Hundreds of years ago, if you wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, or one of many other professions, you simply declared yourself as that professional. As the respective professions developed and grew, standards were established, training designed, and ethics defined. Now, before declaring yourself as a professional in the field, you complete the appropriate training.
Coaching as a profession is at the stage where unfortunately, many still call themselves a coach without training and ethics for coaching – often without even really knowing what coaching is and how it is different from counseling or consulting. At the same time, the coaching profession now has training standards, defined competencies, and ethics.
As the coaching evolves, the buyer beware approach to hiring a coach is shifting as buyers become increasingly savvy. Now, more and more untrained coaches are being asked about their credentials. At the same time, trained coaches know to promote their coaching certification, credentials, and ethics. The International Coaching Federation is in the forefront of the profession, actively establishing training standards, defining coaching competencies, and upholding the Code of Ethics.
Whether you hire a coach or coaches, work as a coach, or simply know coaches, asking about and discussing qualifications, coach training, ICF membership or credentials, and ethics before starting with coaching benefits everyone.