Monday, July 5, 2010

Incorporate coaching for greater client and professional success

Are you familiar with coaching, yet?
Do you realize that coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in the WORLD? And who better to incorporate coaching tools into their practice than RDs.

But what is it, what’s necessary to call yourself a coach, and how can you learn more?

What is coaching?
Coaching literally is the process of asking questions to guide the client to where he/she wants to go. According to the International Coach Federation, coaching is “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” It is based on the concept that the client is the expert, which is different than what we’re taught in school, where WE are the experts and we will impart our knowledge and wisdom upon the learners and they will be better for it.

Has that worked real well for you each time?
Probably not…

Coaching empowers the client and they start taking action! Oh sure, some of your serious athletes will do anything you tell them (up to a point), but what about the others? How do you reach them?

Coaching is different from therapy because you are helping your client move FORWARD, not look at where they’ve been. Coaching is different than mentoring, because how YOU do things is irrelevant. And it’s taking motivational interviewing another step towards the client, again.

What do you need to call yourself a coach?


It’s like ‘nutritionists’. I once asked a lady what qualified her to call herself a nutritionist. She said (and I kid you not), “I’ve been reading nutrition books all my life!” Oh… well, of course…

However, if you want to stand above the rest of the pack jumping on the coaching bandwagon, get some training! Again, it’s not required, but will give you the SKILLS to coach with competence.

How can you learn more?
The best first place to start is with the ICF. I like to say that the ICF is to professional coaches what ADA is to dietitians. Spend time on their site; check out the schools listed, and what the ICF is all about. ICF does not offer education. They do offer certification, though.

Two credible schools that offer wellness coaching are Wellcoaches and Intrinsic Coaching. I have yet to learn of any others that specialize in wellness that I would recommend, although there ARE other wellness coaching schools, because this is a HOT area of growth potential. (Important point: This does NOT mean there are not other quality general coaching schools, but this is not the place to discuss them.)

Why not investigate if adding coaching to your set of tools would help grow your business or career? It’s a great fit for RDs, and you can’t lose by learning how best to empower your clients!

Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT
MEG Enterprises