.  “Being the CEO of your life.”

What do you love most about coaching?

I get to work with people who share their most intimate challenges and dreams.

What is one of the biggest challenges you helped one of your clients through?

The guilt of being successful.  Did they do enough for their children or marriage? (Other labels and expectations if they are fulfilling their next stage of life.) They feel guilty for being great.

What clients do you most like to work with?

Ones that commit to the process – they work on themselves and their business.

What is your favorite coaching tool?

The basic wheel of life so people can consider all areas of life.  I also like the mountain top view.

What message do you have for anyone considering becoming a coach?

I believe coach training is vital – learn how to be a professional coach.  Get strategies to make sure you can fully serve and be present.  Learn the correct way to provide quality service.

You can check out the rest of our great team at: https://www.coachcert.com/resources/about/team-bios.html

 

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Meet Sarah Roberts, a CCC Trainer

www.ClarityMattersCoach.com

http://LinkedIn.com/in/Sarah-roberts-mha-acc/

Sarah Roberts is an ICF-credentialed ACC Coach working on her PCC.Sarah Roberts

Sarah lives in Colorado.  She enjoys traveling and looks forward to vacation in Michigan near sparkling blue water every summer.  Sarah came into coaching after years of advocating for employee professional development in state government.

What inspired you to become a coach?

I’ve always had a fascination with interpersonal communication, and coaching is a great way to help people develop themselves.  I used it informally as a coach approach in asking rather than telling.  Coaching unlocks the best within people.

What specific areas do you focus on?

I focus on leadership and executive coaching, helping leaders improve their communication skills and build trust within their teams.

How long have you been coaching?

6 years.

What do you love most about coaching?

I love it when people have ah-ha moments and discover something about themselves that they didn’t know. I also love how coaching can change the culture within an organization.  The leader becomes a more positive person, and everyone loves positive people.

I also love the coaching community and what I learn from other coaches around the world.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome as a coach?

Charging what I am worth.  I overcame it by listening to a book, “You’re a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero and reading “Overcoming Under-earning” by Barbara Stanny. I also discussed it and had open conversations with my ICF group about what coaches charge.

What is one of the biggest challenges you helped one of your clients through?

Identifying their blind spots and seeing how other people experience or see them.

What types of clients do you most like to work with?

I like to work with clients who have really bought into developing their leadership capability for a mission driven organization for a community.  For example, leaders in social work or government that give back to society or help people. Their mission is to better the world, the community.

How do you describe your approach to the coaching process with a new client?

Doing a thorough assessment of their goals, creating a plan, and working the plan.  I like to measure where they are at the beginning, middle, and end of our engagement.

What is your favorite coaching tool?

The assessments.  I believe in explaining the assessments to the clients.  They can be very helpful in coaching.

In closing, what message do you have for anyone considering becoming a coach?

Just do it!  Coaching can change the world.

You can check out the rest of our great team at: https://www.coachcert.com/resources/about/team-bios.html

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