As a growing field gaining in credibility and popularity, coaching has a long way to go before it is understood for what it is in the mainstream. There are quite a few misconceptions out there that would do well to be dismantled. Let’s take them one at a time, shall we?
Common Coaching Myths
1) I don’t need a coach because nothing is wrong with me.
Actually, coaches don’t look for what is “wrong” with you at all. Just the opposite: coaches look for what resources you already have that are going unacknowledged or under-utilized. Coaches support clients in taking full advantage of their gifts and strengths, while also providing support for aspects of the client that he or she wants to develop further. Many thriving, successful people enjoy the benefits of a coach. Rather than trying to “fix” something, coaches and clients collaborate to achieve greater successes than any individual could on their own. By shedding new light and new eyes on a situation, holding clients accountable (as mutually agreed upon), challenging limiting beliefs and championing clients’ strengths, a coach bolsters a client’s potential.
2) I don’t want to dig into my past in order to move forward in my life.
Coaches assist clients in being present-focused as well as deeply conscious of their future goals. While past experiences may come up in the way they shape beliefs and resources in the present moment, they are addressed in the NOW. Coaches guide clients to check out out-dated beliefs to see if in fact they are useful and true now. They look at past experiences to identify hidden strengths and resources which are available to the client now. Coaching is interested in moving forward, with all the resources you can garner from the rich experiences you’ve had before.
3) I don’t need someone who is just going to cheerlead me.
Coaches are interested in experimentation, habits and lasting results. They may cheerlead when they sense that a client is doubting their potential, but they may also challenge a client whose thinking is smaller than their capabilities. They use a plethora of tools to direct clients toward blindspots, new vistas, bigger perspectives, and new options when they feel stuck. Cheerleading is just one of many helpful roles a coach plays for a client.
4) Life coaches tell you how to live your life
Preaching to a client is the antithesis of skilled coaching. On the contrary, a coach listens deeply to what a client is presenting and where he wishes to go. A coach then asks skilled, powerful questions in order to elicit previously unknown answers from within the client. One of the reasons coaching is so powerful is that the goals, resources, solutions, directions and systems are co-created by the coach and client and arise out of the client’s inner wisdom. A coach isn’t a life expert, but rather is masterful at eliciting the expertise from her client with respect to his own life.
5) Hiring a coach is paying for expensive advice or friendship
As explained before, a coach is more of a skilled advocate than a friend and offers perspective, support and rather than advice. Coaching can certainly be expensive, and coaches range in experience, training and skill. However, research has shown that the return of investment (ROI) from professional coaching is astonishing. Just take a look at this:
- “Harvard Business School’s “What can Coaches do for You?” research whitepaper reports some executive coaches cost up to $3,500 for an hour of coaching. While this is an extreme, most personal coaches charge a monthly retainer between $500 to $2,000 a month. What this means is that either there are a lot of really stupid people wasting their money on coaching each month or they are getting results worth at least the cost of their coach.” – Robert Pagliarini: CBS News
Academic Life Coaching can be an incredibly affordable way to getting a huge head-start on an empowered, successful adult life. Developing the self-awareness, motivation and systems to succeed continues to offer its bounty well beyond school.
Curious to learn more?