"These aren't spirit fingers... THESE are spirit fingers!!" is the infamous dialogue from Sparky the coach who conned and scammed the cheerleaders in the popular movie "Bring It On".
Coaching is a respectable profession in any field. Yet there are coaches out there who take undue advantage of their client's situation. Truth be said I have been fooled by such scrupulous and bad coaches and know other people who have gone through the same. Trust is broken.
You see trust is extremely powerful. A simple definition of trust is belief “that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.” Another definition that I read says “firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance.”
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states “Trusting requires that we can, 1) be vulnerable to others (vulnerable to betrayal in particular); 2) think well of others, at least in certain domains; and 3) be optimistic that they are, or at least will be, competent in certain respects.”
Such coaches have refined their outer appearance of executive presence. They are able to use their style to convince and influence a prospect into using their services. When the client realises through the engagement that something is not quiet right they question the coach. In the initially stages the bad coach assures them it is part of the process.
Time goes by and the client knows no progress is being made, they again question the coach. At this point the fake executive presence coach refer to the contract and that as a coach he or she going beyond the agreed contract and should charge the client more.
Trust is important and extremely powerful in a coaching relationship. Yet when a coach with only outer executive presence engages with you, the same trust will now be dangerous. The danger part of trust with a bad coach is that you have taken the risk to believe the coach is there for you to pull through for you.
Code of ethics means nothing to these bad coaches. Everyone knows when he or she is being unethical. So, no matter what piece of paper you show them with a set code of ethics it has no meaning these bad coaches.
Many years ago someone said to me “coaching is not about the coach; it is always about the client. That is the only ethic to remember.” Unfortunately, many coaches focus on the transaction rather than helping the client.
At a friends party I got into a conversation with girl of about 14 years of age. Her dream is to be a coach. I asked her what makes her want to be a coach. She said because it is an easy profession, you pretend you listen to other people and you get paid a lot. Maybe that is what the bad coaches that I call spirit finger coaches perception of coaching is.
These scrupulous coaches are obviously talented. They are miss using their credibility, experience and charm to fool clients into giving their money. This goes against the coaching ethics and that trust was never part of their agenda. A coach is there to teach and guide people. He or she is there to help people grow as individuals so that they become better people in the world, be it wealth, health or relationship.
Recognising a bad coach can be tough as some are very pleasant in their words and behaviour. You will only know that you are dealing with a bad coach once you engage with them. Unfortunately, you may face such bad coaches who have all the right marketing to backup them up.
Yes, a bad coach is expensive and painful learning. Yet, it is learning that amplifies your awareness in looking out for that authentic coach.
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