How Complicated is Coaching?

Should a Coach use complicated tools and methodologies? When Coaching is complicated it becomes something other than Coaching, and often is not as effective. The mental health fields require extensive training to utilize complicated assessment tools, to diagnose, and to implement extensive methodologies for treating people. A Coach is not a licensed mental health professional, which means that before using the complicated assessment tools and extensive methodologies, the first step is really pursuing a license in mental health. Because Coaching is an uncontrolled industry, Coaches practicing mental health without a license is becoming a concern. As an ethical Coach, the coaching process is focused on empowering the client to decide. The key skill is asking questions.

Because a Coach sees the client as their own best expert, how complicated is the coaching process? A Coaching relationship generally begins with the Coach asking the client about their goals in the many areas of their lives. The Coach asks questions and follow-up questions as the client considers what it is they want. Because the client is the expert, the Coach asks the client about their priorities, and how the client will move towards what they do want. As with most professionals and leaders, a Coach relies on their work and life experiences as a source of perspective. This means that while the questions are open-ended, occasionally a client does not have ideas or an answer. Rather than simply give an idea or answer, the Coach provides perspective so that the client considers several possibilities and then creates their own. Often the simpler the questions, the more open the door to thinking for the client. Keep It Short and Simple.

Now consider the difference between Coaching and Consulting. A Consultant is hired based on their experience and knowledge. Consulting itself does not require a specialized license. How much training is available to Consultants? Many Consultants take courses on areas related to their specialization, and on soft skills. Coach training includes developing an understanding of the difference between mental health, consulting, and coaching. Coaches learn ethics for their industry. Coaches learn soft skills, including working with different people and communication skills. The Coaching process requires effective people and communication skills.

How much training do you need to develop people skills and communication skills? How important is your experience as compared to the length of time you need to learn Coaching? Because Coaching effectively requires ethics and empowering the client to be their own best expert, Coach training is about understanding. Complicating the training may detract from the purpose of Coaching. Training that provides understanding of the parameters of Coaching, solid ethics, people skills and communication skills, and the opportunity to experience the coaching process as a coach and as a client, affords you the opportunity to build on your current skills and experience to coach effectively.

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