Where’s the line between being directive and being bossy?

Monthly Focus for November 2019

This month in the CAM Community of Coaches, our focus is on how coaches need to be a bit directive, but without overdoing it and becoming bossy or leading the client.

What do we mean by “directive?”  Coaches provide direction in the coaching relationship by suggesting where to focus, what to explore, where to start, and how to proceed.  At CAM, we often make the distinction that coaches are process experts but not content experts – most of our directiveness (is that a word?) comes in helping establish a helpful process for the client.  But sometimes that process expertise also splashes over into a bit of content expertise.  For example, I once had a client who was totally unorganized, scattered, and just all over the place. It was so bad that he was driving his team nuts.  But he only wanted coaching around how to help his team adjust to him and his style.  I got directive by asserting that we could invest dozens of coaching sessions trying to get his team to adjust, but it was his own dysfunction that was the real culprit.

If that sounds like I went “too far,” then you’re fully understanding what I hope the coaches in our community wrestle with this month.  When we get directive, it can feel like we’re stepping over the line – and sometimes we are.  The key is to trust your intuition, always be in service to the client, and be willing to clean up any mess you make.

If we can go too far, then why be directive?  Because sometimes (not all the time or even most of the time) our clients need a dose of directiveness from the coach.

Renew Your ICF Credential

Monthly Focus for October 2019

This month in the CAM Community of Coaches we are talking about renewing your ICF credential.  Brian will be leading an awesome webinar on the topic.  (If you miss the webinar, you can get the archived recording here on the membership site.)

One of the most common questions I hear from coaches is some version of “Why should I get a coaching credential?”  The truth is that not every coach should seek an ICF credential (don’t tell the ICF I said that!).  But many coaches do benefit from being credentialed and the benefits mostly come down to two things: confidence and credibility.

Confidence is the internal dynamic of believing that you are a qualified, capable coach who can actually help others.  Being credentialed gives some coaches a real confidence boost because they feel more “legit” having gone through the necessary steps to be credentialed.

Credibility is an external dynamic whereby others believe that you are a qualified, capable coach who can help them.  Depending on your coaching clientele, a third-party such as the ICF can boost your credibility among those who don’t know you that well and are looking for signals that you are a good coach.

I’m curious about your experience with being credentialed.  Did you decide to be credentialed (or not) based on confidence, credibility, or some other factor.  It’d be a huge benefit to other community members if you’d share your experience in the private Facebook group for the CAM Community.  If you’re not on Facebook, that’s no problem – just email your experiences to our Community Coordinator Martin Torres and he’ll post them for you.  Just tell your story about being credentialed – What motivated you?  What was the experience like?  What have been the results?  What advice would you give other coaches?

Get Some (More!) Clients

Monthly Focus for September 2019

This month in the CAM Community of Coaches, we are talking about getting clients.  One important aspect of getting clients is “marketing.”  But what is marketing and how can Christian coaches do marketing well?

Marketing involves helping people find out about the opportunity to work with you and develop an interest in hiring you.  I like to distinguish marketing from sales, which comes after marketing and is more about supporting a potential client’s decision to hire you (or not).

Christian coaches can do marketing well by approaching it as a form of ministry.  Marketing can be ministry when your marketing messages carry intrinsic value to those who receive those messages.  On the other hand, if the only purpose of your marketing is to sway people into hiring you, then they really aren’t receiving any value from the message.  Marketing that brings no intrinsic value to the recipient is manipulation, not ministry.

Christian coaches have unlimited possibilities for marketing that’s ministry.  Here are some simple examples:

  • If your coaching niche is local business owners, host a business leaders round-table forum once a quarter.
  • If your coaching niche is public school administrators, create a monthly newsletter highlighting best practices for the industry.
  • If your coaching niche is healthy living, create a podcast where you interview dieticians, physicians, and others who have valuable information and insights.
  • If your coaching niche is ministers preparing for a sabbatical, create a sabbatical guidebook for churches.