Because many countries do not require coaches to be licensed, anyone can claim to be a coach, which leads to misconceptions about the profession, according to the International Coach Federation (ICF), an organization that works to educate the public on what to expect from a coaching partnership.
“Coaching is a self-regulated profession, and there are many people calling themselves coaches without having the knowledge and specific training to demonstrate their commitment to professional coaching standards, competencies and code of ethics,” said ICF President Diane Brennan, a Master Certified Coach.
As a result the following misconceptions have surfaced:
· A coach is like a therapist. Professional coaching focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal-change management. Coaches do not focus on relieving psychological pain or treating cognitive or emotional disorders, according to ICF.
· Coaching and consulting are the same. Consultants typically give clients answers based on expertise or knowledge in a certain area, while coaches seek to elicit solutions from the client, according to ICF.
· Adding coaching to the training mix can help trainees’ retention of knowledge and improve performance.
“Training is a valued resource, though research tells us that people only retain a small amount of what they receive in a training session,” Brennan said. “Working with a coach is a way to engage the individual in a process that strengthens the learning and maximizes the individual’s personal and professional potential.”
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