Buyers Beware

Buyers beware…even of the cited article on being aware.

Realizing it is a reporters job to sensationalize a story, and the article “Lawsuit Shines Unflattering Light on ‘Life Coaching’ Industry by NICOLE SPECTOR” needs little sensationalizing, there are some glaring points in this article that you should be leery of.  Don’t get me wrong; always beware of what you are getting into.  Always read before signing on the dotted line.  Always check sources!

A class-action lawsuit that shines a negative light on any industry is damaging to those 99% that are following the ethic route.  What’s interesting is she points out that the “field that attracts many practitioners who lack any training or certification.”  Statistics by the ICF, whom she cites later in the article, has published data that 80% of those who go through Coaching certification are not in the Coaching business one year later, for those with no training or background the percentage is even higher.  They also cite that it takes an average of two years for that 20% who might have stuck around that long to get their first paying customer.

My point is not that there are not snake-oil salespeople.  There are shysters in every industry.  But you are more likely to get a coach with a lack of experience rather than someone who is trying to bilk you out of money.  And the up-side of that is they probably are inexpensive, so you are getting some coaching at bargain price.

Here is also a problem I have with the article, the author writes “While illicit activity can happen in any industry, life coaching is particularly susceptible because it is unregulated and anyone can say they’re a life coach establish a practice, experts say.” Do you see the irony?  She writes, “…anyone can say…” and she ends it with, “experts say”.  It would make me laugh if someone out there wasn’t buying her assertions just like they bought the assertions of the Ponzi schemers.  What experts?  What makes them an expert?  Based on what authorizing body?

The author cites a business owner who said, “There is so much snake oil out there in the self-help industry, and people should definitely keep their BS detectors up,” Anna Kunnecke, chief commercial officer of Declare Dominion, a life coaching service in Portland, Oregon.”  The article does not read if this Coaching business owner is in fact certified themselves.  The very fact that they highlight the self-help industry puts reputable Coaches in a different light.  Are Mentors and Consultant part of the self-help industry?  Most reputable Coaches have more in common with consultants than they do with motivational speakers.

Then the article goes on to read, “It’s also big business. A study by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a nonprofit industry group that offers certification programs for life coaches, estimated that total industry revenue was $1.979 billion in 2012. And according to the Department of Labor statistics analyzed by CareerTrends, there were 202,360 “self-enrichment education teachers” – a category that includes life coaches — in the U.S. as of 2014.”  How is this for murky waters?  They highlight who the ICF is but don’t qualify what they mean by “estimated”.  Then to totally cast this in darkness the article cites a big number from the Department of labor.  But they say that the group they are referring to number wise also contains Coaches.  Are coaches 1% of this number, 50%, 10%.  I don’t know that the statistic they give has any relevancy in the first place, but if someone sees value in the concept shouldn’t there be some transparency?

Here might be the biggest travesty!  “Unlike a doctor or a counselor, life coaches don’t have to back up their titles with a degree. They can also earn some kind of certificate in just a couple of days.”  “Unlike a doctor or a counselor”?  Any Coach who makes a correlation between themselves and a doctor or counselor is to be avoided at ALL costs.  And any Coach who practices anything requiring a doctorate, a psychology post-graduate degree, or the like is breaking the law and should not only be reported but avoided like the plague.

The only benefit I truly read in this article was one, to those also bilked out of money by these so called business people so they can be added to the lawsuit.  And two, this quote, “For people interested in hiring or becoming a life coach, a little research also goes a long way, said Samantha Ettus, a work-life-balance practitioner.”

This author is downright insulting to people who shop for a Coach.  “Despite such advice (advice given in this article), most prospective clients are very trusting when they enter a relationship with a life coach.”  Ouch.  Further, and making coaching out to be psychological treatment, she quotes in her article, “Another reason that people may pick a life coach without doing the research is because they are emotionally vulnerable. And when people are feeling lost, they tend to lose sight of the fact that they do have something to lose if they make a bad choice, said Ettus.”  Coaching is not therapy.  Coaching is not to fix deep-rooted trauma.  Coaching is not remedial.

