We’re Kristin Kelly, Laura Weldy, and Flame Schoeder, and we’re excited to answer your questions about everything coaching related. Feel free to ask us about what coaching is, how it can make a difference in your life, or how to find a coach!

I’m Kristin, Assistant Director of Ethics, Policy, and Compliance at ICF. In this role, I help define, enforce, and educate coaches about ICF’s ethical standards for professional coaches. I’m excited to be here today to answer your questions about coaching standards, credentials and how to find a coach that upholds industry best practices. Ask me anything!

I’m Flame, an ICF-Credentialed Master Certified Coach, and winner of ICF’s Young Leader Award. I specialize in coaching for personal development, leadership coaching, and corporate coaching, as well as mentor coaching and supervision. I’m excited to be here today to answer your pressing questions about the power of coaching for leaders and individuals, how coaching works, and more. Ask me anything!

I’m Laura, an ICF-Credentialed Professional Certified Coach. My work focuses on helping high achieving women intentionally align their thoughts, values and actions so they can show up powerfully for their teams and company, while building sustainable success for themselves. Ask me anything about how to become a coach, how coaching empowers women (or anyone!) in the workplace, and more!

Proof: https://i.redd.it/rekk2vqwtkz61.png https://i.redd.it/6k316d00ukz61.jpg https://i.redd.it/h2fj3fo2ukz61.jpg

Comments: 532 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

NerdInACan188 karma

My issue I have with coaching is that it tends to reenforce the false idea that a person’s value is measured by their bank account. In other words, if a person is not earning a certain dollar amount, they are not living up to their full value. This idea is detrimental because most peoples income/bank balance is going to fluctuate throughout their entire life. Just because a person’s income is low, does not mean they are not a person of value, or living up to their value.

My second issue I have is that coaching seems to encourage people to make friends with people only if it helps advance their career and/or social status. Once those people are not helping anyone, it seems that a lot of coaches teach their clients that their friends are “toxic” and they need to move on. Don’t you think friendship should be based compassion and empathy?

Also, why such a dependency on “positive thinking”? Nor everything in life is positive, or can even have a positive spin. That said, that doesn’t mean that a person can’t deal and over come a challenge. Telling people to feel a certain way before they take in a challenge may actually keep someone from taking on that challenge that could lead to growth.

It just seems to me that a lot of coaching (not all) is based on feel good catch phrases, and a “what’s in it for me” philosophy. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

ICFHeadquarters14 karma

Such an interesting reflection, thank you!

1) I agree - a person's value or success is not determined by their bank account. When setting goals with your coach, this does require each of us to dig deeper into what value and success means to us - because so often salary is where our thinking ends! So thinking about what those are for yourself is an interesting convo in itself. I think this idea probably comes from the fact that executive coaching is the most well known branch of coaching, but the coaching space is expanding to work with people at all different levels in their professional career.

2) This definitely sounds icky - not something I practice as coach. I don't think it's my job as coach to tell you who to surround yourself with - I just want to know what you're looking to accomplish and help you generate a variety of approaches to doing that.

3) Yes, toxic positivity is a thing! Not just in coaching but it's certainly prevalent in our field. I think it's possible for all of us to help clients create a solution or next step without minimizing the experience they're having. So important. -Laura W.

ICFHeadquarters-32 karma

I appreciate this question, u/NerdInACan. My first question is, "were these credentialed coaches?" ICF coaches follow a clear Code of Ethics (https://coachingfederation.org/ethics/code-of-ethics) which includes a Responsibility to Society. In addition, coaching is not, on one level, about the coach. Coaches don't give advice and aren't there to advance their own values. The coaches work is to evoke and empower the clients' values and dreams. Coaching is empowering, too, so it can lead to a kind of inner power that does increase someone's income or support them to hold strong boundaries in relationships but these are not counter to compassion, empathy, innate human value or working with what "is," including the tough stuff. -FCS

Snoutpile128 karma

What is the biggest animal you could beat in a wrestling match?

