Top 5 Professional Coaching Myths Busted

on July 20, 2015 Resilience - Growth & Strength and Tags: , , , with 0 comments
Executive coaching myths busted Great coaches bring out the best in people
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This blog is about professional coaching and debunking the myths I commonly hear in the business world.

Obviously, I’m not harping on John Wooden (given the picture on this blog), or busting anything about his coaching methods!  I greatly admire the way John consistently produced winning teams despite the variety of players he had. Great coaches do that.  They bring out the best in people in every situation.

So, what is a professional coach? Coaching is standardly defined as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

Also, who’s using coaches? In a 2009 study of the professional coaching industry by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), they found that coaching was used by 90% of organizations surveyed and that even in economic downturns, 70% report that they were increasing or maintaining their commitment to coaching.

Coaching is clearly popular, but what exactly does a professional coach do? There are a lot of myths and assumptions out there, so let’s review the top five myths and their de-bunking facts:

Myth 1: Personal coaching takes too much time.

Fact: Professional coaching is a high-leverage activity. Clients can achieve remarkable progress toward their desired future in just a few hours per month of coaching.

There is a wide spectrum of how coaching is delivered. Some coaches prefer to meet one-on-one with clients, but most recommend telephone sessions for the ease of use, minimization of distractions, better privacy, greater efficiency, and for better connection to the client.

Best practices in coaching call for between two and four sessions per month that last at least 30 minutes and up to 90 minutes. Suffice it to say, it’s a miniscule investment of time for the results achieved.

Myth 2: Life coaches are like having a good friend to bounce ideas off and to keep you motivated.

Fact: Your coach may be friendly, but they are not your friend. Your coach is your advocate. They want the best from you. They will work with you to help you reach your goals and to succeed

Your coach will hold you accountable and challenge you to grow and do more than you think you can do. They may push, pull, and stretch you in ways that feel uncomfortable. And unlike a friendship, the coaching relationship is unilateral – it is exclusively focused on you and your goals, not the coach.

Good coaching focuses on an individual’s strengths and aims to help the client achieve what they want more of in life and at work.

The goal? To help the client identify and achieve their greater goals and to help them live a better life. A good coach isn’t there to “fix” anyone, but to help the client navigate toward a more engaged and compelling future.

Myth 3: Executive coaching is only good for upper management.

Fact: Coaching is good for anyone who is motivated to create a better life.

Initially, professional coaching or executive coaching was for upper management, and some organizations still focus their coaching efforts on their top performers. Companies across the board are similarly opting for coaching to help their high-potential executives perform in larger, rapidly-changing roles in a globalized world.”

But professional coaching isn’t just for the executive suite. Studies shows just under 5% of coaching is restricted to senior executives. Now, more and more companies are recognizing the powerful benefits of providing coaching to rank and file employees.

For example, Zappos.com, known for their outstanding commitment to creating an amazing culture, has a full-time goals coach who works with any employee – not just management – on helping them create better lives.

Myth 4: Professional coaches tell their clients what to do and give them advice.

Fact: Bad or inexperienced coaches tell their clients what to do and are constantly giving advice. Good coaches do not.

Most clients realize they don’t need another parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker telling you what you should be doing. Instead, coaches help their clients explore and come up with the best choices for them based on the client’s vision for their future.

Coaches are experts at the process of changing behavior, which is much more valuable than giving instructions.

Myth 5: Executive coaching is expensive.

Fact: Coaching may, at first glance, appear to cost a great deal of money. However, statics clearly prove it’s an investment, not an expense, with a very high ROI.

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 $1,000 to $4,000 a month.

What this means is that either there are a lot of stupid people wasting their money on coaching each month or they are getting results worth at least the cost of their coach.

The ROI from professional coaching is astonishing. A recent global survey by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association Resource Centre found that the mean Return on Investment in coaching was 7 times the initial investment, and over a quarter of coaching clients reported a stunning ROI of 10 to 49 times the cost.

Bottom line: coaching is an investment that can produce monetary rewards well above and beyond any costs.

~ bill

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