EVERYBODY should have a coach.
Today, I find myself significantly perplexed. Something is happening in the coaching world that I’m growing more and more concerned about, to the extent I need to share this with you and get your insight.
This statement has created significant divide in the coaching fraternity, and something I’m somewhat fascinated to explore further.
There are some, (who shall remain nameless) who have determined the statement made here:
Everyone needs a coach
Was created by a coach struggling to gain clients, and therefore suggesting that even coaches require coaches. Before long they were extremely busy coaching coaches to be coaches! There are many coaches out there that subscribe to this perception. That once you have qualified (and gained some experience) as a coach, you are more than capable of ‘self-coaching.’ Or that by somehow gaining this piece of paper with your name and acknowledgement of what you have attained is somehow a passport to no longer require any further coaching!
There are those on the other hand, who determine just like in life, becoming a coach is part of a coaching journey. And to remain up to date, well versed, and effective it is beneficial to also have a coach (sometimes referred to as a coaching supervisor, or coach mentor) in order to both keep you in check and to maintain a level of CPD.
And whilst I acknowledge both perspectives, I’m not sure I fully subscribe to either!
Don’t get me wrong, as you’ll learn from this article I am a FULL subscriber to the sentiment in the video, and in the teachings of John Doherty in his TED talk ‘The Power of a Coach’ and the writings of Michael Burt in his book: Everybody Needs a Coach in Life: Isn’t It Time You Found Yours? In that everybody should have a coach, I just simply subscribe to this for differing reasons than for those currently shared!
There is ALSO to risk of COACH OVERLOAD! I’ve met people with more coaches, mentors, trainers, guides than family members! I recently spoke with one person who is investing more than £3,500 per month JUST on Personal Coaches! She has 4, apparently, she’s “inspired” by them all. One of whom she has been working with for the past 7 years! I’m sorry, but to me that doesn’t sound like coaching!
And just to add to them mix of complexity there is the question around the coaching itself. With some many coach training businesses that have ‘popped up’ in the last couple of years or so, there are more and more people suddenly adding the word COACH to their business title! And I do say ADDING, as again, during my research into this subject ahead of writing today, I came across one poor chap on LinkedIn with THIS as his job titles:
John Dow (Let’s not Name and Shame)
Coach, Mentor, Trainer, Consultant, Guide, Author, Speaker, Healer, Sharman
WOW. I’m not sure what I’d approach ‘John’ for, or whether he is going to ask me questions, teach me, heal me, write about me or pray for me! And Sharman, I’m not sure I’ve ever met a Sharman before! What was even more comical was that beneath his biography are his previous work history:
- Herbalife consultant
- Amazon Warehouse Operative
Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against anyone wishing to improve themselves, and in once sense, thrilled to see the determination ‘John’ has clearly shown in achieving all that he now claims to be.
But there is something that’s missing in all of this, and its called PATIENCE!
Our 24/7 365 connectivity has prevented us from learning some exceptionally valuable LIFE lessons called patience, experience, or as we would refer to it within the military ‘time served’.
It was never my intent to add this page to our coaching company website. Nor is a title I choose to use publicly. However, the fact remains that whilst I am more than happy to disclose, I currently have 3 coach/mentors with whom I am most grateful for their help, insight and guidance. One supports me as a speaker, another specifically within the marketing of my businesses, and the third more of a life coach, helping me understand place and purpose.
The only reason this page exists, is that over the past few years, I’ve noticed a number of my business clients are also coaches.
You see, I’m a coach in quite a niche area. I help business owners and entrepreneurs learn how to SCALE both them and their businesses. I’m NOT a life coach, or a career coach, I wouldn’t even characterise myself as solely an executive coach. My forte is in working with business owners in reviewing their business against their own personal goals and determining if they are ‘on course’ to achieve all they wish (and are capable of) in the time frame they wish to achieve it.
Sometimes this deems there is need to work on the business. It’s people, systems and processes. In order to deliver the outcomes required from it. Other times it involves a deep dive into the business owner, and their aspirations. Determining WHAT success really looks like for them, and if they have created a business capable of delivering that.
And just because they are also a coach, doesn’t mean they have the same knowledge, background, experience as I in helping others to significantly and sustainably grow both business and business owner.
