Home Concepts Strategy Future of Coaching We’ve Lost Our Way AND Our Soul in the Process

We’ve Lost Our Way AND Our Soul in the Process

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Would anyone coaching, as a member in the ICF, tell a client that they had to imitate the existing success models in order to thrive? I would hope not. Would they seek to impose a structure for success they’d seen before, studied or been a part of? In fact, the ICF MCC minimum skill requirements would be expressly against that.

A coach will not receive a passing score for establishing trust and intimacy with the client on the MCC exam if the coach does not treat the client as a full partner choosing not only the agenda, but also participating in the creation of the coaching process itself. Any indication that the coach is teaching rather than coaching will also create a score below the MCC level.

And yet, the ICF, as an organization, is violating not only our own competencies but the soul of coaching left and right and has been for years. Let me explain. The members are the clients and the organization / leadership is the coach. But a little context first.

Many years ago circa 1992 when I was introduced to coaching by Thomas Leonard, the process went something like this. I’d been told to go to this new workshop by my friend Jay Perry. Now I had been to lots of seminars, with success gurus and invariably, every time I tried something they had to offer and it didn’t work, inevitably it came back to the notion that somehow, if I couldn’t make their system work, it was my fault and I was not somehow enough…committed, passionate, perseverant, something.

So when he suggested I attend this course on ‘coaching’ I pushed back but eventually my trust of him said okay, one last time.

I went to the event in an apartment in Greenwich Village, and as part of it, Thomas said, “I want to give a coaching demo, who would like to be coached?” So I raised my hand and volunteered fully expecting to hear his success formula, one I’m sure would somehow fail if I tried it and I’d be once more thrust on the rocks of my own ‘limitation’.

I gave him my scenario and he responded after listening attentively to it all….”When you’ve been successful in the past, what methodology did you use?”  I sat there stunned. No one had ever asked me a question like that before. It was a question that contained at least three assumptions: Firstly, that I’d been successful before. Second that I had a methodology and third that I might know something about it.

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