Would you choose a coach for their ‘credentials’ or their personality?

I realise that there are lots of other factors involved, but it’s a serious question: “Would you choose a coach for their ‘credentials’ or their personality?” And, if your response is a “bit of both”, then which comes first?

A while back, I wrote something about the need for coaches to be appropriately qualified and experienced (http://www.the-confidant.info/2009/the-risks-and-responsiblities-of-personal-development/). Although I stand by this, I am also aware that most people do not even ask for evidence of a coach’s credentials. Instead, they make their selection (if they even shop around) on the basis of personality.

From time-to-time, I come across a ‘coach’ who complains bitterly that they did a long (to them) training and went through lots of ‘hoops’ in order to ‘qualify’ and yet, still, they don’t find any work.

Equally, I come across some coaches who tell me that they are incredibly busy, and yet they don’t appear to have ANY qualifications. (In fact, I received a message the other day from a coach supposedly selling marketing services to other coaches whose claims were simply impossible – almost implying that he thought coaches were innumerate!)

It’s an important question. Not only does it explain why some apparently highly qualified coaches struggle to find clients, but it also offers insight into the ways in which the ‘profession’ needs to present itself to the public. and develop ‘safeguards’ for the future.

One of the movie successes of last year was “the King’s Speech”. This very question was raised in the film. The unqualified, yet experienced and highly recommended, speech therapist, Lionel Logue, is engaged by the future King George VI to help him overcome his ‘stammer’. In an attempt to undermine Logue’s potential influence over the King, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Cosmo Lang, challenges his qualifications for such a role. Logue cites his experience, but then demonstrates the power of his personality to persuade the King to continue to rely on him.

While the profession of speech therapy has evolved tremendously since, there are still ‘voice coaches’, drama teachers, confidants, psychotherapists, performing arts trainers, hypnotherapists, counsellors, and a myriad of others who work with these issues on a daily basis and who, to some extent or another, have successful practices doing so.

So, would you choose a coach for their ‘credentials’ or their personality?

Best wishes
Graham Wilson – 07785 222380

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