Should business coaches be qualified?

What do you think?

It never ceases to amaze me that every day new business ‘coaches’ pop up all over social media.  Where do they come from?  What experience do they have and more importantly, what results do they get?

Over the years I have had a few coaches come to me as a private client to find out how to grow their business.  I always ask my clients how they came to do what they are doing now.  All too often when I ask coaches what led them to their career choice it’s a case of they didn’t know what to do with their life, they had a chat with a friend down the pub who was in the same predicament, came up with an idea for them and was told “you’re really good at this. You should be a coach”.

Hmm!  Is that really enough?  In my book, far from it.

I spent years in the industry learning from the best.  I spend years in my professional career as a business consultant.  I spent 12 months undertaking my qualifications which included being escorted by an assessor to a number of my appointments with clients.  The assessor then followed up with these clients to ascertain what credible impact I had on their businesses.  (I’m proud to say that my assessor told me it was the first time he had learnt a lot from one of his students).

Many of these new ‘coaches’ I have discovered over the years have tried unsuccessfully to start and grow a business but find that they can make it up as they go along by setting up as a coach.  After all, it’s simple, isn’t it?

  • Set up and call yourself a coach. 
  • Do some clever marketing (fake it until you make it!)
  • Get some clients. 
  • Let them ask you questions. 
  • Go google the answer or search in forums. 
  • Copy the answer
  • Send to your clients and hey ho!  They will think you are marvellous!!

Little do people know who is really behind the mask.

But hang on!  What about the real-life experiences here?  What about when the answer you gave has been tried before but failed as there are so many variables with each and every client.  Experience over the years gives the knowledge to spot when one solution will work for one particular client and when that same solution could spell disaster for another.

Experience allows a coach to pick up on the unspoken signals that something other than what is being said is causing problems that are preventing the business from working.

In my opinion, there are now more ‘business coaches’ setting up each week than I’ve had hot dinners.  Anyone and everyone seem to think they can be a coach these days and set up whilst giving quite frankly dangerous advice at times.  I firmly believe a licencing structure should be put in place for anyone wishing to promote themselves as suitable to be a business coach, consultant or advisor.  I’m currently discussing this very subject with powers far higher than me about how to legislate business coaches.

But does it matter to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know below.

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