Would the real coach please stand up
This fascinating unregulated world of coaching, often raises the opinion that because it's an unregulated field, one doesn't need a diploma or any formal training and there are some successful coaches out there that are "diploma-less" and are practising coaches, which is fine.
I was one of those; some years ago, I believed that my experiences, worldliness and a variety of business ventures gave me the ability and entrepreneurship to hang out my life coach shingle.
I was wrong, it didn't work for me. I needed a structure, so I chose an accredited Coaching Academy and enrolled, successfully achieving a diploma in executive coaching, which is somewhere in the cupboard yet to be framed, years later.
Whilst I was happy that I chose to do this and found the intermittent coaching sessions with my colleagues and the many text books to be helpful, I also became a little blinded by the one-size-fits-all nature of these courses.
Though the lectures all included step by step structured guided modules, also suggesting that we will all find our own individual way of coaching and that the curriculum is not the only way; one still starts to develop rehearsed coaching habits. These develop through the influence of the lectures and text books, feeling safer to emulate and focus on the coaching laws (like listening more than talking or holding silence and space) even to the point of discomfort, just to mention a couple of repeated coaching laws which are almost written in stone.
Seemingly this feels like a single container and upon completion of the course one might feel almost fearful to step out of that single container, which might also put your individual essence as a coach on hold.
So whilst there are some suggestions throughout these courses to state that one will find their own way and their own style of individual coaching, it's easy to fall into habitual patterning of the coaching courses.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I completed the course, however I did for quite some time find myself coaching as someone else, not me and I felt that what I really wanted to offer was me, not the coaching diploma.
I was showing up with a headful of quotes, rules, cliches, trying to stay muted for as long as I could. That entire journey was uncomfortable, inauthentic and confusing.
I kept thinking, OK so I have to park who I am and be the coach.
I did this for some time, never interrupting, never diving in while the client was speaking, even though sometimes it was time to dive in; almost holding my breath and thinking, "don't question this, just do it".
It wasn't until I found my personality again through the cracks of all the coaching methodology that I could breathe freely and become an impactful coach.
Coaching schools are great, but you are greater.
For as long as you believe it's the diploma that makes you a coach, you will not bring who you really are to the table. You'll bring the books and the lectures, and that's fine for some coaches, but as soon as I accepted that I can break the rules and that breaking the rules was allowing me to have more client impact, I took what I had learnt and used it, but always showed up as who I am, not who I quote.