A common anecdote that we all heard in our geography class growing up is the tale of how Christopher Columbus set sail around the world in 1492 and finally disproved the common belief that the earth was flat— perhaps one of the biggest myths to be busted in history.
While we certainly don’t have to go to the same lengths, we thought we’d pick up a few common coaching myths that need to be busted. If you’re thinking of getting into the coaching profession, this will help you stay in the know.
Getting the basics straight: What is a coach?
According to The International Coach Federation, coaching is “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. As you probably already know, coaches are guides as well as co-passengers in their client’s journey in achieving their desired goals and objectives. In the process, coaches often push their clients out of their comfort zone, pose questions, raise accountability and set achievable targets. This leads to rising self-awareness in their clients, the realization of their full potential, personal and professional development, and improvement in their performance. Coaches are motivators who inspire their coachees to take positive life-altering decisions.
5 common coaching myths that need to be busted
1. Coaches are the same as mentors and therapists
Although the terms “coach”, “mentors” and “therapists” are often considered synonymous, in reality, they are not the same. Coaching is a formal profession where trained individuals work along with their clients on specific strategies and techniques. They motivate their coachees to achieve their target goals and objectives.
Mentoring, on the other hand, is more informal. Since coaching is goal-oriented, the relationship of coaches with their clients is time-bound—generally ranging from 6 months to a year. However, a mentor-mentee relationship is not limited to any specific time frame.
In a coaching session, the coach asks more questions than the coachee. However, in a mentor-mentee interaction, the latter has more queries based on the former’s expertise.
A popular life coaching myth is that it’s another form of therapy or counseling. A therapist again is a professional whose work borders on psychological assessment and support. This is not the case with coaches or life coaches specifically. Hence, these three are far from similar contrary to the common misconception.
2. Coaches tell you what to do so you achieve success
There’s a misconception among people that coaches generally instruct their coachees; this notion is far from reality. Coaches in reality are the ones who ask their clients relevant questions and, in the process, motivate the latter to come up with answers that help them achieve goals and targets. A coach in fact would refrain from sharing his opinion and act primarily as a facilitator and not an advisor. Coaching arms you with self-confidence and self-belief, which eventually results in the desired outcome.
3. Coaching isn’t an important, career-defining profession
On the contrary, coaches are instrumental in bringing about positive long-term changes in their clients’ lives, helping improve their performance, unravel their full potential, and achieve desired goals. Coaches stay invested in their clients. Moreover, a certified coach has to go through a rigorous training process to obtain the required knowledge and expertise. The coaching profession, which was initially associated with sports alone, has evolved and expanded to different other diversified fields, such as health and wellness, business, career, etc. The professors of the Standard Graduate School of Business conducted a survey back in 2013 on prevalence of coaching among senior executives, and almost 51 percent of these executives reported that they have received guidance from coaches outside the organization. To give you an even better idea of how the industry has scaled, as per PwC, coaching was the second fastest growing industry globally between 2019 and 2022!
4. Hiring a coach is a luxury reserved for few
A very common coaching myth is that it’s a luxury rather than a necessity. According to Chip R. Bell, a renowned keynote speaker, “effective questioning brings insight, which fuels curiosity, which cultivates wisdom”. And that’s one of the many strategies coaches adopt to help their clients achieve what they aim for. With the increasing competitiveness, burnout, and personal & professional complexities, a coach’s approach to problem-solving and guidance in overcoming hurdles is looked at as fundamental today and not a luxury.
5. You need to undergo a fancy certification course to become a coach
You don’t need a fancy degree to become a coach, but you may choose to get certified from an accredited institute. You can carve a niche for yourself purely backed by self-motivation and an indomitable desire to help others. For instance, you could be a business coach or an executive coach if you have years of corporate experience that has given you unique insight into business/professional challenges. In that case, you necessarily may not need a certificate to become a successful business coach. However, earning a certificate may add legitimacy and give a solid start to your coaching career.
We hope this blog post brought you some useful insights! If you think you’re ready to begin your career as a coach, we have more blog posts you’d like to read:Crafting a career in coaching: A walkthrough for aspiring coaches
Creating a simple coaching business plan 101
8 Tips to ask better coaching questions
Good luck on your journey!
1. Do you have to be a business expert to build a coaching business?
A basic understanding of business is desirable to build a successful coaching business of your own. More importantly, you need to have a knack for running a business and working independently – a coaching business is a business like any other, and as such you will have to deal with the challenges of establishing and scaling a company. However, you need not be an expert, you will eventually learn more about running a business as yours grows, and you can hire various experts to help you along the way.
2. Who needs a coach?
Anyone who’s facing professional or personal challenges can work on overcoming the same with the help of a coach. A coach uses his/ her expertise and offers problem-specific guidance to their clients. It could be a CEO of a top business organization or a rookie confused about his/her career. It could be a top athlete or an individual dealing with obesity. It could be a new mother seeking help to overcome post-partum health issues or someone dealing with the loss of a near and dear one. The range is really extensive.
Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.