In its recent article, “10 Things Life Coaches Don’t Tell You,” Elizabeth O’Brien writing for MarketWatch, questions the validity of coaching as a “bona fide profession,” saying it lacks the attributes of an established field. If you’re considering hiring a coach or a professional coach, this article is worth reading.
In response to this article, here is my list of the top ten things a good coach will tell you:
- What it means to be credentialed, i.e., abiding by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and Christian Coaches Network’s (CCN) ethic and its practical implications.
- The extent of protection of confidentiality as determined by the law.
- The limits of the coach’s ability to support; I specifically tell my clients I won’t provide them the answers.
- The necessity of building a support network, as I can’t be their friend.
- The professional boundaries of the coaching relationship so as not to compromise the quality and effectiveness of the work.
- A quarterly review of the coaching relationship to ensure it remains a worthy investment of the client’s time and money, giving clients continuous permission to adjust the relationship based on their goals, objectives, financial ability and relationship effectiveness.
- Most professional coaches don’t coach for the money. As a former executive of a multimillion-dollar company, I could be making more money doing something else. I coach because God has given me a desire to optimize people for the kingdom.
- Coaching is hard and fast work. My clients and I don’t waste time. I’ve been called a ‘laser coach’ by many of my clients and those who have credentialed me. A lot can happen in an hour when the process is well managed.
- Coaching is a good investment for clients with a high return on investment. Still, I have never charged $350.00 for a session. However, if a coach is charging that much and the client is willing to pay, he or she could very well be worth that amount. What price do you put on trust? At the executive level, how much is that trust worth?
- Coaching results are quantifiable if the objectives are clearly developed. If a client is not clear on what has transacted during the relationship, the coach is not considering Core Competencies 10 and 11 of Goal Setting, Managing Progress and Accountability.
Don’t let O’Brien’s article deter you from doing what you need to do, but do let this article help you to understand the importance of interviewing and carefully selecting your coach.
And if you’re a professional coach, consider covering these points during your first meeting or including them in your welcome packet. As professional coaches, we have a God-given responsibility to raise the standard of Christian coaching through strict adherence to ICF standards and professionalism.
How can you raise the standard of Christian coaching in your practice?