Michele Attias Life Coach

Coaches: How To Stand Out In An Ocean Of Coaches

I was having a conversation with a gentleman involved in the Corporate world a number of days ago and in response to my announcement that I work as a Coach, he looked at me blankly and responded

"Another one. Everyone’s a Coach these days".

Which made me ask the question,

Has this incredibly important and valuable profession lost its credibility?

I must admit that since I transitioned over from Psychotherapy to the Coaching profession, I have noticed more than anything, that this profession has literally become like a corner shop. 

There’s one on every high street.

Essentially,  if everyone is coaching and no one is forced to be regulated, whilst a number of coaches are not even qualified.

Has coaching been (I dare say it) dumbed down?

Essentially, can anyone be a Coach?

Since I began attending breakfast networking events as a Coach and during my pitch I always relayed the generic 60 second pitch which entails informing everyone that I’m a Coach and can change your life (same old speech).  The result of this was that most people looked up from their breakfast looking slightly amused but by the time they had sipped their next dose of coffee, had forgotten my pitch.

So I decided to do something different.

I decided to introduce my pitch by telling the other networkers that I had spent 12 years as a Psychotherapist previous to transitioning into Coaching, and why this was actually important when working with clients. I highlighted the difference in skills between the average Coach (who has transitioned from a corporate, accountancy or business background) and me.

You could say, I flaunted my unique selling point.

You could have heard a pin drop.

From that moment onwards, I suddenly began to gather interest in the networking group. As other business networkers wanted to meet with me after the events and people began to take me very seriously. One networker said something that actually blew me away. 

He stated "You’re a Coach, but you’re actually smart, you have credibility because you’ve conducted academic work to produce your Psychotherapy qualification".

You could have blown me over with a feather.

I have to confess, I have been coached and have learnt from a number of coaches who have not been academic per se, but have been incredibly in tune with where I was at and what I needed. Therefore academic achievement has nothing to do with being a good Coach. Yet for businessmen sitting around a networking breakfast, they seem to need more proof of qualification and credibility other than you stating "I’m a coach".

The reality is that at present everyone seems to be a Coach offering automated Coaching services and programmes. Coaching websites seem to be set up to offer programme such as 6 steps to success, 4 steps to a great life. Whilst these might make a great title for an e-book, why would anyone want to pay for a generic programme that is offered to everyone?

I certainly wouldn't. 

There are Coaches earning 6 figures who are not even presently qualified. It seems you need the gift of the gab, a strong sense of confidence, strong leadership skills and an e-mail list comprising of 1,000’s of subscribers to become successful nowadays.

What about relating, connecting and interacting with clients directly?

I remember a while back, I engaged a coach to work with me (yes Coaches also hire a Coach).  She appeared highly professional, professed to expand peoples businesses and claimed to do exactly what it said on the tin. I paid the Coach upfront and looked forward to our sessions together.

What was I paying for? The Coach to acknowledge my individuality, to listen, to care and to tease out what was authentically my life purpose.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The coach continued forward to what she wanted for me (possibly the same schedule she works out for all her clients). I began to resist and did not want to do the norm which was creating the perfect website, the webinar, the website homepage video, then enticing as many people as possible onto an e-mail list which then bombards subscribers to daily automated e-mails. This wasn’t the way I wanted to transition from Psychotherapy into Coaching.

There was one huge and key element missing from this coach.

She wasn't listening to what I wanted, she was only interested in following the path she had ready for me.  Her path, not mine. I actually had no interest in how many people she had helped in the past. I knew one thing clearly. She had taught me exactly how I didn’t want to work with my clients.

Coaching in my experience is a crucial part of an individuals growth and development, and I personally have been transformed by it’s effects.  In essence, it shouldn’t be taken lightly or dumbed down. It is a profession where I have experienced colleagues taking extreme lengths to support clients, including offering complimentary and low cost sessions to facilitate change in another person.

So how do you stand out amongst an ocean of coaches?

  • Explore what your individual personal background and experience brings.
  • Reflect on the difficult or challenging times which you overcame and what skills pulled you through.
  • Focus on the details your client is expressing, not from your viewpoint but from theirs.
  • Improve your communication and verbal response.
  • Be bold, fearless and always do so keeping the client at the centre of this.
  • Give the client what they need, not what they want.
  • Be creative with each individual client by tailoring the session to their need (not yours).
  • Continue your Personal development by learning and reading regularly, register onto personal development events and continue your personal growth journey.
  • Listen with nothing on your mind, this requires a high level of presence.
  • Filter the type of clients you love to work with, so that your practice is filled with people you feel inspired and enthusiastic about.
  • Walk the talk by pushing your own comfort zone and edge, growing and developing.
  • Hire your own coach.

Coaching strips away the intellect so that the client can begin to really focus on their heart and soul and what they really want. This is what I love working with and this doesn't essentially make Coaches intellectually defective, it is just a more effective way of accessing clients, through a heart centred approach. 

There are however other coaches who drag down this profession by remaining poorly qualified, refusing to engage their own Coach and not attending to personal development. Their goal is to treat the Coaching business with the sole purpose of selling high end Coaching packages to make money.

There is one huge problem with this, it becomes about the money, the status and success, rather than the client they are meant to be serving.

Self Development
Life Coaching
Life Changes
Lifestyle Coaching; business coaching; personal development; personal growth;