Recently I was asked this question by someone who desperately wanted to be certified as an “executive coach.”
Be careful. Here are the facts.
There is not one “best coaching certification or methodology for those who work with executives,” for several reasons.
1. Executive coaching is a new approach with a short history (about 20 years) within psychology (about 100 years). The protocols that would be “certifiable” have not yet been well defined. There is no external board or established practices, as in other professions such as healthcare, finance or law. I often ask, “Who certifies the certifiers?” (And I have been certified by several coaching providers for decades.) One example of certification based on my dissertation research with global professional coaches is here.
2. The coach training industry is estimated at 53,500 global coach practitioners and over $7B in annual revenue, with 115 accredited coach training programs (ICF, 2016). The reality is that coaching certifications and silly acronyms abound. I co-developed one back in 1999, when there were only about 20 ICF accredited coach training programs.
3. There is market confusion about definitions and coaching outcomes. The result is that vendors have responded to the market confusion. A gap exists between theory and practice because executive coaching lacks rigorous measurement, evidence-based protocols and standard processes. The largest organization, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) stated “the top future obstacles for coaching are (a) untrained individuals and (b) marketplace confusion (ICF, 2016).” That survey understates the confusion. Your question illustrates the desire by many to “get certified.”
4. In any marketplace vacuum, competitors emerge. Countless colleges and universities will declare that their certification programs define standards. Be careful. That archaic model presumes that academics know best, and we are increasingly aware of disruption in the marketplace. I like academics. My dissertation explored the competitive advantage of coaching protocols, using global professional coaches. As the “coaching profession” develops momentum, I encourage you to study the practical market demands for coaching protocols. You may want to be cautious. “The top future opportunities for coaching are (a) increased awareness of the benefits of coaching, and (b) credible data on ROI/ROE/outcomes (ICF, 2016)”. In short, we need to define protocols for outcome-based coaching, including useful certification programs.
5. Certification programs exist. I favor the ROI methodology described at the ROI Institute, and a 2-level executive coaching certification process. Last week the co-founder, Patti Phillips, and I discussed certification programs that moved beyond knowledge to practical demonstrations of mastery. She encouraged me to focus on practical applications. (Disclosure: I trademarked the AD-FIT coaching protocol when some F500 clients asked “How do you operationalize what works?” Those details are at Products Archive – Action Learning (https://action-learning.com/products/) and throughout this website. The fact is that “Many professional consultants or coaches do not adhere to evidence-based protocols (Foster & Auerbach, 2015; MacKie, 2014. Citation sources available upon request.)
6. Organizational clients may design their own executive coaching certification programs. They are cost-effective and foster cultural expectations. (Disclosure: I also serve as an engagement manager and executive coach at CoachSource | Executive Coaching Excellence (http://coachsource.com/), the largest global provider of executive coaching.) Those internal coaching certification programs are customized internally, with expertise from coaches like me, for specific business outcomes that are proprietary.
Bottom line: Certification for executive coaching implies a mature profession with protocols that satisfy a market demand.
If useful, please contact me here. I’d love to discuss your interest in executive coaching certification programs.
Thankfully, as a species and as individuals, we know that humans adapt to environmental stimuli.
Behavior changes when we (1) modify the cues (e.g. positive or negative triggers), then
(2) we change the routine (e.g. gestalt, patterns) and
(3) we include regular rewards (e.g. self-care, executive coaching and consulting)
As an example, when you (1) place a white placement at a table, and sit down to eat no more than three times a day (cue), and (2) use a 5” diameter plate that has a smaller serving size than most American restaurants, and refuse to snack (routine), then (3) your reward will be weight loss or weight management.
Same with any behavior change.
Imagine that you are stuck in an undesirable habit, and that you “know you need” some behavior change. For instance, imagine that you desire to build resilience.
Resilience can be defined as “the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity.”
As a second example, when you pause for 5 seconds before saying or doing your response (cue), using a physical trigger or new activity to anchor the new routine, such as using one hand to pull on each finger of your other hand (routine), then your reward may be guidance from your prefrontal cortex that informs you to reply in some career-enhancing manner. You adapt successfully and build more resilience. Get the idea?
Individual behavior changes faster when others reward us. Find a coach or an accountability partner. You do not need to hire an executive coach or consultant to practice behavior change.
The core of physician-patient relationships is trust.
But what do you know about your physician’s values regarding end of life decisions, or women’s reproductive choice? What do you know about the treatment and care suggested by your physician, who may be eligible for a $5,000 referral fee or $2,500 volume price incentive?
