How do you make the best choice for a course or a coach these days? For example, to achieve Personal Leadership or Mastery?
This was not an issue more than 30 years ago, when I stood at the cradle of (business) coaching in the Netherlands in 1992 as a project developer of Individual Coaching at the Boertien & Partners training institute.
In the decades since, a proliferation of 100,000 coaches has come about, because it is not a protected title and so anyone can call themselves a coach. Just look at the number of current social media posts by some would-be coaches: in particular, earning a lot of money quickly seems to be the priority for some coaches or institutes, ranked above integrity and proven professionalism.
How beautiful it is to see that there are so many people who are curious about personal, professional or even spiritual development, and that so many of us follow or have followed myriad low-threshold courses about, for example, NLP, mindfulness, or 'healing'. You benefit from it yourself and want to pass it on to others. And then you become a coach, healer, teacher or trainer yourself and set up your own academy. And that way we can do even more for each other.
In this way, sometimes 'clients' or 'participants' can avoid having to seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In addition, the stigma associated with the old-fashioned taboo on mental illness has been broken, and people are more likely to ask for mental or spiritual support. Moreover, as a client you do not have to deal with long waiting times while your mental distress is high. The large number of coaches also shows diversity and specialties, which means that more personal customization can be provided. Benefits galore, but there is also a dark side.
Due to the large number of coaches and academies, you also see a growing lack of quality. Not only that, some approaches can actually be dangerous and cause mental damage, and unintentionally drive people further into depression, confusion, panic or worse.
The hunt for money as well as self-overestimation and lack of self-reflection can sometimes drive the coach or 'Academy'. For example, I recently read a newspaper article in which a coach literally stated that as an 'experience expert' he did not need any training. But then aren’t all people actual experience experts, so would that then make everyone a good coach?
The self-overestimation can stem from fear of a lack of money (poverty awareness) and/or an unrecognized excessive ego or narcissism. With spiritual elevation you hope to get 'in the picture' and win clients and make a lot of money in the process. In what way do we concretely see this - often unconscious and unacknowledged - ego-elevation taking place? A few current examples:
And yes, people are sensitive to these commercial lies wrapped in a spiritual ego sauce. But why do we sometimes stumble into this?
An important reason why you sometimes fall for this tripe is ignorance, and not investigating the quality and experience of an institute, trainer, coach, teacher or healer
Another reason may be that the spiritual need is so great that you grab a hold of whatever looks good on the outside.
And finally, money. Many people, especially in the Netherlands, want everything cheap. Especially in times of crisis, when the money is no longer just tucked in the mattress, they grab whatever is cheapest. And can you blame them? If you can use a (STAP-)budget provided by the government, you won't resist. But are you getting the quality you deserve?
Because the actual quality of an 'academy' or training institute, trainer, coach, healer, or teacher, is ultimately determined by the person you’re dealing with, not the building they are in or academy they are working for.
“The actual quality of an 'academy' or training institute, trainer, coach, healer, or teacher is ultimately determined by the person you’re dealing with, not the building they are in or academy they are working for”.
But how do you make a good choice, so you can really get what you are looking for, for possibly just a little more money? Time for some tips.
Here are eight tips to help you make the best choice for a coach, trainer, or institute:
1. See how many flight-hours a coach/trainer has booked with clients who were looking for the same thing you are.
2. Look at (pre)training, post-doctoral training and certifications.
3. Look at genuine testimonialsfrom previous clients. evidence of years of evaluations.
4. Is the coach/trainer really credible and do they live up to that in their own actions?
(‘do they truly practice what they preach?’)
5. As a client, are you treated as an equal?
6. As a client, do you experience the coach, trainer, or institute showing sufficient self-reflection , in addition to proven expertise?
7. Do not register right away, but first get a free intake consultation.
Get a no-obligation, free intake consultation to find out the nitty gritty on the coach/trainer with whom you will actually be dealing. Experience your coach/trainer 'live' in advance, so that you know what they are made of. Because if you don't hear someone 'live' first, you can be quite disappointed by the bum notes you will have to listen to later.
“If you don't hear someone 'live' first, you can be quite disappointed by the bum notes you will have to listen to later.”
I hope that this will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and come to a choice that will benefit you the most, in your work and life.
© 2023: Martin Thoolen
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