History of Professional Coaching
Over 3 decades ago a distinction came into being. There was a budding awareness that true empowerment comes from within. No matter how much advice I get, I will not feel as inspired until my inner yes lights up.
Coaching was the answer to the question: "How does one help someone move beyond learning success externally to learning success internally?"
Success can be taught, yet, only up to a point. There is a point where one's potential can only be found when they relinquish learning externally and dig deep within for answers... their answers.
The Course in Miracles states: "You have [been] taught what you are. You have yet to allow what you are teach you."
Coaching was born of the recognition that true potential comes from an inner exploration, uprooting limited beliefs, locating the wisdom of the True Self.
The term coaching was also born when people, like Thomas Leonard, learned that other modalities were already in place and not capturing the essence of what was happening in coaching.
Consultants gave specialized advice and information. Therapists guided their patients to emotional healing. Mentors and clergy offered advice on how to approach a trial. Yet, there was nothing yet that truly captured the heart and essence of the process that invoked a person's own wisdom to come forth.
So over a decade ago, the distinction of coaching was born.
The term coach, comes from the horse and buggy days. Coaches didn't have a fixed point of reference. A coach showed up and the person hiring the coach said, "I'd like to go to the beach. " And the coach proceeded in the direction the client asked.
In both therapy and consulting there is a set path and destination that the therapist and consultant provide.
In coaching, the client is the one in the driver's seat at all times, "Sir, please take me by Woolsworth on the way to the beach."
This concept, of facilitating wisdom to come forth, is also secretly captured in the ancient text of the Tao Te Ching:
“A leader is best
When people barely know he exists.
Of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say, “We did this ourselves.”
― Lao Tzu
In coaching, as compared to other modalities, we lead by following the wisdom of the client and we hold the container to get them to their destination.
Visit the ICF to learn of the milestones made in the formation and stabilization of professional coaching standards: >> CLICK HERE <<
How Rumors Spread
Last week I ran across this hilarious video on Facebook (of course right?!). In under 4 minutes this facilitator showed a visual of the game I called "telephone" as a kid.
In telephone, there is a line up of ten or more people. One person starts with a phrase and has to whisper it, just once, in their neighbor's ear. That person that received the phrase then has to whisper it to their neighbor. And so on and so forth.
What is fascinating is that by the time the phrase reaches the last person in the line up, it has changed. Like clockwork.
It is a truly funny and yet highly informative game of how human interpretation is fallible and represents how rumors spread.
This is important to note. We have abstract brains, capable of grasping great truths, or getting imprisoned by our own illusions. It is easy for us to get swayed into illusion, unil we become aware and can catch self-deception before it starts. This is the power of coaching and how we help our clients navigate.
Powerful coaching helps clients move from self-deception into self-empowerment, the slippery ground of illusion to the solid footing of truth and from littleness to greater magnitude.
Without further ado, check out today's hilarious video that illustrates how easy it is for our interpretations to shift! Let me know in the comments how you see this occur in your life. Do you?
In Service to Your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Senior Faculty of IICT
This week I have a two for one resource for you! Simon Sinek is interviewed by one of my favorite podcast hosts Jennifer Morgan.
Simon talks about the important differences between ethical decision making and lawful decision making.
We are learning that viewing success through an integrative lens raises the bar on what true success is. If a "success" has a negative outcome, intended or not, then it is not true success. This is the heart of integrative intelligence.
If you are a follower of Conscious Capitalism and enjoy the gaps that integrative intelligence is closing, you will love this.
Two brilliant people in one room. Watch out!
In Service to Your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Senior Faculty IICT
Good news! Coaching is expanding in popularity, reach and scope. People no longer ask: "What sport do you coach?" when I state I'm a coach.
Coaches nowadays are being hired by companies, individuals, leaders and business owners. The challenging news is that coaching can still be misunderstood by some. Coaching is still establishing itself as a budding profession.
The good news is that now is an excellent time to get into coaching! The challenge is that you may have to educate folks on what actual coaching is.
We also market ourselves differently than other professionals so that we reach more clients and create successful businesses.
Being a professional coach, it is important to know what misunderstandings exist so that we can speak to them professionally, in the event we run into them.
Below I've provided a list of the five most prominent misunderstandings and a response to professionally handle them. Feel free to adapt these responses to your own language as you see fit. Or use them as a springboard to consider your own truth to share around coaching.
#1 - Coaching is a light form of counseling.
Response: I used to think so too and what I learned is that coaching is its own unique discipline with tools and skill-sets very unique from therapy and counseling methods. Would you like to learn more?
#2 - Coaching doesn't go deep.
Response: True coaching doesn't go into trauma. However, for people ready to expand coaching goes as deep as you want to take it. Professionally trained coaches have the tools and skills to meet you exactly where you are at. If an issue is outside of the scope of coaching the coach will let you know.
#3 - Coaching is that ra-ra stuff on TV.
Response: Yes, coaching can be motivational! There is so much more coaching does beyond what the media has portrayed. You can recognize a true coach when you look at what credentials they hold. Would you like to learn more?
#4 - Coaches are replacing therapists.
Response: There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation on what coaching actually is and is not. Coaches do not diagnosis or treat emotional illness, like a therapist is trained and licensed to do. Actually, coaches work with already healthy and success people and have tools and skills to help them capitalize on their strengths. Coaching is future, goal and action oriented. Therapy goes into the past and focuses on healing.
#5 - I want to work with you, I need all the advice I can get!
Response: Great! The approach of the coach is not to give advice, however, what the coaching will do is set you up to access your own authentic answers and develop your own wisdom. It is self-advice. Shall we schedule a free session so can experience what I mean? It is a truly great process!
The bottom line, it is normal to run into confusion in any profession. It is easy to feel frustrated around misunderstandings, so I invite you instead to see them opportunities to education and connect with people and then also invite them to try coaching out.
What can you do take a misunderstanding and turn it into a learning opportunity?
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty