Why Some Life Coaches Are Doing More Harm Than Good!

Why Some Life Coaches Are Doing More Harm Than Good!

Like so many people, I reached a crossroads in my life. I was fed up with the long working hours to receive a pittance of a paycheque.

In search of some guidance, I ventured into the self help world. Now many years before while suffering with jet lag on a business trip in the US, I had come across a late night infomercial for Tony Robbins and yes… I too was hooked. Many years on, I found myself at a self help seminar and again I was totally bought into the whole self help world of the happy, clappy, woo woo thing. Today we understand the science behind the high energy and movement routines to stay positive and engaged, but at the time it was like I had found the next bright shiny object.

I then got into the cycle of going from seminar to seminar. What used to amaze me, was the high price on the up-sell items and how people were climbing over you to get to the back of the room to sign up and max out that credit card. I know now that those speakers were highlighting the pain of the audience and giving them their individual solution to a better future.

Until I entered this world, I’d not met any Life Coaches or Tony Cloney’s, but now they were everywhere!

With so many people all having the same concepts and values just being clones of each other, I found myself questioning my own sanity. That is what happens when you spend so much time hanging around the same people you get into what is called Group Think.

Everyone used words like authenticity, tribe, integrity, congruency, life’s purpose, speak from the heart and hold the space! Wherever I went, the same language followed!

Some of these Life Coaches qualified in a weekend or even on line and then would go out into the world to sell their services at a similar price to a high level professional, because at the last seminar they told them to value their time!

Where was the quality control by an authorised industry body? Where were the accreditations from recognised training organisations for the courses? They were nowhere to be seen! And still today there is no industry standard or official body for monitoring Life Coaches.

I am all for providing those in need with suitable help and guidance, but some of the newly qualified individuals I met didn’t really know what they were doing or had evaluated the consequences of any actions they took. Most seemed to end up as Life Coaches as it was “trendy” or an easy option to start a business with.

Over my time in the self help world I have met thousands of people, and some of whom have become my closest friends. It is at this point that I might lose some of these as friends unless they stop reading, as they may not like what is to come…

You see I think I might put their noses out of joint, but frankly all the self help B.S. has got to stop!

I have been running my Impact Surgery consultations for 10 months and I get a mixture of attendees from department heads, to ex-FTSE 100 Finance Directors to… you’ve guessed it, Life Coaches.

Now I am realist and this quote explains my stance beautifully:

“The pessimist looks down and hits his head. The optimist looks up and loses his footing. The realist looks forward and adjusts his path accordingly.”

It also might explain why I have little time for the Life Coaches who instil false aspirations of grandeur with no influence, power or productivity into their clients.

Of those that buy a Life Coaches services, many end up struggling to make the payments, while getting very little in return on their investment and ultimately no strategic direction with a clear business model. Then they land on my doorstep at the Impact Surgery. My sole purpose is to help you raise your position in your industry/field, business or company, yet I end up picking up the pieces, which is not something I want to do, whereas I’d love to give the person who drove them down the wrong path a good kicking!

Those who have been mis-guided or rather mis-coached are so way off the right mark for them, it is actually painful to watch. In my usual style, I don’t hold back by telling them what I and the marketplace will see, feel, think and do when it encounters them. Sometimes my honesty is to my detriment, but I am not going to pussy foot around people. When the truth is needed, people need to hear it to stop them still going in the wrong direction.

“The only thing worse about going in the wrong direction is going in the wrong direction enthusiastically.”

My feedback gets taken one of two ways: those who have a high tenacity threshold are able to accept it, deal with it and do something about it; whereas others don’t like what they hear, so may give lip service but continue along the wrong road of delusion doing the same thing.

Now you might say… “Andy, this blog is a bit of a rant!” And yes, it is. It was all sparked with one of my recent clients who came to me via the Impact Surgery. They’d been following the coaching route of a year in a very specific niche with no success, traction or actual business to speak of. Through my questioning to do some due diligence it turned out that they weren’t qualified in their area of expertise, nor did they have any practical experience of it.

Within seconds of realising this I was totally frustrated. I could immediately see that the person sitting in front of me was someone, who in my opinion, was not going to be a coach in this lifetime or the next. And yet to serve someone else’s ego he’d been paying to follow something that was neither his passion, his purpose or his talent.

As I started to work with them in the 45 minutes of the surgery, through my tough questioning and further probing they started to see the issues too. By the end the dawning realisation of having wasted a year following someone else’s path was like seeing a massive weight removed from their shoulders.

They could see that they should never have started this route in the first place, just because they went to the wrong Life Coach who knew no other routes to market than life coaching. Now they are pursuing their true passion, all things IT related; give them a page of data and they are so happy. It’s a pleasure to see people when they are in flow, as then all the jigsaw pieces fall into place.

Frankly I do not want to be dealing with the trail of devastation that gets left behind from bad Life Coaches again!

PS, if anyone thinks this blog is designed to tout for more business the answer is yes and no.  If you are a Life Coach, I am sorry this surgery is not for you, you may get more sympathy elsewhere.

Andy T Cumming
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Andy T Cumming

Director at Impact Fast Track
Andy advises organisations and small business owners on how to make a bigger impact in the marketplace. He created the Professional Impact Profile, the leading six in one impact profiling system in the world. The profile highlights the gaps to become bigger, stronger and more impactful.
Andy T Cumming
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