There are many thousands of ‘coaches’ out there who have never been trained to coach, have never been coached themselves and who have absolutely no idea where to begin or indeed where to end.
Equally, there are a similar number of ‘coaches’ out there who are qualified, who have never been coached themselves and also have absolutely no idea what they are doing.
I can only speak from my own experience, and I have found that learning how to be a coach is very much different from being a coach. And being a coach means drawing on all my learnings and experiences accumulated throughout my life.
How so you may well ask. Well I have undertaken significant training with six different coach training providers since 2004 and invested many thousands of pounds in my training. Each coach training provider has their own ways of interpreting coaching, whether that is style, dos and don’ts, wording and lots of different ‘specialisms’.
For instance, one coach training provider insisted that coaching means never giving your client an idea or suggestion. A different coach training provider insisted that every client needs to be coached in a specific way using a particular model. Yet another coach training provider professed that all clients need is an ear to listen to them.
Now, when it comes to qualification one distance learning coach training provider said that once I had passed their diploma course I was a trained life coach. That may well have been true, but the course itself gave very little insight into the myriad of different strategies that can be, and are, used in coaching. On passing the course I was a qualified life coach.
Another taught me all I needed to know to become a corporate coach, but again left me short of knowledge and experience when it came to working with organisations that varied in the ways they operated. On passing their course I was now a qualified corporate coach.
I have learned over the years that my life experiences count just as much as all the coach training. Listening to my clients and knowing when to ask the right question came from practice. It is nothing that can be learned from a course or a book, it comes with experience of working with so many different people.
I love being a coach, it doesn’t feel like a job to me. I find it so rewarding when I see the ‘penny drop’ and my clients get it, take action and change their lives for the better. It is something that I just love getting out of bed for every morning.
All the training I have undertaken has had its uses, and I always learned something new and worthwhile, and I can honestly say that I am highly qualified and experienced as a coach, and my clients get great results.
I enjoy being coached, and in fact work with several coaches where we all coach each other, supervise, teach and learn. It works very well as each has something different to bring to the table. The fact that we are spread out over the world in the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia causes a few time zone headaches, but we usually work it all out between us, and Skype is a fabulous tool.
So who wins in the Qualified Coach vs Unqualified Coach competition? I don’t think there is a definitive answer. It all depends on the coach and the outcome you want. If the outcome you get is satisfactory to you, then I am not sure it really matters. I know there will be lots of you who will disagree, and I would love to hear from you.
My speciality is coaching and mentoring people who have escaped from abusive relationships, people who have been bullied or people who suffer from anxiety about one or more things in their life. The successful outcomes my clients have had are just wonderful and make my work so worthwhile.
If you find anything here that resonates with you, get in touch and we can have a chat.
Professional Transformational Coach, Consultant
Founder of MAGGIE CURRIE COACHING