Recently, I’ve been approached by a fellow coach with whom I’ve known for some time. We first ‘met’ through a group of mutual interest on LinkedIn. And since then, have had several conversations (both telephone and online) have shared multiple emails and over the last 12 months, they have attended several of the courses we host on HOW to SCALE your business.
I’ve observed as they have taken multiple notes, asked many questions and really engaged with out teachings. The feedback has always been first class, and they maintain how happy they are with the services we provide.
On occasion, we do approach people and ask if they might write a testimonial (either on social media or as a google review). We don’t ‘pester’ people for a review, but when we see they are repeat customers and offer such great feedback on the day, makes sense to approach and ask for them to share this publicly.
However, I was shocked with their response.
“Sincerest of thanks for the exceptional training you continue to provide. The quality of content, material and conversation is always first class, and of most benefit to everyone as its carefully tailored to their individual requirements.
I am more than happy with your services and shall continue to make full use of the opportunities you present to me in sustainably growing my business.
However, I am offer apology but unable to support you with a public testimonial.”
This intrigued me, as yet again, there was another great response to who we are and what we do, and yet have chosen to respond advising that whilst they are happy, they cannot provide this feedback publicly! – So I called them!
They have concerns as to what others may think of THEM as a coach, if it is known they are also being coached! The negative ‘self-talk’ about others perception and what this means about them and their abilities is preventing them from sharing all they have said privately, publicly!
The pressure’s we can place upon ourselves to be, act, behave in a certain way in public. Our brand, our persona, our identity and what this means to others. Far outweighs any thought of being authentic. This word authentic has become ‘banded around’ so much these days that even it appears fake, false, unclear these days.
What is our authentic self?
Authenticity is a concept in psychology as well as philosophy and aesthetics. Within Psychology (in particularly existentialism), authenticity is the degree to which an individual’s actions are congruent with their beliefs and desires, despite external pressures. The call of authenticity resonates with the famous instruction by the Oracle of Delphi, “Know thyself.” But authenticity extends this message: “Don’t merely know thyself – be thyself.”
Views of authenticity in cultural activities vary widely. The concept of authenticity is often aired in musical subcultures, such as punk, rock, heavy metal, house, grunge, garage, hip-hop, techno, and showtunes.
Chinese philosophy denies that there is a single “authentic self” that people need to find or uncover. Instead, it proposes that without contemplation, people’s patterns of behaviour are largely the result of their experiences. Instead of expressing authenticity as a goal, the Chinese tradition proposes that people can shape themselves as they see fit, and that the best use of this flexibility is to become a person who serves society.
In this sense, a coach SHOULD be seen and considered as a person who serves society. Certainly, within My TrueNORTH we have chosen to moved away from the term COACH, instead referring to our front line support staff as Business SCALE Sherpa’s!
Within my initial career as a Frontline, rapid deployment advanced trauma medic, I made a conscious commitment to be ‘of service’. As a Soldier to my Queen and Country, and as a combat medic to the injured and ill (be that friend or foe).
We’ve consciously chosen to use the term Sherpa, because of their role in serving others. When attempting to summit Everest. The wise explorer recruits the aide of a Sherpa. Someone with in-depth knowledge of how to summit, the paths to follow and those to avoid, the time to push on and the time to rest and are willing to share some of the burden along the route. And yet, NOT take the limelight, allowing the Explorer to reign victorious at the summit, before returning to assist another explorer to rise to THEIR success summit!
I shall continue to remain consciously aware of my authentic self. Continue to remain ‘of service’ in providing the help, support, guidance and accountability to dedicated business owners keen to significantly and sustainable SCALE both them and their businesses, and continue to remain open to the feedback, good, bad or indifferent we receive along the way.
Just like a Sherpa doesn’t only use one route, we DON’T stick to PURE coaching, (as some do). But use this as a major tool within our toolbox, and used as and when required, alongside NLP, mentorship, consultancy, training, guiding and accountability partners to aide each client in achieving THEIR goals.
In Ardious Fidelios
When I joined the British Army, we learnt much of the Corps and Regiments history. And the Latin Corps motto to which every Corp and Regiment are adorned with.
In Ardious Fidelious is that of the Royal Army Medical Corps, for which I served for over 12 years, and to an extent I still do within my role is business and in life! It translates into English as Faithful throughout Adversity to which I shall ALWAYS subscribe.