Check Your Sense of Entitlement
"Coaches are not just a service provide. We are your trusted developmental partners. Don't expect a concierge or butler."
I received a call from a Noomii referred enquirer today. For those who may not know, I am listed on Noomii, a coaching platform
The caller rumbled on, indicating that this is responding to my offer of coaching service till I finally realised this could be one of the Noomii enquirers I've recently responded to. As it turned out, the requirement was quite unlike the details provided at Noomii. The caller actually wanted to know what is life coaching and wanted to learn how to be a life coach and demanded my immediate advise on what is life coaching and how can the caller can become one.
(P.S. For anyone who wants to know what is Life Coaching, Noomii has provided some understanding here. Please check it out before asking for a life coach.)
For those who haven't read my profile, coaching/teaching clients how to be a coach are in not my area of focus. I suggested the caller to start with desktop research first with key words like Life Coach, school and the location call was based at. Unfortunately this answer did not satisfy the caller, who followed up with a relentless demand for more detailed guidance, including emailing a list of coaching schools and details. Eventually, I was ticked off for using repeatedly, "if I were you, I would..." and a long string of sarcasm.
It was a very unpleasant experience - a stranger calling you up one fine morning, aggressively demanding your immediate attention and free guidance, then eventually telling you off.
What a horrible sense of entitlement and absolutely bad manners. If this were to be a chemistry call, this is clear indication I should not work with this person. Similarly, I am not a suitable for the caller.
Coaches' role is not teach and I do not have the obligation to dispense free advise. Coaches are human too, and like everyone else, we want and deserve basic manners and respect just like any person out there.
As a coach, we are trained professionals. We select our clients as carefully as our clients select us. We know the impact we may have on our clients' lives and we are careful about who, how and what we get into. It is also not unlike doctors, lawyers, advisers, etc. - we do select clients based on whether your needs fall within our area of specialty and focus and whether we like each other enough to partner up. We also need you to book appointments with us for a proper conversation. Besides administrative reasons, we want to make sure we have the head space to give you the attention you deserve.
And yes, just like engaging any professional services, you have to pay. Coaches are definitely not a public toilet where anyone is allowed to walk in and take a dump for free.
All coaches invest a lot of time and effort in learning coaching skills. This includes getting coached by other coaches as part of their own personal development. That said, it does not mean that we are saints and we should be offering free services.
Because from time to time, I see requests where the enquirer wants to be a coach and would like to set up a coaching business. So, I would like to share my suggestions and thoughts for those who are here on this platform for this purpose:
1) ResearchIf you just heard about coaching and would like to explore further, the first step is to research and read up about coaching. Google is probably your best friend for this purpose and if your research failed to turn out the results, ask your friend or a librarian for help with researching.
DO NOT write in to a platform like Noomii, asking for other coaches to 'coach you' to be a coach. You need to be taught and coaches do not teach (if they have a separate business that teaches coaching, it's another story).
Reach out to coaching schools instead. They are in the business of teaching coaching skills, and would be the right party to share more. It really doesn't matter whether the school is in your location or other parts of the world. The world is quite flat today and there are many that offer online programmes.
2) ReflectAsk yourself what makes you want to be a coach. The intention determines your approach.
If you want to run a for profit business that makes you very rich, being a coach yourself is not a lucrative business. You need not be a coach yourself. Instead, you probably want to set up a business system like Noomii did, so that you can hire or matchmake coaches with clients. You also probably want to acquire business skills and knowledge by getting relevant education. In addition, yes, you can get a business coach to coach you how to be a more effective entrepreneur.
None of us become a multimillionaire just by coaching. However, if you have a passion to help other people unlock their potential and become more successful, this is a good career to consider.
3) ExperienceBe coached yourself - not once but over a period of time. Many people decided they want to be a coach because they truly benefited from being coached. You need to benefit from it to believe coaching works. Hopefully, the goodness you have received will turn into a seed in your heart, and one day it will become a warm bed for a growing desire to help others experience the same.
4) Decide, Invest and CommitIf you decide this is truly what you want to pursue, it's then time to decide on a school. Just so you know, the journey of learning to be a coach is expensive. The course fees average at about USD10,000 and this is just the beginning. Another part of your investment is commitment to continual learning even after the certification, as well as personal development.
Noomii is a platform where you find a coach to help you develop. Do not berate if a coach refuses to entertain your demand for free advise. If this is what you have done, this is a clear indication that you should not consider being a coach yet.
The truth is, no one in this world owes us a living. Coaching is part of adult development and able to take responsibility is a big part of being an adult.
Instead, focus on personal development and practice getting out of your sense of entitlement first:Reading more books, meditate and volunteer at charitable organisations to practice being less self centred.
If none of these work, turn to your parents, elders, friends....etc., and ask them to give you some honest feedback and even a good scolding. Get out of yourself and grow up first.
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