The “New” World of Coaching

The “New” World of Coaching

Have you noticed that you hear a lot more about coaching lately? I’m not talking about getting ready for a half marathon, I’m referring to life-, career-, corporate- coaching, etc. Basically, if there is an area in your life you’d like to work on and improve, there is a coach for that!

The professional field of coaching seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and is becoming more well known. Well, at least people have heard of it, but what it is, exactly? Take a tour with me of some mainstream coaching-related material on the web…

One article I read recently listed life coach as a top 10 job that you can do with zero training! (I’ve tried desperately to find this article again with no luck!) Yes, according to the author, anyone can call themselves a life coach and give advice to people over the phone for big money. Sounds a little fishy, but it’s essentially true. The business of coaching and it’s practitioners is not officially licensed. (More on that later…)

Take a look at Martha Beck’s website (one of Oprah’s favorite contributors) and you will find phrases like “creating your right life” and “empowered living”. Visit Eckhart Tolle and become informed that “the world can only change from within”. Then let’s hear from some more career and business minded folks like Fiona Harrold who promise a “sprint” to the top professionally, or Brian Tracy’s “proven strategies for success.”

Some of these coaches come across as downright dreamy and new-agish (can you hear the tinkling of bells in the background?), while others sounds like business gurus ready to whip your office into shape. It seems like coaching really does run the gamut of personalities and topics of focus. And, frankly, I think that’s a good thing. We all have different needs, and, oh yeah, there’s a coach for that!

One more note about coaching and the certification and training of coaches. It’s true there is no licensing available, but there is a unified and respected trade organization called the International Coaching Federation. The ICF has established accepted practices and professional standards for coaching that are widely accepted. They offer lots of information about the industry and can help people find coaches, explain what coaching is (and isn’t), and direct folks to available schools for training. So, if you are at all interested in coaching, you should visit their website for more information.

I don’t know about you, but coaching seems to be a very interesting, flexible and creative field. I plan to dive into it and see what it has to offer. Won’t you come along for the ride?


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