“The Role of Your Business Coach”
With the economic downturn sustained by the U.S., many dis-placed workers sought to start their own businesses, hence the upward swing in providing coaching services. These are people who have an expertise in a certain field and sought to take their talents and call themselves coaches rather than consultants, advisors or counselors. There is a difference between the two.
- Consultants/Advisors/Counselors – have a certain level of expertise in a certain field and provide businesses with their expertise in that particular field, providing advice and/or information.
- Coaching – is partnering with clients in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize their personal and professional potential. The coaching functions on a process level to help people understand who and where they are in their lives and in their work/business. It is a healthy, positive and enabling process that develops the capacity of people to solve today’s business problems. The role of the coach is to help the individual to think about and identify strategies for success, and helps the individual to create goals and helps to keep them motivated so that they realize their goals.
Often, coaching is mistaken for counseling. Coaching is not counseling. The role of the counselor is to take an individual back in time to a place of unresolved issues so that the individual can revisit and resolve them. Coaching is about present and future forward movement; helping people to become unstuck in where they are.
There are many coaches out there that claim to be “business coaches”, unfortunately, they actually haven’t been through a certified educational coaching curriculum that would allow them to be able to call themselves “business coached”. So, how do you know if the person you are retaining to coach you in your business is legitimate? You ask for and verify their credentials!
A certified professional coach will have gone through a rigorous training program endorsed by the International Coach Federation (ICF), the only current accrediting and governing body for ensuring that coaches are actually practicing the skill of coaching in an ethical and professional manner. The individual will have learned core coaching competencies and coaching skills and processes that help them be effective in their coaching practices. Coaches that go through the coach education process will be established as Certified Professional Coaches with a credential of CPC and will have the hours necessary to be accredited with the ICF, which has three (3) levels of certification:
- Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – with over 100 coaching hours under their belt and the requisite additional training and coach mentoring
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC) – with over 750 hours of coaching under their belt and the requisite training and coach mentoring
- Master Certified Coach (MCC) –with over 2500 hours of coaching under their belt and the requisite training and coach mentoring
Asking for credentials and references is not enough, you must also determine if the person, their style and personality are a fit for you. A coach that you come in contact with should be helping to determine this as well to ensure that you, the client, have the best coaching experience. If not, then they should offer to help you to find a coach that’s right for you. However, there are resources that you can avail yourself to, so that you find a certified coach that is right for you. Our suggestion… start with the International Coach Federation, they have large offering of coaches and their specific niche. There are also trade associations and magazines and local coach associations.
If you do the research and select the coaching relationship that works for you, the results you yield for you and/or or your business can be priceless!