Updated: Oct 18, 2021
It's October! That time of year again where the ghosts 👻, goblins 👹, and...gulp...life coaches 🤡 come out to play .
Forget undead serial killers or nightmares from other realms, if you want to scare the living daylights out of someone...tell them you're a Life Coach.
As soon as those two words come out of your mouth, a whole host of stereotypes can arise in a person's mind.
The combination of all these false beliefs would create a perpetually unemployed coach, a whackjob who is moments away from peddling their pyramid scheme and tries to force you into believing their woo-woo nonsense.
In addition to this caricature are the coaches that overpromise, overprice, and underdeliver.
Alas, these kind of coaches are out there. They may might not be ICF trained or accredited, but they call themselves coaches all the same. Like vampires 🧛♀️ who appear human, but at any moment will suck the money out of your wallet.
So it is this week on CLCI Live that Lisa Finck (A.C.C.), Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.P.C.), Jerome LeDuff Jr. (M.C.L.C), and Anthony Lopez (M.C.P.C). discuss what might scare someone away from working with and becoming a life coach, and how we can dispel the rumors.
The Term "Life Coach"
Life coaching is a broad term by itself. It covers, well, all of life. (It's yet to be seen if there are afterlife coaches)
Because this is such a broad category, it encompasses the entire spectrum of people who call themselves a life coach. Good, bad, and nightmarish. This means that whenever you tell someone that you are a life coach, you are giving them permission to form whatever conclusions they may think, based on their false assumptions.
Don't give them that power.
You are not just a life coach. You are a:
Relationship and Family Coach
Time Management Coach
Transcendent Living Coach
All the various subcategories of Life Coach
Be specific about who you are, what your education is, and what niche you serve. This is one of the best ways to dispel the fears and trepidations a potential client may have.
3 Reasons People Fear Life Coaches
1. "They believe in all sorts of woo-woo"
For the uninitiated, Woo is a term used to describe pseudo-scientific practices and beliefs. Like a bad Halloween costume, Woo dresses itself as something it's not to get what it wants (In most cases, money).
To get a feel for it, here are some of the more prevalent ideas that fall under the Woo category:
Past Life Regression
Channeling the Dead
And the list goes on, but you get the idea. We are not knocking any of it. But the truth is though folks who worship the Woo may also be life coaches on occasion, Woo has nothing to do with coaching.
Being a certified and trained coach helps to dispel the myth that we are making uncertain woo-woo claims because there is now a common ground that we coaches share.
Remember, the essence of coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
How you do that is entirely up to you, as long as its ethical and not misleading. Woo or not.
2. "A coach will force me to do things I don't want to do"
What was your first experience with a coach?
No, not a life coach; just a coach, any coach?
You may have memories of a man in too short of shorts, grey sweater, and straw hat, blowing into a whistle, screaming at you to run faster while your heart is about to burst and your legs are about to quit.. (No, just me?)
The term "coach" tends to carry a lot of baggage with it, good and bad.
While it's a word us life coaches inherited, our job is vastly different.
The common perception of a coach is that they:
Make you do things you don't want to do.
Will hold you accountable.
What a life coach actually does:
Ask questions and actively listens.
Encourages the client to set their own goals.
Partners with the client to explore possible solutions.
If you are talking to a client who has this fear, ask questions, explore, and set the record straight. We can't and don't want to boss anyone around. We will leave that to the drill sergeants.
3. "Getting a life coach is admitting weakness"
This may be the greatest fear of all. While the last two fears arose from misinformation and ignorance, this fear comes from a deeper place, ego & insecurity.
Not many people like admitting defeat or asking for help. And sadly this is the perception of hiring a life coach. This could not be further from the truth.
A life coach alone does not and can not rehabilitate, correct a defficiency, or give any mental health therapy. A coach does not fix what is broken, but instead accelerates growth and maximizes potential.
Unfortunately, many companies and institutions see coaching as a solution to a problem, where the goals and outcomes are influenced by a third party not part of the coaching relationship.
In the long run this mindsets actually causes more harm than good.
Instead, coaching should be put into a new context, where an individual's growth, development, and potential are put to the forefront. From here we move to a shortsighted solution to a long-term investment in an individuals success.
In all cases, fear is difficult to overcome. Yet as time goes on the coaching profession becomes more and more legitimate in the eyes of the public. How do you separate yourself from the nightmare coaches? Get an education, get certified, and start coaching!
Lisa Finck, Brooke Adair Walters, Jerome LeDuff Jr, and Anthony Lopez!
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