ICFHeadquarters24 karma

Mosquito -Lw

ICFHeadquarters-22 karma

My name is "Flame." I dare any animal to take me on. -FCS

Katkabob96 karma

Is this industry ever critiqued by the mental health industry (therapists, counselors..etc)?

ICFHeadquarters15 karma

Yes and this is a huge reason that the ICF exists! We educate our coaches to understand the difference and know when to refer clients to therapy. Unless a coach is formally trained in both modalities, they should not cross the line. - KK

ICFHeadquarters14 karma

There is some partnership between governing bodies of all of these fields to both delineate each field and also bring them together. ICF believes there is a potent place in the world for mental health care and also for coaching. ICF coaches follow a clear Code of Ethics which includes an ongoing commitment to not practicing mental health without a license and knowing when a client is presenting with symptoms that need mental health care and referring out. -FCS

RaideNGoDxD14 karma

Thanks for the AmA.

I am now a corporate professional for about 2+ years. I find myself losing interest quickly after about 3 months in a new job. Also working from home leaves me much more vulnerable to distractions and I find myself losing interest in my work quickly.

I've tried to make lists, prioritize tasks, and schedule my day as much as possible. These have helped, especially when I started, but now I find myself losing interest gradually despite taking these steps. I'm afraid that this may lead to quality issues in my work down the line. So how should I go about remedying this?

ICFHeadquarters16 karma

Don't think this is abnormal at all! In fact, noticing the boredom creep is a key indicator that you're looking for something more. It could be a situation where you're underemployed (ie your skills aren't being utilized), you're being underdeveloped (don't have opportunities for challenges and growth), or that you're going through the motions vs. engaging in the work.

I don't believe that our work has to be the end all be all when it comes to motivation and entertainment - so it could also be that you're eager for new opportunities outside of the workplace to bring in more interests.

A few coachy questions I'd ask - what appealed to you about this role in the first place? How much of your time are you actually spending on that component? Have you set benchmarks and goals for yourself to work toward? What would an ideal week at work look like - ideal month? -Laura W

Isaac-rapido1 karma

How important is it to find a career coach who has worked in the same industry as me? Also, any other tips you can share for finding a career coach who is going to be a good match?

ICFHeadquarters1 karma

It depends on your goals, I'd say.

A key difference to distinguish coaching and consulting is that coaches are there to ask you questions to broaden your thinking and create cohesive solutions to your challenges, while consulting is all about delivering solutions to you based on experience and insight. So having a coach who has been in the same role as you isn't vital because they're there to ask you questions vs. telling you what to do.

That being said, if you feel like you're in a super technically specific field and the understanding of the role details is critical to being able to help you navigate your career challenges, finding someone who's been there could be helpful!

In short: if you want to develop your own voice, make your own solutions, and be supported in behaving in alignment with your values - coaching is the thing. If you want strategies developed for you - a consultant would be a better option! - Laura W.

cmdrkuntarsi1 karma

Flame? There's got to be a story there.

ICFHeadquarters1 karma

u/cmdrkuntarsi, oh, there is! And it's a good one. The key elements are heartburn, red hair and hippie parents. Some of it is on the about page of my website, too: https://coachingfederation.org/credentials-and-standards/find-a-training-program. -FCS

BrainwavesGamma-1 karma

What's the 3 most powerful questions to ask when coaching someone who recently lost a job?

ICFHeadquarters1 karma

  1. What do you want to acknowledge about yourself through all of this?
  2. What bothers you the most about losing your job?
  3. If time, talent and circumstances weren't an issue, what would you turn to focus on next in your life? -FCS

SkinADeer-1 karma

The name Flame is cool, what's the origin?

ICFHeadquarters-1 karma

To tell the truth, my mom had a lot of fire dreams and some persistent heartburn when she carried me. hahaha! But my parents were hippies, so they really fell in love with it after the initial inspiration. I tell more of the story on the about page of www.coachflame.com, too. Is there a story behind your name? -FCS