Life Coach Wanted

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I spent most of yesterday afternoon writing about why having training is important as a coach. Only, it turned into something of a rant, and as I read it over, I thought, What a pompous ASS I am!! So I deleted it. And I decided to be simple about it. Here goes:

I’m still having a difficult time simplifying, so you know what? Forget about the training. Forget it. I’ve been trained, and so have a lot of coaches out there. I even have a certificate, like a lot of coaches out there. Some coaches have less training hours than me; some have more. Some coaches went through a more rigorous Certification program than I did; some went through less, or no program at all. Some have more life experience than I do, some have less; some similar experiences, some outrageously different experiences. And it’s probably about as boring for you to read that as it is for me to write it. Big deal, right? What’s your point? right?

The point is that all the training in the world, all the experiences, all the credentials, the MCC, the PCC, the CPC, the CPCC, the XYZ…they don’t matter when it comes to connecting with a human being.

So I say this to you, if you’re looking for a coach: Find a coach who’s been trained. Find a coach who’s alive and willing to work with you for a price you’re stretching yourself to pay (because if you’re not willing to stretch yourself, then maybe coaching isn’t for you right now anyway). But above all else, find a coach you connect with. It’s the connection that sparks your willingness to stretch. It’s that connection that opens your mind to being supported into your dreams, your goals, your wants, your wishes, your visions… First find a coach you connect with, and then begin to explore whether or not they can help you help yourself.

Final note: I’m not suggesting that training or credentials or certifications aren’t important. They can be. But all the training and credentials and certifications in the world don’t promise good chemistry between you and your coach. I’m just suggesting that good chemistry is at the top of my list when connecting with a client. My training and certifications only come into play after my clients feel safe enough to open up to me.

  • This is so, so key to coaching: the client/coach relationship. Without it, nothing deep can happen, so no transformation occurs. Yes, all the other pieces are important. But, you've hit it spot on, Dian. As a fellow coach, I couldn't agree more. I know when I am the right coach for a client, and when I'm not. AND, I know that the client has to feel it, too. Love you. And your words.

  • I love you for this. I am going through my first wave of training. I enjoy it but it has made me feel very conflicted about my years and years of other training (educator, group facilitator, mediator, strategic planner, community builder). It makes me tired and confused. I'm continuing my training because it's important to me but I'm realizing that if my style of coaching isn't exactly as it should be as prescribed by my coach training, I'm cool with that. I may be more teachery than they say I should. I may be more spiritual. I may be more tough love. I may be more _________. But, for the right people and the right client all I need to be is MORE.

  • Oh. My. God. Dian, this is what I've always said about therapists – same thing! The absolute first thing is how you connect. And I've known many (MANY!) Ph.D.'s (and M.D.'s for that matter) who wouldnt be able to connect even with SuperGlue (bad metaphor.lol) I mean just nobody's-home-in -here folks or “experts” who KNOW what you need (not wonder, not kinda/sorta have something to point you toward), but who cant even see or hear YOU! Ugh and ugh.

    I love that you have this here for people!! Help in knowing who to look for – so excellent.

  • YES! Something that stood out for me in my own training was that we all got the same training (in my little pod), but we're all significantly different coaches!! We each bring our SELVES to the table—and your clients get a little bit of YOU mixed in with your coaching. I'm a big fan of knowing the rules so you can break them. (I'm actually working on a post for that now). I'm also a big fan of owning who you are, be it as a coach or a teacher or a whatever-you-do-for-a-living-er, and I love to see that here, Vanessa!!

  • Thank you, Julie. =)

  • Thanks, Karen. I remember seeing a therapist once (and just once) who in the first session had decided what my course of action would be in order to get over some abuse in my adolescence. The only connection we almost had was me punching her in the neck. (I was more temperamental in my early 20's HA!)

  • GeordieCoach

    Great Post Dian. Qualifications are good but not necessarily a true indication as to the quality of coaching that is offered in an unregulated profession. One of my tips is to find a coach who has a coach of their own. If they do not work with a coach themselves how can they truly understand the benefits coaching has? Most coaches I know do not work with a coach (and other than peer coaching whilst training never have). Coaching is an investment in yourself and in your future. People should take time to find the right coach for them, they should contact a few before they decide who to go with and I agree they should stretch themselves to get the best they can afford. Some coaches charge low fees and work long days doing back to back sessions. Personally I find this exhausting. I prefer to coach 2-3 people per day and take time between the sessions. That way I am refreshed and at my best whilst working with my clients who ultimately benefit. Best wishes Aly

  • Yes, Aly! I completely agree about a coach having his/her own coach. Mine helps me with exactly the things I help my clients with, and I feel focused and alive when I'm with my clients because I know first-hand about being asked to stretch. I also prefer to coach just a few clients per day rather than back-to-back-to-back. I need time and breathing room between clients so I can be fully present with each, and not be thinking about the last one as the next one calls in.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share.

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