How Professional is Your Practice?

toolkitThis article was originally published October 2017, in the WorldWide Coaching Magazine.

World Wide Coaching HandoutWhen was the last time you took a test to assess your competency as a coach? When did you last enlist a trained observer to witness and evaluate your coaching? For me, the very definition of “professional” indicates that I pay attention to how qualified I act as I engage with clients.

When I say “qualified,” I’m NOT referencing how much content knowledge and expert advice I’m dishing out. I’m interested in how I create awareness, use powerful questions, build trust and maintain a safe environment.

I’m careful about the quality of my facilitation, my presence and whose agenda gets followed in my sessions. If you’re like me, a checklist (like the one I’ve crafted and share in this edition’s toolkit) is helpful in keeping me on track.

I make a point to review this list and other notes on a regular basis. The idea is to monitor the level of professionalism my client’s experience. It’s easy to slip into consulting and mentoring as we coach over time. Therefore, I challenge us all to pay attention. We’re not coaching if we don’t build a strong coaching relationship, if we fail to partner and if we direct, advise or exert ourselves too much. Call it what you may, but in my opinion, that sort of encounter is not what the profession of coaching is all about.