I’m Tara Sage, and I believe in transparency. As you may or may not know, the coaching industry is unregulated. There are many coaches who do not want you to know this. I DO.
Behind the scenes, there is great debate in the industry as to whether it matters if a “coach” has formal training. Some argue that life experience is all that’s needed. Others say formal education is the answer. Some say coaching is an art, others say it’s a science.
On your behalf, I say … the “either/or” mentality around this topic concerns me deeply.
As a full-time coach, in business since 2004, I have coach training + a BA in Psychology with a behavior modification specialty + a Masters degree in Holistic Leadership.
At the time of this posting (July 2019), I’m a few days away from my 44th birthday, marking 44 years of life experience. Over the years, I’ve had a wealth of life experience and certainly no shortage of “school of hard knocks” lessons learned. I’ve traveled extensively, left a marriage that was full of dishonesty, dug myself out of debt, built a business from the ground up, and many more personal milestones. All invaluable.
Prior to becoming a coach, I was told many times that I am “gifted”, a “natural coach.” Natural ability is fine and great, and following its lead as we each choose a vocation, makes a whole lot of sense.
BUT – just like I want my doctor to: be someone I feel comfortable with, have graduated at the top of their class, AND have good bedside manner … given the wealth of “coaches” to choose from, I personally see no reason or logic behind hiring a coach who is lacking both professional training and a wealth of life experience.
While a piece of paper does not a professional make (it’s no secret that there are plenty of terrible doctors, teachers, etc who have earned degrees) … and while I do not in any way diminish the value of life experience, the bottom line is: life experience is not one and the same with coach training.
I have personally witnessed “coaches” who have basic misinformation and misunderstanding about what coaching is. Unfortunately, this misinformation gets perpetuated by others who, despite good intentions, also lack the proper training and understanding.
As it stands, anyone can hang a shingle – without training, checks or balances. No bueno.
Life experience does not make training unnecessary. All it does is water down the credibility of the industry – my industry. Coaching is a learned skill, one that goes far beyond advice-giving and personal lessons learned.
Done well, it is immensely powerful. A skilled coach knows the intricacies of how to unlock the psychology and the wherewithal for a client to have their own success.
To emphasize my point, I personally have never:
- moved to Costa Rica
- bought a dream yacht
- sold $2.5M in real estate in the first year as an agent
- lead a mindfulness meditation program
- sailed around Antarctica
- successfully negotiated a salary 40% higher than the one she was going to ask for before coaching
… or any number of the things my magnificent clients have succeeded at.
And yet – I have coached clients to accomplish these very things successfully.
HOW could I have coached people to do countless things that I have never personally done or experienced? >> It is through the application of universal coaching principles and techniques, things I learned through training.
My education and training is as wide as it is deep. Sometimes I go by professional titles other than Coach, like, for example: Life Strategist, Leadership Trainer, Business Consultant. All are true. In addition to my having a Masters degree in Holistic Leadership and a Bachelors degree in Psychology, I also earned a certificate from one of the first coach training institutes worldwide, back when there were only three to pick from.
Add to that … 15+ years in a business built primarily on referrals that resulted from happy clients who sent their friends, and, darn it – not only do I want to help you succeed, I have a strong application, orientation, foundation and track record for how to do so.
My professional education + 15 years in business + countless client success stories = QUALIFIED.
Given the lack of industry regulation, unfortunately the burden falls on the client to discern which “coaches” are qualified and which are not. Many unsuspecting clients find themselves buying a service that, in actuality, the practitioner is not qualified to deliver.
Despite the charlatans in our midst, be assured: there are many highly skilled, highly qualified coaches – myself included – who are ready to serve you in the highest way.
If you’d like to explore this further, claim a comp session and let’s hop on the phone together.
Whether you join one of my programs and decide to work with me or someone else … here’s my recommendation: With so many coaches to choose from, ONLY hire those who have both professional coach training and a wealth of life experience.
To your success,
[Please feel free to share this message if you think it might serve others. Thanks for reading!]
Beautiful post and piece of advice, Tara.
Thank you for sharing.
Had a similar meaningful discussion with a coach recently.
I am one of those who believe both go hand in hand, experience and training.
I am a certified business coach just a few short years but in my practice I see my experiences as an entrepreneur with different businesses come in handy. At times I am able to help clients because I know by experience how the situation can be.
So I totally agree the training is very important and experiences too.
So true. Need training. Experience. Rapport. Continued education.
I think checking out a coach is just as important as checking out a doctor. Get feedback from others who have used their service and if it doesn’t feel right, all the diplomas in the world won’t mean a thing if it’s a bad fit.
Definitely be selective. And for sure choose someone you “vibe” with. But confirm that they ALSO have professional training. Given the wealth of coaches to choose from, I see no reason or logic behind hiring a coach who is lacking either qualifier.
I totally agree with you! I am appalled at these so called coaches who think that all they need is some personal experience with a topic and then they are ‘ready’ to coach someone else. I recently asked a woman who said she wanted to coach pregnant women with mindset and hypnosis to have a healthy pregnancy and birth because “she’d had a coach herself who was fanatstic and she’d love to do that too!” I asked her is she would have hired herself and she couldn’t answer. Enough said!