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Coaching no-no!"I can fix you!" - I don't think so!

On a quiet Saturday night, I asked the followers of my Facebook page (@shadesofyoucoaching) whether or not they had a Coach (of any kind) and to share their reasons behind their decision-making process.

I received lots of responses and lots of useful comments about why they have or have not got a coach.

The results:

Many of those who said they did have a coach said they thought it is one of the most important investments you can make – for you and your business. Other benefits were the focus a coach brings, clarity, accountability and being able to talk things through with no judgement.

However, a large percentage of the comments suggested that many people just don’t know what a Coach can do for them and how they can support and benefit a developing business. The most common comments for not having a coach was money -not having enough disposable income to pay for a Coach.

However, what really upset me, I mean really pushed my buttons and made me rant and rave to my husband, were the private messages I was sent detailing the appalling experience some people have had when it comes to Coaches.

I was being told stories about people claiming to be able to “fix” problems, guaranteeing return on investment, selling themselves as some sort of wonder coach and in fact the clients were walking away feeling deflated, battered and bruised by the experience – in tears!

This is not what I expected to hear!

Now I think I have probably used coaching as a technique for about 7 years, however I became qualified 5 years ago when coaching became a requirement of my job. The qualification was long and hard work, but I learnt so much – tools, techniques and above all ethics!

Just to be clear - I am not saying that you must have a coaching qualification to be a good coach – there are many coaches who are not qualified on paper but are qualified by experience.

It was my choice to study to build my knowledge of the area I wished to work in and to have confidence in my abilities.

Ethics, however, is something I may have taken for granted and I just assumed that everyone putting themselves out their as coaches would behave ethically and look after their clients.

As an ILM qualified coach, I adhere to their code of conduct. This commits members to;

“Maintaining a high standard of integrity in all their business relationships whether inside or outside the organisation in which they are employed or retained.

To be aware of the impact that their actions may have on the environment and the people around them.”

“2.10 In communication with any party, members will accurately and honestly represent the value they provide as a coach, mentor or supervisor.

2.11 Members will ensure that no false or misleading claims are made, or implied, about their professional competence, qualifications or accreditation in any published, promotional material or otherwise. Members will attribute ownership of work, ideas and materials of others to the originator and not claim it as their own. “

Basically – don’t promise the earth when it is not within your control to deliver.

Don’t get me wrong I am coaching’s number 1 fan!! I believe in the power it has to move individuals forward, from stuck to powering through life, from zero to 100% confidence and productivity.

However, I believe that my job as a coach is to find this within my clients and support, encourage, motivate and challenge them to bring it to the fore.

I do not have the answers to their questions. I can not fix them! And to say that I can is unethical, lacking in integrity and dangerous for my profession.

Going back to the comments I received about why many people do not have coaches, even if they see the value and would like one, money seems to be the blocker for many.

The amount coaching costs can vary by staggering amounts. It is not for me to say how much is right or wrong and it is for individuals to ensure they are receiving appropriate remuneration for their skills, time and professional knowledge.

It is my belief that coaching should be accessible to all and my aim is to therefore reflect that in my pricing.

My top tips for those looking for coaching are;

· Always ask for the costs up front - you need to consider the benefits vs outlay.

· Contact at least three coaches and ask them how they work with their clients – get as much info up front as possible!

· Consider how you would like to work with a coach – how much challenge do you want to receive? Are you looking for a specific knowledge base?

· Book I a free call to get to know each other – and if it doesn’t feel right, walk away.

· Don’t be blinded by the light – if anyone promises to “fix” you, question their ethics!

· Have an open and honest conversation about what is and isn’t achievable as a result of your coaching sessions.

Above all, it is your journey and your money so make sure you are 100% happy with your choice.

If you would like to chat through any of my rantings, please do get in touch.

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