Coaching, a real job?
When someone asks me the natural question “what do you do for a living?” and I answer “I’m a coach”, the reactions – more or less explicit – are more like “another person who has started as a coach”… And I explain that I’ve been in the business for 30 years, trying to demonstrate my legitimacy.
Recently, I explain to a client what we do in the collective “The 7th element”, with enthusiasm, underlining our creativity, reactivity and the pragmatism of our “tailor-made” approaches. And now my client confides that she feels that all coaches “say the same thing” and that the only thing that makes her believe me is the fact that she trusts me. What sets us apart in her eyes is the fact that behind the “promise” we “really” do it, unlike others.
This conversation stimulates my thinking and I bring the subject to the team. How can we communicate about our profession, our mission, our added value, when the word “coaching” is overused and sounds more and more “hollow”?
From this episode, several ideas emerge: firstly, as in all professions, there are “good coaches” and “bad coaches”, and long live the competent coaches, because we believe that there is work for all, in a spirit of cooperation and not competition. Secondly, what our clients send back to us best reflects our identity and added value. Our clients value collaboration because we are consistent, supportive and effective, really present and listening, as the project progresses. It is what we actually do in the field that we pass on through our client testimonials! Finally, there is the “multi” aspect of our approach: multi-skilled, multi-experienced, multi-angled, which enriches our brainstorming, and therefore the solutions we develop with our clients.
All this is done in a relationship of trust and listening, with authenticity and simplicity.
In conclusion, let’s assume our profession of “coach”, which is very useful to help us get the most out of changes and to live more serenely with growing uncertainty.