“Can I become a coach?”
“Can anyone be a coach?”
“What makes a good coach?”
You may be looking at the direction of becoming a coach would naturally have these questions in mind.
Can Anyone Be A Coach?
First, let’s consider: “Can everyone coach?”
In the simplest of terms, coaching is a means (conversation) of helping someone get from where he is to where he wants to go. In that context, everyone can point someone to a certain direction towards his desired destination. Anyone who is capable of supporting someone to achieve a goal can potentially coach.
However, a common misconception is that a coach plays the role of directing, advising and telling the coachee what to do. Some, unfortunately, picture a sport coach (wearing the coach’s cap) shouting instructions down at his players from the sideline of the field!
That is not the type of coaching we are talking about.
The type of Coaching that we do is not about telling someone what to do. A coach comes alongside as a success partner – he uses powerful questions and active listening, and in the process, raise the awareness of the coachee to something he hasn’t seen before, something he hasn’t think of before talking to a coach. New perspective and awareness emerge, which eventually leads to a better state or mind and new solutions. At the visible level, success is achieved and the tangible benefits are gained. At the invisible level, the coachee experiences inner shifts from within and is never the same again.To tell denies or negates another's intelligence. To ask honors it. ~ Sir John Whitmore Click To Tweet
Most of us tend to tell someone what to do. We naturally help by giving solutions and advice. It is what we have been doing most of our life. Therefore, coaching may feel counter-intuitive, especially to those who attempt to coach for the first few times.
Therefore, someone who is mindful of not giving solutions but instead, expertly listen and with the use of questions, elicit the awareness and solutions out of the person he is helping, can potentially be a great coach. Easier said than done!
These skills are not something the can be acquired by reading a book or listening to a talk. It is learned through vigorous practice, under the guidance of a well-trained, credentialed coach. The coach learning is gained more through experience, not so much of knowledge.
Coach Certification and Credentialing
Coaching has become a popular trend especially in the western countries. One of the main problems is this: anyone can call himself a life coach, professional coach or a business coach, without having proper credentials, as coaching is not regulated. Therefore the quality of coaches vary quite drastically.
I would recommend someone who is serious in pursuing the path of becoming a coach to be trained with a coach training organization with accredited programs from a recognized global coaching body such as the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Of course, not every coach that has a professional credential is automatically a good coach. Likewise, not every coach that doesn’t have a credential is a bad coach. And there are many professional coaches that I know are not ICF trained or certified.
I recommend reading this useful article ‘Do I Need A Coaching Certification?’ which clearly outlined the pros and cons of getting a formal coaching certification and how to decide which certification is right for you.
What Can You Offer?
At the end of the day, it boils down to this: How can you add value to your coachee?
Your potential coachees are more interested in whether you can help them in successfully achieving their goals. Beyond the credentials, they must trust and feel that you are the right fit and are able to move them to the next level.
Read the following items and check which are already true for you:
- You value personal development and growth in yourself and others around you.
- You’re self-motivated to reach your goals without being told what to do.
- You see great potential in people and hate to see them wasted.
- People tend to seek you out to confide in you. They also value your input into their life or work.
- When stuck, people tend to look to you for finding solutions.
- You’re curious in what makes people tick and in why they do what they do.
- You listen more than you talk. You genuinely care for the well-being of the people you talk to.
- You engage people one on one. You provoke their thinking with powerful questions to move deeper.
- You lead people to see the ‘better side’ of problems and challenges.
- People feel more empowered or being lifted up after they are with you.
- People tend to celebrate their success with you, and give credit to you for playing a role in that.
- You recognize that you’re already coaching in one form or another. You just want to formalize the coaching process and have a coach credential.
These are just a few items on what would make a good coach. I think you get the idea.
Are you doing some form of coaching unaware, like the leader I mentioned in my previous post (Part 1 – My Coaching Journey So Far)?
Feel free to share your stories and comments below. And let me know what you would like me to share in this series.