Leana Wen, MD, is a Rhodes Scholar and author of “When Doctors Don’t Listen.” Her TED talk, called “What your doctor won’t disclose,” has been viewed by over 1.3 million people.
Her story includes role models from her childhood in China, to a campaign called “Who’s my doctor?” designed to encourage doctors to share their values and be more transparent with their patients.
She states, “we need to change the paradigm of medicine from sickness and fear to openness and healing.“
Here are 7 examples of new affiliations and movement in the last 13 months:
The Brentwood, TN Rotary Club (a long time Paul Harris fellow) committed to “service above self.”
Member of the Williamson, Inc Chamber of Commerce, in Franklin, TN
The Association of Talent Development (ATD) board member in professional development (2015-15) and membership (2015-16); created a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Consultants and hosted monthly meetings on countless topics since January, 2015
Member of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
Member of the Nashville Technology Center (NTC); accepted by Launch TN grant funding program to apply for federal grant to the NIH or USDA, using consultants Mark and Catherine Henry, with mentoring from Jim Stefansic PhD, to assess the impact of telemedicine programs in rural disparities
Promoted the TN-HIMSS conference in October, 2015 for healthcare leaders, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers
Created and hosted monthly meetings on “Talent Analytic Trends” at local businesses, including Rustici Software, the “best technology company in Nashville” and a global leader in SCORM and Watershed, their Learning Record System; those meetings featured leaders and new technologies that are redesigning how we measure talent, careers, and human achievement.
Quite a list for 13 months in a new town.
Back to that coaching question: How are you moving?
Call any time to discuss what is next for you, your leaders, or your business.
My definition: Safety Leadership Coaching is an emerging field of professional development for yourself and others.
TIP: Scan the words in bold. Then apply them to your world. Then call me to discuss.
The phrase “emerging field” recognizes the fact that the safety business is new, since OSHA gained influence in 1970. Prior to that time, workers were measured by hands, feet or hours of productivity. The early “safety professionals” were compliance-driven people tasked with issuing fines, citations, tickets, and quotas. At some companies, “Safety Infraction Report” mandate was required by 4:00 each afternoon; and if you received 3 SIRs then it was time to find another job. Many safety employees were former police or military. The “Safety Cop” compliance requirements remain a powerful legacy today.
In the 1990s the safety industry, like most industries, was affected by global trends including humanism and diversity. Individual choice was recognized more than ever. Leadership and organizational development programs emerged as professional schools of research. In the workforce, safety leaders supported individual choice, good judgement, and reinforced desired behaviors. “Safety coaching” emerged as the dominant methodology to observe and recommend desired behaviors. The Certified Safety Professional Program, endorsed by BCSP, gained impact as a minimal standard for hiring and program implementation. Safety leadership coaching emerged as a field of professional development.
The phrase “professional development for yourself” recognizes the fact that all change starts at an individual level. As a species, humans change in response to external influences that promote our survival. If we need to learn a new skill, or relocate to the next job site, we do so. In the U.S. most people now have 5 careers on average. However, too many safety leaders only have one career. Too many people resist change. Safety leaders can embrace coaching and training; or they can ignore it. They can embrace career changes; or they can ignore them. Too many safety leaders ignore career development opportunities. Safety leadership coaching encourages people to explore choices and develop their strengths.
The phrase “professional development for others” reinforces the job description that safety leaders typically “observe and recommend” desired behaviors. They typically have broad access to all aspects of a job site or company. Consequently they have vast potential impact on all aspects such as quality, operations, sales, business development, etc. However, safety leaders do not embrace their potential impact. Too often they “stick to their own business” and “keep their heads down.” That limits their impact as leaders. Safety leadership coaching leverages the vast access and potential impact of safety leaders. Safety leadership coaching helps leaders obtain desired results.
There is an old story about the student who seeks a teacher. He travels to many lands and reads a lot, stares at a mirror, and generates lists. He is lonely, alone. One day he realizes that he learns best when he is in relationship with others.
So it is with safety coaching. Humans learn best when we are in relationship with others.
Here are some simple coaching questions:
1. Who is the wisest leader you know?
2. How can you develop better relationships with others?
3. What are you afraid of in your career?
4. Who needs you to coach them?
Send me your answers, or comment below.
BIO: Doug Gray, PCC, has coached 50+ safety leaders and learned from their expertise. He knows nothing about fall protection standards. www.action-learning.com or 704.895.7479