Most of you know that I’ve been taking the Free Coach Training Program from Julia Stewart and the School of Coaching Mastery. It’s been a wonderfully great learning journey for me! The test opens this weekend (in the midst of the busiest time I’ve ever seen in my business! When to study..? hmmm..), and hopefully soon I’ll have a nice certificate for this 28-hour coach training program!
A few weeks ago I gave Julia some free tips and tricks on how to maximize her links for search engine optimization, and in turn, she offered me a spot as a guest blogger on the SCM site!
I realized that I skipped around a bit with Julia Stewart’s Free Coach Training program, and completely forgot about the module – What Drives Your Client. Interestingly, it was probably the Universe or my Higher Self that allowed me to take this module right at this time.
A great exercise in this module is to List 20 things in your life that you are “tolerating.” These are the things that are happening or that you are putting up with that aren’t allowing your life to move forward, or to pull you forward.
Here’s a portion of my list.
Not having an organized office space at home
Not having enough furniture to feel I could entertain guests
Not having a clean or uncluttered space to meditate or do yoga
How every flat surface in my apartment starts collecting piles of paper
So, these were all environmental influences on me that were keeping me a little stuck in feeling motivated. The clutter, disorganization, and arrangement of my living space just wasn’t in line with how I wanted to live.
In both my hats as a holistic practitioner and a web designer, I’ve taken countless hours to research state and organizational codes of ethics, as well as develop my own that I do business by and share with my clients. However, for me, there are some sticky ethical dilemmas that occur when Ethics, Specialization, Credentialism, Licensing, Accreditation, Competency, and Freedom to practice a profession come into play.
I practiced as a massage therapist for 10 years in the State of Minnesota. Minnesota is one of five states in the United States that have a “Freedom of Access/Freedom to Practice” law in place for alternative and complimentary healing practitioners. Massage Therapists are required to follow the laws and regulations outlined in Chapter 146A of the State of Minnesota Code. There are strong Regulations for practicing a healing art in Minnesota, with many consumer protections in place, yet there is not a statewide License which restricts the practice of massage therapy. Massage Therapists are free to practice as Unlicensed Complimentary and Alternative Healthcare Practitioners, and the State of Minnesota does not regulate curriculum or coursework. Practitioners must disclose all of their training and experience on a Client Bill of Rights and may only practice within the bounds of their training. But it can be through apprenticeship, hands-on individualized study, training from a school, or training from abroad – so long as this training is disclosed. There is also a consumer office in the State which can receive and investigate complaints, which has the power to discipline a practitioner – even to the point of barring them from practice.
What does this mean as far as Coaching and this path I’m on?
Personally, I enjoy the freedom to learn from a variety of sources to build my own level of Competency. I appreciate laws and regulations (even codes of ethics) which allow me the breadth and freedom to build my own portfolio and unique skillset. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that everyone needs good training and education to be effective in many careers. However, I believe that there are many paths to gaining extensive and effective education and training that can bring about success.
One line that I always look for in a professional organization’s code of ethics is that of “honoring all paths” within a profession. This can be hard to find when a profession becomes largely regulated with curriculum standards, licensing, and accreditation of schools. An honoring of all paths and lineages can embrace both competency and curriculum, and allow multiple entry points into a career.
Imagine if I lived in rural Minnesota – lets say International Falls. The closest physical “school” for maybe coaching, massage therapy, etc, might be well over 300 miles away, or a closer school might exist in the province of Manitoba in Canada. Or perhaps I could learn the same skills over the internet or from a coach trainer that is only 30 miles away? Imagine the costs involved if I needed to attend a physical “accredited or licensed” school that might be 300 miles away, and I was required to have 100 hours or more of only their coursework. What if I had a family to take care of? What if I lacked transportation to take me to this school? What if I attended this school and could not afford the perhaps $500 licensing fee from the State in order to practice (after I had spent a ton of money on travel, expenses, coursework, books, etc). I could be the most effective coach in the world, but I’d be excluded and barred from practicing.
I’m very encouraged that the IAC provides their mastery certification based on COMPETENCY rather than number of “clock hours” of education, where I received my education, and whether or not this school was licensed or accredited or not. I also believe that our customers and clients expect both competency and consumer protection.
Does consumer protection have to come from licensing, accreditation, or stringent curriculum standards, or can there be freedom to practice within good local, state, and regional regulation?
Is it “Ethical” to limit the diversity of “paths” which great coaches can arrive into the profession?
What makes a great coach? Where and what training they received (and how much), or how effective, competent, and ethical they might be?