Why your 7-day course does not make you a professional coach

You have completed 7-days of amazing training. You have found your passion in life! 

You know that you are going to become a coach and make other people lives better. Helping hundreds of people…to become stronger; more resilient; more aligned; better at business; better at relationships; better at whatever you are awesome at!

BUT a 7-day course is not enough to call yourself a credible and professional coach? 


Becoming a coach (or counsellor or consultant) is an amazing job…probably one of the best career choices on the globe but it takes more that vision, faith, success and love to become professional and credible in an unregulated industry.  Being any kind of ‘professional helping people’ comes with lots of responsibilities and one of those is taking control of your own learning and development, not just in your niche but in your mastery as a professional.


Seven days of training in any philosophy, methodology or professional practice will not make you qualified and if you have no experience professionally helping people, I will argue is nowhere near enough to be starting a business.  Any short course or training package is just the start of your learning journey and the real learning starts when you begin practicing and that means you need to be conscious in your practice, focused on your growth and truthful in your reflections of ability.


Personal development and professional mastery take years to master, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see results in your business, it just means that it will take time to truly demonstrate credibility and professionalism. I know many coaches, counsellors and therapist who are amazing at what they do; they have helped people make changes in their lives, they have six-figure businesses and are never short of clients BUT they also know that they need to stand out amongst the charlatans in the profession.  There are changes and it is no longer just about clients’ results.  


So, let’s take a look at the key principles of personal development and professional mastery:  


Professional mastery OR personal development aren’t a panacea 

Both shouldn’t be looked at alone – it is never one or the other, it is always both.  When looking at your skills, knowledge and behaviours then you need to consider everything, your life, your business and the wider context of the industry and your niche.  


The modern coaching ‘industry’ is no longer full of executive coaches but a complex blend of skills. The traditional methods of GROW and OSCAR are still used but other methodologies such as NLP, SFBT and Positive Psychology which are traditionally seen as counselling or therapy, are also being used. 


Personal development and Professional Mastery apply throughout your coaching or mentoring life 

Every experience is an opportunity to learn but we need to look at these events and actions and take a proper look from every angle, to really appreciate it.  Many of the people I work with have been working in their role for decades.  They fully understand that they must re-learn and refresh their skills regularly and that it is their responsibility to do this, and for as long as they are practising.


It isn’t just about formal training or a becoming qualified but reflective practice, informal learning and sharing best practice with peers that stops them becoming tired and lazy in their practice and avoid mistakes or negligence.


Individuals are responsible for controlling and managing their own development 

It is too easy to get caught up in following the next big ‘coaching model’ or listen to the next ‘Seven secret steps to becoming the world’s most expensive, successful, ten-figure-per-month best coach’ (apologies for the sarcasm…#sorrynotsorry) and think that by reading or listening to these you are completing personal development or helping you along the way to professional mastery.


BUT, whilst I am NOT saying that this isn’t helpful (and I genuinely mean that there are some amazing coaches and mentors out there with some phenomenal frameworks) but reading alone is not going to help improve your practice.  Professional coaches know that they need to become conscious and aware of why you are listening to that podcast or YouTube video.  Understand that they need time to reflect on how they will implement what they are listening too or how it will impact their practice; otherwise it is just wasting valuable time.  I would love to hear from you if you disagree? Pop over and tell me here or in my Free Facebook Group The Happy Pursuit of Excellence.


Development should be targeted and reflect the needs of your profession and niche 

Many coaches join the industry because they are skilled, knowledgeable and experienced in their niche, which did not happen by accident.  The best practitioners are those who, over the years have practiced trial and error; identified areas for growth; and created the desire to learn new skills.  The risks that come with helping people explore changes in their lives, family or business are huge and can have a massive impact if not supported correctly. 


Personal development and Professional mastery should not be a ‘puzzle’ or ‘jigsaw’ and there is no one answer for it to fit together.  There are infinite possibilities that you can apply into your busy schedule of running a business or department or family, it’s just about becoming conscious about this process and activity so that it feels easy and you can actually measure the impact that it is having on you, your clients and your business.


With gratitude,