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10 Common Misconceptions About ICF Coaching

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The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to the progress of coaching as a profession and the promotion of coaching’s position as an essential component of a healthy society. The organisation, which was founded in 1995 and has over 35,000 members in over 140 countries and territories, works toward the common goals of increasing awareness of coaching and protecting the profession’s integrity via lifelong learning and upholding the highest ethical standards. ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities, and the globe through coaching.

Despite its growing popularity, there are still a lot of misconceptions about it. These largely concern the nature of executive coaching’s job and the outcomes that are expected of them. Says ICF President and Professional Certified Coach Ed Modell, 

“Any profession that experiences significant growth in a short amount of time will face misconceptions. ICF sees it as a duty to correct these inconsistencies by educating the public about professional coaching and the documented benefits coaching can offer.”

This blog post aims to dispel the most common of these myths and give you a better understanding of what executive coaching is and what it can accomplish for you or your company.

The Myths About Life Coaching and Coaches

1. Coaching is a type of therapy or counselling that is relatively new. 

It is true that many coaches are former therapists who enjoy helping customers get from good to great. It became the fastest growing job description worldwide. 

When to refer a client to a therapist is taught to professional coaches. A coach, unlike a consultant, is educated to extract ideas and strategies from their clients; they believe that their clients are naturally creative and resourceful. Professional coaching is a unique service that focuses on a person’s life in terms of goal-setting, outcome creation, and personal change management. Trained coaches believe that their clients are naturally creative and resourceful and attempt to extract ideas and strategies from them.

2.Coaching is not regulated as there are no guidelines for coaches to follow.

This is absolutely false. The ICF established a Code of Ethics, which establishes professional conduct norms that ICF members and credential holders agree to follow. The ICF and the EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council) have filed an unified code of conduct with the European Union as the baseline for the coaching and mentoring business in a combined endeavour aiming at self-regulation.

3. Coaching is New Age nonsense.

As coaching develops as a profession, research is proving the validity of various coaching techniques, some of which were previously disregarded by “experts”. In reality, focusing mostly on the positive as well as the present and desired future, has long been recognised as effective tools for turning challenges into opportunities and pain into wisdom. These tools have also been embraced by a large number of therapists. Meanwhile, whatever may have been nonsense is being gently discarded.

4. Coaches do not require any training.

This is dependent on whether or not you desire to be a successful coach. For years, the ICF has been polling thousands of coaches. Coaches who have received coach-specific training are more successful and less likely to leave the profession, according to their research. So, while you can call yourself a coach without any training, if you want to be a good coach, receive quality instruction as soon as possible. It’s a fantastic investment.

5. Coaches know everything there is to know.

Some people believe that coaches have ideal lives and that they know everything. That description does not apply to anyone. Coaches are adept at asking crucial questions that clients rarely ask themselves. They are adept at adapting to change and personalising each conversation. Coaches are simply exceptional at bringing important information to light that helps in transformation.

6.Coaching is for those who aren’t in control of their life.

A coach is for everyone who wants to develop and make significant changes in their careers or life. Coaching is beneficial to a wide range of people, from CEOs to stay-at-home moms. Award-winning coaching programmes have been established by organisations such as Amazon, Facebook, Google which provide proven evidence of how coaching produces amazing results for both their business and their people.

7. A coach must be merciless and unemotional.

For the partnership to operate, there must be a good rapport between the coach and the client. While it is important to develop and maintain accountability for acts in coaching, “bullying and badgering” have no place in coaching. It may be time to choose a new coach if you don’t feel comfortable working with your current one.

8. Coaching isn’t a legitimate profession.

This was undoubtedly true thirty years ago, as it was in the early days of any profession. Remember when it was believed that the Sun moves round the Earth. It’s important to remember that all occupations evolve throughout time. They begin with a small group of gifted practitioners. After that, someone defines what they do and proceeds to teach others about it. Professional associations will eventually codify ethical procedures and establish certificates. Researchers start looking at the effectiveness of the field. Universities then begin to establish educational programmes. All of this has happened in the coaching field. In 2020, it has become the second fastest expanding industry.

9. Coaches are not accountable hence consumers have no protection.

All ICF members and ICF credential holders agree to follow the ICF Code of Ethics and are subject to an Ethical Conduct Review Process. This protocol contains a series of steps for reviewing, investigating, and responding to alleged unethical activities or behaviour that violates the ICF Code of Ethics. ICF Credential holders are members of a self-regulatory association of elite coaches who hold themselves and the coaching industry accountable. They have pursued and passed demanding education and practise requirements, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to coaching excellence.

10. Coaching is only for high-potential individuals.

Coaching is for everyone who wishes to enhance their performance or who requires assistance in achieving a specific goal. In reality, whether or not they have been identified as ‘high-potentials’ by senior management, more people are seeking coaching. Everyone faces obstacles, and coaching can assist you in identifying and overcoming them in order to reach your objectives. An executive coach listens to you, asks about your goals and challenges, and then asks follow-up questions to assist you come up with viable solutions.

Do your own research. Essentially, a coach’s job is to ask the right questions at the right moment – without being critical – in order to stimulate the client’s thinking. A coach’s job is to listen to their client and then offer follow-up questions to assist them in coming to their own findings and solutions.

Because coaching is an advanced technology that can assist individuals in successfully navigating hypercomplexity, even in the face of crises like climate change. Spend time speaking with any potential coach, getting to know them a little and learning how they will work with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is International Coaching Federation (ICF)?

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to the advancement of coaching as a profession and the promotion of coaching’s role as an important part of a healthy society. The organisation, which was created in 1995 and now has over 35,000 members from over 140 countries, is dedicated to raising awareness of coaching and defending the profession’s integrity via lifelong learning and keeping the highest ethical standards.

What is the importance of ICF Code of Ethics?

Members and credential holders of the ICF commit to observe the ICF Code of Ethics and are subject to an Ethical Conduct Review Process. This protocol outlines a process for assessing, investigating, and responding to alleged unethical acts or behaviour that are in violation of the ICF Code of Ethics. 

Does ICF empower professional coaches?

ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities, and the globe through coaching. It is dedicated to raising awareness of coaching and defending the profession’s integrity via lifelong learning and keeping the highest ethical standards.

What are some of the Myths about Life Coaching?

Some myths about Life Coaching are as follows:

Coaching is a type of therapy or counseling that is relatively new. 

Coaching is not regulated as there are no guidelines for coaches to follow.

Coaching is New Age nonsense.

Coaches do not require any training.

Who are ICF Credential holders?

ICF Credential holders are members of a self-regulatory organisation of outstanding coaches who hold themselves and the coaching industry accountable. They’ve worked hard and passed rigorous education and practice standards, displaying their unshakable commitment to coaching excellence.

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