Over the years, I've heard numerous misunderstandings about coaching. Here are three common myths countered by truths that hopefully will clarify misconceptions about the coaching profession.
Myth: Coaching is an alternative for counseling.
Truth: Coaching is all about transformation and growth, which means there must be a degree of health in order for the client to move forward. Counseling or therapy is effective for those people or issues where there is a degree of unhealth. A counselor steps into the person's past and helps them find necessary healing so they can function well in their present. A coach helps move a person from the present to the future.
Myth: Coaches are consultants who are called by a different title.
Truth: Coaching and consulting are vastly different. In a consulting conversation, the consultant is the expert. He listens, assesses and gives his recommendations. In a coaching conversation, the client is the expert. The coach merely listens and responds with questions that will encourage clarity, self-discovery and new awareness. Any action steps are designed by the client and affirmed by the coach.
Myth: Anyone who calls herself a coach is qualified to coach.
Truth: Professional credentialed coaches invest years of time and resources to become the most effective coaches possible. Professional coaches are trained, tested and assessed, and they abide by a high standard of ethics.When seeking out a coach, it is extremely important to verify credentials.
What myths have you heard about coaching? How do you counter those myths? Please share your thoughts.