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Coaching: legally analyzed - International Coaching Week
About 20 years ago, while still working at General Electric, I made a big professional switch from lawyer to coach.
At the time, it seemed to be the right thing to do and I did not think too much about it. As my Insights Discovery profile suggests, I tend to make decisions based on how I feel first. The rationalization comes afterwards. Over time, I have thus analyzed and rationalized this decision.
There are many positive aspects of being a coach. Coaching links better with my preference to ask questions rather than giving answers. Coaching gives me energy since it is all about connecting with people and trying to understand what truly motivates them. Coaching empowers people to take control over their own lives and believes in ‘free will’. I could go on and on about all the benefits of coaching. I have experienced the effects it has on people, I have seen the life changing impact.
There is, however, one major drawback. Unlike being a lawyer, coaching is not a regulated profession. Anybody can call him/herself a coach. It is sufficient to place ‘coach’ on your name card and off you go…
This is why initiatives such as the ‘International Coaching Week’ of the International Coach Federation (ICF) are so important. It highlights what professional coaching is all about and distinguishes it from other forms of coaching and advice.
Did you know that to call yourself an ICF certified coach:
- You need to master 11 specific coaching competences
- You need to pass rigorous training, exams, supervision and be able to record lots of hours (2500 for the highest certification)
- You need to abide by specific ethical guidelines
Too often, the coaching profession is taken for granted and there is not sufficient understanding of what it is/is not.
When there is no external ‘regulation’, self-regulation becomes even more critical. Thus, at Qlick we find it important to abide by the highest standards. We only work with ICF certified coaches and constantly strive to ‘live what we preach’. We go for regular coaching ‘check-ups’; follow training and coaching sessions, receive regular supervision.
I can tell you from my own experience and that of all my professional coaching colleagues, it is really hard work to become a good coach and the learning never ends. After all, we work with the precious lives of people.
So during this International Coaching week, and for once without modesty, I am grateful and proud that I can call myself an ICF Master Certified Coach.