Now this takes the prize!  Toward the end of the article she writes, “This is as important as making a medical decision.”  What?  Now who is being disingenuous?  This is as important as making a medical decision?  What?  This is a business decision.  You don’t get a coach for psychological issues.  You get a coach to further your endeavors.  You get a coach to move forward on your vision.  You get a coach for awareness and accountability, not for something that requires a medical decision-like investigation.

Written by Shane M.D. Scott, 02/06/16.  Shane spent over 20 years in the Criminal Justice field and is also a Coach.  Shane freely admits he doesn’t practice medicine and is quite sure he never went to medical school.  No medical decision necessary.

By Shane M.D. Scott, Peak Performance Coach at www.MEMBERSCoaching.com Inquire about Shane’s FREE 3 week peak performance coaching offer.

#MEMBERSCoaching  about.me/memberscoaching

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Buyers Beware

Color, Clarity, Carat and Cut

As a ‘high-potential’ or high achiever tackling every goal in your life, a serial entrepreneur, C-level executive, or the like, you are well beyond being a diamond in the rough.  You can now be evaluated by the standard C’s, Color, Clarity, Carat, and Cut that establish ‘a real gems’ value and the qualities you have attained.  You must take stock of the Color which you see your leadership through; the Clarity you convey to your business; the Carat weight you bring to bear in your responsibilities; and your Cut, the distinctiveness that makes you a cut above.

How do you color your world?  It is not only important to know how you personally color things, but to know how that colors things for those around you.  As the leader, you have to first know and then take control of the facets of your leadership.  That color is reflected in everything you shine upon.

Clarity, clarity, clarity; this gives the business the transparency by which all others can see. No matter how well you color what your business is about, if you do not bring that clarity of vision, you will always have impediments that occlude your vision.

Bringing your full Carat weight to your endeavors make your work not only efficient but effective.  The impression you make for and in your business needs to exemplify the full magnitude of that weightiness. Not using it leaves under-used potential that can only diminish your value.

Being a Cut above is why you are in the position you are.  But not understanding that your nature plays a large part of how you color things, the clarity and weight you bring to the table, and that it is a master craftsman that releases all the fire, sparkle and value you have, will only lessen your luster.  Since a large percentage of your value is determined by your being a cut above, it is tremendously important to see how the next C can maximize this unique aspect of yourself.

The fifth C, a Coach.  Your personal coach is akin to a gemologist who has been academically trained, is qualified and certified to see a diamond’s real value.  They are rigorously tested and practiced in knowing what qualities to look for.  Gemologists regularly return to training to recalibrate what they are looking for because, over time, their eyes have changed in ability.

Like a gemologist I have continually trained and retrained, since my start in 1995, to improve my ability to see fully the Color, Clarity, Carat and Cut of those I coach.  The following are some of studies, education and/or training I have taken: certified in the eleven core competencies outlined by the International Coach Federation, the largest coaching certification organization in the world; Applied Behavior Analysis; Positive and Human Potential Psychology, the applied psychology of interpreting micro-expressions through the Facial Action Coding System and body language, and neuro-semantics just to name a handful.

My aim as your personal coach is to have a co-creative, win-win relationship that provides a Return on your Investment that far exceeds your expectations.  Let’s talk, see if it’s a good fit, and if I can help you with an immediate goal, we’ll tackle that pro bono, and if it’s longer term, we’ll talk about and agreement.  I look forward to working together soon.

By Shane M.D. Scott, Peak Performance Coach at www.MEMBERSCoaching.com Inquire about Shane’s FREE 3 week peak performance coaching offer.

Shane spent over 20 years working in the Criminal Justice field while concurrently working as a Peak Performance Coach.

