A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to become more acquainted with a highly respected thought leader in the automotive industry. Early in our conversation, I introduced my services by using the word “Coach” in my professional title. Without hesitation, he candidly responded – “I have a problem with the word Coach” – then kindly redirected the conversation toward the details of the topic we came together to discuss.
We met again recently to put the final touches on our collaborative project, and that’s when I felt a nudge from my inner expert.
“Ask him why the word Coach is bothersome?”
I didn’t feel compelled to ask about his problem for the sake of arguing, nor to defend my credentials. The nudge came out of respect for his work, and I had a deep desire to understand his perspective. Let’s face it; if he doesn’t see value in my credentials, chances are very few others will either.
I wanted to know the answer so that I could understand more about his views. So, using genuine interest, I asked the question. What followed was a delightful two-way conversation that opened both of our eyes.
- He shared: My personal experience with people who call themselves coaches have turned out to be nothing more then word savvy professionals offering the same sizzle other people in their field offer – only they choose to use a fancy catch phrase in their title to market themselves without adding any value.
Well, now it makes perfect sense he would have a problem with the word ‘Coach’ doesn’t it? When our personal experiences continue to provide us proof, such as ‘no added value’ – and it is left without question – we will continue to view those circumstance the same way that we’ve always viewed them.
- I shared: I refer to myself as a Coach (CPC), much like a Chiropractor (CCWP), Physical Therapist (PT) and Massage Therapist (NCTMB) refer to themselves within their profession. Although it is what we ‘Do’ – it is also our professional designation upon achieving our credentials.
I went onto say that after spending nearly 3 decades in the retail automotive industry, I took a LEAP of faith, and returned to school. I spent nearly 2 years developing my skills as certified professional coach – studying and putting to practice the standards and ethical conduct defined by the international coaching federation - and I did it all for the love of car people!
After taking just a few minutes to speak openly with each other, both of us felt a higher level of respect for each others work. Two people have a new perspective, simply because one person chose to express himself with graceful candor, and one person was of the mindset to seek to understand the other persons point of view.
>> When was the last time you asked a person to explain what he or she does for a living?
>> Did you ask with the sole intent to listen for their sentiment in the answer they gave?
>> Do you share your career choice with others using enthusiasm and expressing passion for your work?
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