I was listening to Radio 4 earlier this week and heard a feature where Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was criticising so called “opera fakes” – people who are popular classical singers and who sing with a microphone. The debate then went on to suggest that it was the media who labelled such people as opera singers whilst this was not necessarily the case according to Dame Kiri, who has undertaken years of opera training.

It made me think about the coaching profession. I notice that it has also gained this sort of snobbery value according to how much training you have had.  Those who have undergone years of professional training and hold qualifications from learned organisations or institutions can be heard to sneer about those so-called coaches who do a weekend course and call themselves a coach.  The difference being of course in the fee rates!

I believe that there is room in the marketplace for all types of coaches – from those who have limited experience and knowledge and those at the other end of the spectrum – because the proof will be in the eating (clients will either gain some benefit or they will not and they will also have different budgets).   

What the overall coaching profession overall needs to do is educate companies that purchase coaching services and the general public who may  work with a coach as to what the professional standards are so that they can be more savvy when it comes to deciding who to work with.

I would hope that those just starting out on the coaching journey having done a weekend course and identifying themselves as a coach will continue to learn and develop their skills over time so that the bar is raised for coaches at either end of the experience and skills spectrum.