As coaches we sometimes encounter resistance to our work. More often than not these stem from common coaching myths.
Coaching has a bit of a Marmite reputation — with both glowing advocates and deep sceptics. Our aim here is not to ‘turn’ the sceptics, rather it is to bust those coaching myths that may have fed the scepticism.
Myth #1 Coaches tell people what to do
In fact, a large part of learning to coach is being able to get out of our own way. Learning not to share our opinions (largely because they will not necessarily be useful for others!). A coach’s role is to facilitate rather than instruct.
Myth #2 Coaches think they know more about a person’s work than the person themselves
Most coaches work across sector and industry and so it would not be possible to know the magic of all organisations. It is the combination of coaching skills from us plus industry specific knowledge from you that yields such powerful results. The best coaching results often emerge when the coach has no knowledge at all about the business the person works in.
Myth #3 Coaching is too ‘soft’ and airy fairy, where’s the business reality?
Most executive coaches have emerged from running or being involved in big business at senior level, with a real knowledge of what it takes to operate in commercial reality. We may facilitate a different perspective, and we always keep things grounded in reality.
Myth #4 Coaches are here to judge you and tell you everything you’ve done wrong
As individuals we are judged by society — our peers, colleagues, family and friends on a reasonably regular basis. That is quite enough without having to pay someone to judge you too! Coaches practice in suspending judgement — we are here to support you in your quest to make life simpler, easier, more effective and fulfilling.
Myth #5 Coaching is remedial
Coaching can help people to develop wherever they are in their careers — sometimes that is to help overcome a development need and sometimes it’s to celebrate, enhance and build upon a real strength. Sports people do not deny themselves the opportunity to refine their act — we believe business people ought to enjoy the same opportunity.
We hope this has helped to bust some coaching myths. Believe us when we say judgement, superiority, instruction and airy fairy conceptual thinking are NOT included!
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at email@example.com.