I was at a networking function a few months ago and I had been chatting to a woman who was telling me all about her job, and her current set of circumstances. When she asked me what I did I explained that I helped women thrive through business coaching. Her response? She rolled her eyes at me.
Just to give some context, this happens to me A LOT, so I am used to it (yet I still find it slightly offensive).
At this point in our conversation, I had two choices;
1. Ignore it and carry on with the conversation or
2. Bring it to the surface and deal with it.
The last year has seen me grow personally and professionally and this has challenged me to be true to who I am and speak my mind in a loving way. Have you heard the saying “above the line”? To work out if you are living above the line or below the line, you look at the choices you are making in any given situation and how that choice can have positive or negative outcomes. Above the line responses are direct, hope inspired, positive choices and being accountable whereas below the line responses are making excuses, having a victim mentality, staying stuck and seeing problem after problem. If you would like to read more about this, click here.
If I had said nothing or been passive, I would have played below the line, but I made a choice to play above the line. Here’s what happened next . . .
When she took a breath, I asked her why she had rolled her eyes at me when I told her my occupation. She said that she didn’t think it was obvious that she had done so. I pushed on and asked her if she had had a bad experience with a coach? Her response was that she thought “life coaching” was a waste of time. I reiterated that I was a business coach AND that there are a many styles of coaching out there and each style brings it’s own experience.
I work with many women who don’t have the confidence to speak up and deal with people like this and it make me angry! What would have happened if I wasn’t confident in my own ability? What would have happened if I had just started my business and having an interaction like that knocked me around a bit, or even worse, if comments like that made me think I was no good at the work I do?
The conversation ended well and I went on to talk to some other people. To my surprise, the next day I received an email of apology from her. Along with her apology she wanted to ask me something. She asked if I would consider coaching her!
I get it, I honestly do, there are many people out there doing coaching. It’s the fad of the moment. There are also many people out there wondering if they got their value for money when they have engaged a coach.
So, Why do I care what people think of my profession? I love what I do, and I truly believe that with the right coach on board people have the opportunity to reach new potential that they may not have otherwise.
What do these constant misconceptions mean for the coaching industry? Unfortunately, when people are uneducated as to what coaching is and the different styles of coaching available, coaching is often generalised as a negative experience. And unfortunately, yes, like in any industry there are some opportunistic people who are not genuinely looking out for their clients, they are not qualified and do not offer true value. But when engaging any type of service, you need to do your homework and ensure that you are working with an industry professional.
And what does the myriad of coaching options available mean for you, when you are looking for a coach? It means that you need to be calculated when engaging a coach. You need to do your due diligence.
Here are questions to ask yourself that gets you a little closer to selecting the right coach for you.
Why do I want a coach and what do I want to achieve?
Asking this question will help determine the type of coach you are searching for. As I mentioned earlier, there are so many styles of coaching available. It is important to determine your why and what before you start so that you engage the right coach for you.
Am I willing to invest in a coach AND do the work necessary?
Unless you are willing to invest and do the work you will not see results.
Have they come recommended from a credible source? Who else have they worked with?
Results speak for themselves.
How do their credentials stack up? Do they have any? Do they have experience?
Does the coach you are engaging have credentials to support the work they are doing? What methodology do they use in their work? What experience in their industry and yours do they have?
And finally.. Do I like them and trust them enough to hire them?
This is a big one, coaching is all about trust. So if you don’t feel like you are aligned, find another coach.
The type of coaching that is best suited to you and your situation will be an individual choice. Asking these questions will ensue that you are on track to find the right coach and get the most out of your coaching experience.
I’m Emma, and I’m a business and executive coach who believes wholeheartedly in the potential of women. My coaching philosophy is simple- taking action leads to results- and I love working with women in business and in corporate roles to take their passion and drive and transform their professional and personal lives.
Be enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic, every day.