Working as a coach, as a mentor coach, as coach faculty to develop and assess a coaches’ skills, and as a coach leader, I often get asked the question…..
What’s the point at which I can call myself a coach?
This is an interesting recurring question…..and tricky to answer because I have sat at different stages of a coach’s journey from
- coach-in-training to coach-in-certification
- certified coach in multiple coaching models to becoming coach faculty growing new coaches
- taking ownership of personal contribution to the growth of coaching and respect for its professionalism as a coach leader within a governing body for coaching
If you asked me when I was a coach-in-training, I would have said then “I’m a coach,” but there was another level of consciousness I experienced once I became a certified coach.
Referenced above is what’s called the Conscious Competence Model. At each stage of one’s development, and in this case – a coach’s development, are the experiences that come together to enable MASTERY of coaching skills.
To obtain the level of mastery once in your journey as a coach is not the goal. In fact, as you progress in your journey as a coach, you will move through various levels of mastery, which will only deepen your ability to practice both the Art & Science of Coaching and truly co-create transformational impact for your clients.
What’s the point of pursuing an ICF coach credential?
So, if it wasn’t already clear, my bigger want for the profession of coaching, and my advice for new coaches is to set their sights on mastery and commit themselves to the life-long learning journey that is the Art & Science of Coaching.
One way to do that is to align yourself with a coach credential roadmap that sequences the necessary requirements of coaching hours completed, coach supervision provisions, coach training hours achieved, demonstration of core coach competencies, etc. to signal new milestones in professional coaches life-long learning journeys.
The International Coach Federation has three professional coach credentials to signal where a coach is on their developmental journey.
And as I mentioned previously, also take the time to explore the governing body for coaching that aligns to your unique coach development journey.
What’s the point I need to personally hold myself accountable as a representative of the coach profession?
This is an easy one to answer – from the moment you enter the profession – for personal accountability is the conscious commitment to ethical practice.
Without ethical practice, what would you use as your keystone guide?