Research Paper By Wathenia Gabbard
(Relationship Coach, UNITED STATES)
Is it possible for these two separate disciplines to unite in creating an individual empowerment state of being for either the client or the coach? This question appears quite controversial in the current growth within the coaching industry.
Knowledge is power, is a common phrase that most people have heard at least once. Depending where you learn about what coaching is and is not your vision can become blurred for both the client and coach. Without a clear vision of the coaching industry and its discipline we may not portray its process flawlessly.
Knowledge is a learned skill of understanding and we attend school to learn a thing that will support us to advance to a higher state of ourselves. Many of us learn by the school of hard knocks or better stated experience, while others take a more subtle approach and attend a trained education discipline that is qualified to teach them in their area of study, hence creating value for the learner in either case. I am a learner as I have been on a quest for knowledge since I was born and it is very interesting to me that learner is my top strength through the Gallup Strengths Finder. It seems as though I view myself as a slow learner at times and learn rather quickly during other times.
What is knowledge?
- Is it simply the transference of information from one identity to another?
- Knowledge is far deeper than just transferring information right?
If not I suspect I will be highly disappointed. Let’s examine the definition of what knowledge is. When we define a thing it gives meaning to us and this supports our understanding of that thing.
Noun: facts, information and skills acquired by a person through experience or education, the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject
Noun: awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation
I am perplexed as I move through my experience in developing my knowledge, understanding and skills as a coach. I have been trained by an Accredited Coaching Education Program and have been taught what coaching is and is not and my desire to learn this discipline is intense and I am fully committed. I can say this, the coaching industry provides substantial value and offers an effective alternative to current disciplines in our social work service professions.
I am honored to be a part of such an industry. Then why do I see the experience with the actual application and practice of coaching is out of alignment with the professional training? The mere idea of developing a defined niche assumes that one’s level of expertise, experience is relevant in providing coaching services.
The coaching industry has started to evolve into the business industry of advertising and marketing, but the issue is coaches are not selling their coaching experience rather they are promoting themselves and their niche their expertise and their self- created how to guides, under the umbrella of coaching. This can create a blurred vision of coaching and what really goes on within its experience. The coach’s expertise is not relevant in providing the coaching experience. Coach training teaches that the client is the expert, not the coach. There is no need for the coach to be an expert in any other subject matter only to be an expert coach, to understand and trust the coaching process. The coach does no need to understand a thing it’s the client who has the need to understand themselves.
Excuse me while I clean my glasses, my vision has become blurry. Professional coaches at times advise other coaches to offer blended coaching services and in doing such you will add value for your clients. But, I have to ask
- How do you add value to value?
- Who determines this value the coach?
No the client. Is the coaching process not valuable enough itself. Do we as coaches not embrace and trust that our clients will receive tremendous value from our ability to coach them. Is adding value really value.
How can adding another subject matter with coaching going to provide an intrinsic added value for our clients without tainting or distorting and in some cases removing the benefits of the coaching experience?
This I think is a means for us coaches to soften the blow for our clients because what they will see and receive is the promoting of the coach all their credentials, their irresistible offers, their step by step guides approach, Coaches invite their clients to their biggest offer and share with other coaches how to hook your client so they can’t resist your amazing offer In doing so we are promoting ourselves, our own personal gain and our personal knowledge while hiding behind the curtain of coaching. Coaching is a valuable service that promotes asking, not telling, focus is on the client, not the coach, drawing out, not putting in, discovery, not solving, its independence, not dependence it’s the client saying I figured it out not my coach guided me on what to do, it’s a partnership not a dictatorship as to say if you do this thing it will help you but it’s your choice, you are in the driver seat. What if the coaching process provides value and that is value enough. I think I may need new glasses as my vision is blurred yet again.
Coaching is not adding to your skills and current knowledge enhancing your expertise but rather to learn a new skill and acquire fresh knowledge that creates a change in what you do. Coaching is learning how to become an expert coach within the coaching discipline. Research says that
To become an expert it takes 10 years and over 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in a subject matter.
This requirement will be developed and learned over time and by the practice Coaching is an independent discipline, it sets itself apart from any other discipline. Currently coaching is the latest trend, it is a buzzword. Today you can find a lot of information on how to become a coach, why you need to become a coach. Our communities are full of people seeking help wanting to make a change in their lives and they have a plethora of choice as there is a coach for any subject matter but to really research as a possible client there is not a clear defined representation of what coaching really is. There is information about the coaches and their personal niche but not coaching itself. There are coaching niche programs, webinars, financial gain opportunities, presentations, workshops, e-coaching, group coaching you get the point and many people advise us coaches on how to build a business, get out there out market your prime product focus on social media if these suggestions are followed then successful will be achieved, not a successful coach but simple success. My vision is blurred.
What is a successful coach?
To become a successful coach is to really understand through obtaining knowledge of the process of coaching in practicing the ICF core competencies and code of conduct allowing the client to understand their power.
It is not about knowledge transfer. Formal and successful training is about the behavioral adoption and adaptation of knowledge. Power does not come out of the knowledge itself but rather within one’s shifting and the results of changing. Knowledge is like M&MS,
- Why do we eat the brown ones when chocolate is already brown?
- Why do we seek the sweetness of massive amounts of knowledge in many subject matters?
We mix all sorts of matter together on the outside telling ourselves we will be different while remaining the same. Are we really inside merely in the pursuit of learning the power of genetics. Are we underneath it all a Geneticist, trying to understand how to change DNA of things aligning it with our own knowledge? Do we not even do this with our human experience, seeking, searching for ways to modify ourselves to be something we really are not? Have our relationships turned into subject matter and we learn and study ourselves and others and create ways to change. If this is true than we are in the business of processing. If what we are doing in our coaching practice is modifying by adding additives and preservatives of our self -knowledge so that we can sustain ourselves this is GMC Genetically Modified Coaching in this process we are going to redesign the DNA of the coaching discipline.
Coaching is to coach, consulting is to consult, marketing is to market, telling is to tell and asking is to ask, you get the point. As coaches how are we representing this industry providing people with valuable understanding:
- How the coaching process works and how it can support them?
- How can we become an expert coach if we are focused on many other subject matters all simultaneously?
- Do we learn just enough to understand each subject matter to give ourselves and others the illusion that we know something without really understanding and having the knowledge of that thing in its totality on the inside?
- Can we become a true authentic expert in a specific subject on the outside if we remain the same inside?
- Why do we cover up chocolate with an artificial additive that give the illusion that a different representation outside will change the results on the inside?
Somehow we say I will be better more qualified at doing what I already do by adding coaching on the outside but remaining the same on the inside. Coaching is coaching and does not require extra additives. Just as chocolate is chocolate no matter its color and the sweetness doesn’t not change so to coaching needs no artificial additives and this is the sweet value of coaching 100 % natural.
What is your clearest vision of coaching and where does your vision become blurred?
My vision is beginning to clear up by understanding that I may be too smart for my own good as I keep forgetting what I already know and adding artificial intelligence.