As new fields become professions they move from zero requirements to a defined amount of training along with ethical accountability. As a young profession coaching is now going through this stage. Currently, there are those who hang out their shingle as a coach without going through any kind of certified coach training program. There are clients who will hire them mainly due to a lack of knowledge about the coaching profession. For both the untrained people calling themselves a coach and their clients, the lack of clarity about the coach’s role and the role of the client is a slippery slope to consulting, advising or, in the worst case, acting as a therapist without a license.
Coach training is critical to the success of both the coach and the client. With training, a coach has a clear understanding of the core competencies and ethical standards for a professional coach. Hopefully untrained people calling themselves a coach have good intentions; unfortunately, they do not know what they do not know. Boundaries are clearly identified for coaches regarding their behavior and work practices. The International Coaching Federation, ICF, published comprehensive descriptions and explanations of 11 core competencies for coaches along with a comparison table on how the competencies are evaluated. In coach training certification is earned by learning and applying these competencies as demonstrated in assignments and practice coaching sessions. The ICF requires members to have 60 hours of training and to be accountable to the Code of Ethics.
How does certified coach training benefit the coaching client? First, in coaching it is up to the clients to determine their own answers, create their own goals. and develop their own action plans. Because this is different than to what we are accustomed, without coach-specific training the client is impacted negatively because they are limited instead of being empowered.
Next, a coach asks powerful questions to expand thinking, create awareness, and partner with their clients to develop strategies. The client is empowered to decide what their goals are, prioritize, and design their plan to reach these goals. Clients achieve more, with longer lasting results, when they define what they want and how they are going to reach their goals.
Because clients determine their own answers, client buy-in to the coaching process and their plan is strong. Ownership of both the process and the outcome is increased. This in turn means a higher level of success for clients. True coaching creates a higher level of client satisfaction and enhanced results because clients are invested in their own answers and their own success.
Our next blog will look at how certified coach training benefits the coach.