International Coach Federation Dispels Common Misconceptions About Professional Coaching

May 05, 2008, 01:00 ET from International Coach Federation

    LEXINGTON, Ky., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- If you have seen professional
 coaches portrayed on TV or spotlighted in magazines, you may not always
 come away with an accurate perception of coaching. Like with any young
 profession that has experienced rapid growth, misconceptions have surfaced
 about the nature and purpose of professional coaching. As part of its work
 to advance the art, science, and practice of professional coaching, the
 International Coach Federation (ICF) works to educate the public on what to
 expect from a coaching partnership.
     Because many countries do not call for licensure or regulation of
 coaches, anyone may call him or herself a "coach" without receiving formal
 coach-specific training. When these untrained individuals transfer skill
 sets from other professions into their coaching, an inadequate or
 ineffective coaching experience for clients often results. This may cause
 further confusion about coaching in general.
     "Unfortunately, there are misconceptions about the definition and
 purpose of coaching," said ICF President Diane Brennan, MBA, MCC[1]. "It is
 the duty of the ICF and its members to correct these inaccuracies by
 educating the public about our distinct profession and stressing the
 importance of working with a coach who has undergone formal coach-specific
 training and is credentialed. ICF Credentialed coaches have completed
 stringent education and experience requirements and have proven that they
 have a clear understanding of the skills and approaches used within today's
 coaching profession."
     Common misconceptions about coaching:
     -- Consumers have no protection when selecting a coach. The ICF offers
 the only globally recognized credentialing program. ICF Credentials protect
 the public by identifying coaches who have met established standards of
 knowledge, skills and practice. Today, over 3,700 coaches hold an ICF
 Credential. Additionally, all ICF members subscribe to a code of ethics and
 are subject to an ethical conduct review process.
     -- A coach is like a therapist. Professional coaching is a distinct
 service which focuses on an individual's life as it relates to
 goal-setting, outcome creation and personal change management. Unlike a
 therapist, a coach does not focus directly on relieving psychological pain
 or treating cognitive or emotional disorders.
     -- Coaching and consulting are the same. Coaches are experts in the
 coaching process and are trained to listen, observe and customize their
 approach to individual client needs. Whereas, consultants typically give
 clients answers or solutions based on expertise or knowledge in a certain
 area, coaches seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they
 believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful.
     -- A coach is like a friend who gets paid to listen. A coach is a
 neutral listener who offers an objective perspective unlike an opinionated
 friend or family member. While friendship may last a lifetime, the length
 of a coaching partnership depends on the client's needs and preferences.
     ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking
 and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and
 professional potential. Individuals who engage in a coaching relationship
 can expect to experience fresh perspectives on personal challenges and
 opportunities, enhanced thinking and decision-making skills, enhanced
 interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence in carrying out their
 chosen work and life roles.
     The ICF is the leading global organization for coaches, with over
 15,000 members in almost 90 countries, dedicated to advancing the coaching
 profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent
 certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.
 For more information, please visit our Web site at
     [1] MCC: Master Certified Coach, highest credential awarded by the
 International Coach Federation.
ICF HEADQUARTERS CONTACT: Ann Belcher, +1.859.226.4428, This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE International Coach Federation