Honing In on What’s Most Important

to the Editor

note that Marshall Goldsmith effectively dodged every one of your
questions as to coaching training and you let him get away with it!
Apparently (from his answers) he has no specific coaching training at

today he joins many other national leaders calling themselves coaches
and charging large amounts of money for "coach training" programs which
truly have no coach training at all (Martin Seligman – Authentic
Happiness Coaching Program, which teaches tools that can be used by any
therapist, psychologist, dentist, or person and, by the way, coaches,
who must get coaching training elsewhere) or for coaching by people
with no formal coach training (Neal Michaelson and his VIA Strengths
"coaches" who are psychology MA's and who are being "trained" by
Michaelson's program which has a sports coach doing the training!). I
find this alarming. And I find it even MORE alarming that you are
highlighting one of them in your newsletter about coaches!

Do I find these people and their programs valuable? Certainly.

am a graduate of Seligman's Authentic Happiness Coaching Program and
loved it. However, there was NO coach training involved and the issue
was not addressed; therefore, many of the therapists, psychologists and
others who take the course may well now regard themselves as trained
coaches. And my evaluation of the VIA Strengths coaching now offered by
Neal Michaelson is based upon e-mails I exchanged with him. From his
responses, Marshall Goldsmith is obviously a psychologist specializing
in Organizational Behavior, not a coach. And when he asked you who had
coached him, he replied with a list of people who had "helped" him, not
"coached" him. From his responses I conclude that he has not been
trained in coaching or actually trained as a coach. Now, I have no
problem with that. I am sure that he does a great job of "helping" out
businesses! However, I do have a problem with him calling himself a
coach just because it "sells well" today. (And I think he might object
if I, a coach, just started calling myself a psychologist!)

is going on in the field of what people are calling coaching today
reminds me of what was happening with chiropractic when I first moved
to Louisiana 30 years ago. Physicians stated loudly and publicly that
chiropractors did not have enough training to work on the body, and
they tried to annex chiropractic as a part of their physician
practices. Fortunately, they failed.

do not have such high hopes for coaching, especially if the major
organizations in the field (like the IAC) do not hold to the original
definition. At this point in time, from the responses I have gotten to
the questions I have raised, it appears to me that we original coaches
will eventually be subsumed in the Life Coaching field by therapists
and in the Business Coaching field by organizational psychologists.

a member of the IAC I really expected it to have a clearer
understanding of and vision for the whole coaching profession – and to
stand up for those values!

Disappointedly yours,

Jann Snyder

Note: I was hoping our new article series would generate dialog such as
this started by Jann Snyder. Please share your comments about Jann's
message above or any of our other articles with me at editor@certifiedcoach.org. The IAC reserves the right to publish any message sent to this address and may edit content for publication. Thank you!

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