Article by Elena Mosaner
I watched a recent Joe Rogan podcast on August 16th, with a former welterweight fighter and UFC commentator Dan Hardy. At the beginning of the podcast, they had a small discussion about coaching as a profession. I would like to comment, as I think there was some misunderstanding on their part on the coaching profession as a whole.
At about 12 minutes they discuss coaching and say (I will be paraphrasing) that most coaches haven’t done s&^% and while they could be “providing fuel”, they are often not in a position to give any advise. Dan Hardy points that he would prefer his coach to be at least 90 in order to advise and encourage. Then, Joe Rogan points that people like Jocko Willink or David Goggins are the folks with real experience, implying that these people are the “real deal” ,who could really encourage and motivate. I can see their point of view but some clarification ought to be made, at least in the defense of coaching as a profession and discipline.
There is much misunderstanding about coaching today. Many people think that coaching is exactly what Joe Rogan and Dan Hardy implied, advising and motivating, as if all today’s coaches do is some positive thinking and manifestation talk. I agree, there are way too many coaches out there with no real credentials, teaching and encouraging people with some new age “secret” type ideas, pretending to be life coaches. However, there is also an actual legit profession of coaching, taught in Universities. Most people don’t realize that.
I often see how some girl on instagram with nice pictures and about 10,000 followers is teaching and “coaching” how to manifest your dreams and a six figure income, she is calling her followers a “babe” or “love.” This girl will never be able to work for a company like Better up for example, coaching executives and professionals or real business owners, unless she updates her credentials. A coach like her, often has no idea what evidence based coaching means or adult learning models, Robert Keagan’s stages of development, let alone a very complex and sophisticated developmental model like Spiral Dynamics. Yes, Joe Rogan and Dan Hardy, I agree with you, there are plenty of “coaches” out there with very little life experience, no legit education in evidence based coaching modalities with thousands of followers, selling their online courses. They freak me out too. But, funny enough they still have an audience. Perhaps, all due to heavy duty marketing.
There is also a legit profession of coaching, just like there is a legit profession of a therapist. If you hire a therapist, do you hire one with no license or educational background, but one who read a bunch of self help books and took a weekend course in therapy? I don’t think so. Look for a coach in the same way.
There are plenty of high end sophisticated coaches, certified by International Coach Federation (ICF), for example. This organization requires 3 hours of an online exam ( not an easy one!), 500 coaching hours for a Professional Coaching Certification, and a recorded tape of your session, which is tested and assessed for the coach’s ability to follow 11 core competences, as defined by ICF.
Finally, pure coaching is not therapy, nor it is mentoring or teaching. In fact, in pure professional coaching you are not supposed to advise or mentor. Mentoring means sharing your life experience and using it to encourage and motivate one, teaching means imparting certain specific knowledge and skills. Therapy is concerned with explorations of your past. Pure coaching is about a forward movement and asking the right questions to help the client uncover their unique insights, learning and wisdom. Ultimately, the goal of a professional coach is to help their client shift perception and gain a new outlook. Just like you do when you take psychedelics. It is all in you, right? The client is treated as an expert on their life.
Again, there are professional coaches out there, which most people don’t realize exist. Yes real professional coaches, who often teach in Universities, like for example at the University of Texas at Dallas. Professor Robert Hicks, a founding director of the coaching program at UTD says, that he moved it to a college setting “not just for quality, but for legitimacy.” (The NY Times, 2015)
So, Joe Rogan, I encourage you to invite an ICF Certified Coach to help you and your audience see the value of professional coaching. People need to see the difference between new age self-help guru “coaches” and those coaches, certified by ICF with successful practices based on evidence based coaching and science practitioner models. They can be young, but with hours of coaching experience. They are often very healthy too. You can judge that by their appearance. Most are obsessed with healthy eating and exercise and…developmental models. You can spot them running like David Goggins ( not on instagram though) before their busy coaching days with clients. They may not be former Seals like Jocko Willink, but they are trained to ask powerful questions that create deep awareness, perception shift and shed light onto a new perspective in client, thus a step forward in one’s growth and development.