#MEMBERSCoaching  about.me/memberscoaching

Color, Clarity, Carat and Cut

Why you don’t need a Coach

If anyone ever tells you, “You need a coach” run away! Think about it, long before anyone would say to you, “you need a coach”, you probably had one without asking for one. When someone starts off in little league, no one tells you, ‘you need a coach’, it’s part of the fundamental learning process of the game. When you join a choir, no one tells you, ‘you need a coach’; it’s already how it is structured. When a woman gives birth, no one tells her, ‘you need a coach’, but there is someone there that reminds her how to breathe, where and what to focus on, and that has been going on since time immortal.

‘Coach’ has become such a buzz-word that everyone is labeling themselves a Coach and then telling you why you need one. Here’s what is interesting. Most of those saying they are a Coach are not even doing any real coaching. These ‘coaches’ are consulting, and if you’re lucky maybe even mentoring (which potentially means they have been-there-done-that). Don’t get me wrong, consultants can be vitally important. I have done consulting, it provides great benefit, but it is not coaching.

So back to the question of needing a coach, according to the Guinness book of world records, Madonna, the best-selling female recording artist of all time, selling more than 300 million albums in her career since debuting with her self-titled release in 1983. Does she need a singing coach? No. But does she have one, or more? Yes. Why? Because a good coach helps you dig deeper, go further and soar even higher than you would on your own. Especially when you are at the top of your game.

Does Michael Phelps have a coach? For those whom have not heard of Michael, Michael Fred Phelps II is an American competition swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals in three Olympiads. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (double the second highest record holders), Olympic gold medals in individual events, and Olympic medals in individual events for a male. In winning eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps took the record away from fellow swimmer Mark Spitz for the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. Five of those victories were in individual events, tying the single Games record. In the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Phelps won four golds and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row. So does Michael have a coach? Yes!

Bill Gates has done a TED talk on how having a coach takes you further than you would have gone on your own. Does Bill Gates need a coach? No. Long before he had a coach he was doing quite well for himself. But when, for all intents and purposes, he was at the top of his game he got a coach. To some this seems counter-intuitive. Although when I see a paradox I tend to follow it. Paradoxes, for me, seem to show me how to be a trail-blazer in my area of expertise.

Who else states having a coach, even or especially at the top of your game, is a good idea? A man named Warren Buffet has had a coach for eons. Eric Schmidt of Google fame has said that having a coach was one of the best moves he ever made. As of January 2016, Forbes ranked Schmidt as the 48th-richest person in the world, with an estimated wealth of $10.6 billion. When he stepped down as Google’s CEO, Google announced that he would continue as the executive chairman of the company and act as an adviser to co-founders Page and Brin. He obviously has some business smarts, so he doesn’tneed a coach, but he has one. Jack Welch of GE fame had, and sings the praises of, having a coach.

If you stop to consider certain fields of endeavor, it is intuitive to have a coach that can help you hone in on your natural abilities gaining that edge over your competitors. No TOP athlete goes without a coach and sometimes more than one. Think of baseball. There is not only a team coach, but the top hitters are constantly looking to their batting coach to help them stay on their game and get even better. Would they do great on their own? I believe so. Do they do even better with a coach? I believe so, but it doesn’t matter what I believe, they say, at the top of their game, they need a coach.

So if someone tells you, “you need a coach”, run away, quickly! If you want to know what a coach can do for you, give it a try. If a coach promises you what they can provide it terms of ‘specific’ and ‘objective’ outcomes, you are probably talking to a consultant in coach’s clothing. If they tell you they will help you maximize your natural abilities, get more perspective, if they say they will facilitate your process of attaining the focus of your vision, you are probably talking to a coach. In that case I urge you to stop, consider and test-drive what coaching can do for you.

By Shane M.D. Scott, Peak Performance Coach at www.MEMBERSCoaching.com Inquire about Shane’s FREE 3 week peak performance coaching offer.

Shane spent over 20 years working in the Criminal Justice field while concurrently working as a Peak Performance Coach.

#MEMBERSCoaching  about.me/memberscoaching

Picture of John P. Morgan

Why you don’t need a Coach