Coaching is a pretty new industry and becoming more popular. Of course, with everything new there can be a bit of misinformation and assumptions out there.
I'd like to dispel some of the myths and assumptions around coaching that are out there, and give the correct information.
Coaching is for people whose lives are a mess
BUSTED: Most people seek coaching to improve where they’re at. In fact, coaching is designed to take you on the scale from ‘average’ to ‘awesome.’ A coaching client might want to become a better leader, or find a new career that better suits them, or work on learning more about utilizing their innate talents to smash their goals :)
Coaching has no tangible or lasting results
BUSTED: Coaching can have very strong, long lasting results. Of course, it takes two to tango and clients must put in their share of the work.
Some examples of tangible results include:
Creating a strategy to change careers, using your signature themes to dictate your best course of action and following the plan to land your dream job.
Creating a plan of action to add skills and knowledge to a specific theme you want to develop, working on it and finding that theme becomes easier to use and more appreciated by others.
Building character around a theme to make sure you are using it in a way that is beneficial to you and others, having less arguments with others and being more understood by your family, friends and workmates
All coaches are unqualified
In New Zealand, and throughout many countries there are no requirements to set up your own coaching system and call yourself a coach, meaning that yes, anyone could technically set up a coaching business (however CliftonStrengths coaches need to be certified by one of the above organizations.)
There are many certifications and International Associations that accredited and registered coaches can join that govern the use of specific coaching tools or systems.
I received training from the Strengths Network South Pacific (SNSP) to become an accredited Top 5 coach and use the Cliftonstrengths tool. This was an intensive 3-day training with follow-up work to become accredited, and came with the option of continuing as a member of SNSP. As a member, I am required to complete ongoing professional development to continue membership and have the option of completing further training.
When choosing a coach, always look for what accreditation or certification they have, and don’t be shy to ask for proof of a certificate or official member listing! If they don’t have one, ask what experience they have. As when you hire any professional, only work with someone you feel confident with.
Coaching = Therapy
BUSTED: Coaching and therapy are two totally different areas.
While both include listening to people and asking questions, that’s where the similarities end.
Therapists are trained to help people with trauma, emotional setbacks, and major problems they are struggling to work through. The goal is to get from ‘less than great’ back to ‘average.’ Coaching goes from ‘average’ to ‘awesome.’
Coaching allows that the client is the expert on themselves, and helps them to decide on their own answers and options that work for them. In counselling, the counselor is the trained expert in the relationship.
Coaching is just giving advice
BUSTED: Advisers advice, Coaches coach.
Coaches don’t give a lot of advice. Coaching is about helping the client find what they want to do and where they need to go through a series of exercises and open questions.
Ultimately, the client is the expert on themselves (how they think, feel and behave) and (in CliftonStrengths) the coach's job is to ask questions to help the client to explore their talent themes and how best to use them.
Coaches don’t say what to do unless specifically asked, and even then it is based on an incomplete view-point and of course the client can choose not to take that advice.
I hope that clears things up a little - I'd like to contribute to the pioneering of the coaching industry - especially here in New Zealand.
If you still have questions about coaching and CliftonStrengths, check out my FAQ page or send me a line if you're still not sure. I'd love to hear from you if you have questions that aren't answered anywhere else.