Coaching 2021: A Summary
Time is such a powerful force, it even trickles into the coaching world. There was a time when a coach could skate by through working with clients, without any formal education! If you are already certified as a coach currently, you know how crazy this is. But this was how things were 20 or more years ago.
But advances in coach training do not come at us as quickly as advances in other areas, say, for example, science. Changes in the coaching profession come from either different techniques and training and how coaching services are delivered, or they are changed by events like our current pandemic. This results in a shift, whereby millions of people are forced to – literally – look inward at their own health. But the pandemic has also slowed down the already trickle speed of coach training. We didn’t really get to learn too much in 2020 apart from COVID19, we were focused on survival. But now that 2021 is nearly over, we’ve learned a few things in hindsight.
Revising Coach Training Needs
Historically, coaching has evolved into a very formidable and serious profession, requiring the industry to provide effective training that continues to create both challenges and excitement for coaches.
But time also has the power to change how we use words.
There was a time when saying this meant something completely to how we’re going to talk about it here. Nowadays, it seems that we are integrating everything!
And there’s a good reason why.
Established coaches have known how we use a holistic approach, and in some ways, this can be seen as integrating different parts of the body. It’s done to understand the whole client.
If we are coaches who operate closely with the fitness industry, we can also see integrative training – or more specifically, functional integration training concepts. Within the fitness profession, it is considered a mark of elevated skill for a trainer to be working with a client on functional integration. This is a sign of a well-educated and trained personal fitness trainer.
We also see integration in our healthcare, almost as an ongoing theme. This has resulted in almost a one-stop-shop or convenience model of healthcare. As a result, one can see any specialist that is integrated into a practice. This has been a boon for both hospital administration and consumers, who may also become patients. Or, they could also become a client.
Specifically, integrative medicine is one that takes into account the whole person, which starts to sound a lot like a holistic view of the person. But it takes things one step further by claiming to integrate both complementary and conventional approaches.
You can actually do a search using anything loosely tied to the word “integrated“ or “integrative“ and find something health, fitness, or wellness-related attached to it. As stated before, it seems we are integrating everything. Sounds good right?
Well, that can be. It depends on how we use it.
For coach training, it is almost like trying to find a square piece to fit a round hole to fit in. How so? Most coaching programs are divided into either what we call “core“, whereby coaching models and theories are taught, like wellness coaching, holistic coaching, or life coaching. Then, there is the specialty type of courses, usually offered for continuing education. These include highly specialized topics, like sleep science and sports psychology, or even sports nutrition. Again, time has shown us that the need to have this type of education is required for coaches to stay well-informed and to keep our industry progressing forward. This allows us to earn the credibility, validation, and authority that we deserve.
But now we are seeing integration evolve into another meeting.
This is integration between healthcare and medical professionals with health coaches. Doctors and healthcare providers have evolved too, over time. They are confirming what we already know….that what their patients may need most to optimize health and wellness is something they did not get trained for in medical school. This can include nutritional guidance or interventions as well. It invariably will require some behavior changes. This is the work of a skilled coach, this is where we shine.
The feeling of being trusted, and having confidence in our ability to support and serve on a higher level is a real honor and acknowledgment of the work we do every day. But it also means that it becomes vital to get it done right. We are, at times, stepping into a system that is often overwhelmed. You might even be tempted to think that anything we can do will help. Again, this may be true. But the help we provide is specific. We have to come to the table prepared, like how we perceive a medical or healthcare professional to be.
Our support and coaching service to the health/medical profession includes a need to understand our role. What can we integrate?
Each day, we work with people from all walks of life – but for different reasons, different needs, and different outcomes. If we were to say “here is a diet you can put your client on”, it would sure make life easier for the coach – or a nutritionist – but how much would this help the client? Just as our client’s are diverse, their dietary needs are all very different. What if we were able to integrate some of the client’s uniqueness into the strategies targeting obesity-based/hypokinetic illnesses.
At the Global Wellness Summit of 2020, during the peak of the first pandemic wave, a collection of coaches gathered for a zoom call, broadcast anywhere broadband is available. This is one of the premier events in the coaching industry. In a strange way, the availability of the summit on zoom made it easier to participate than traveling to the host city in any given year. The topics and keynote speakers for this summit are determined months in advance of the event. There was no way to foresee the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of the summit being planned. Coincidentally, the featured topics would come to be seen as if they had.
What were the topics that they felt were the most salient to bring forward?
In 2021, The Spencer Institute will launch its Certified Integrative Health Coach course. The areas of emphasis are those that were discussed at the Global Wellness Summit and have been pulled together to represent what we are calling a Triad coaching model. Watch for details on our homepage for this program to launch. Being a Certified Integrative Health Coach promotes client diversity and professional growth while letting you keep doing what you love.
Continuing our education and being our best selves as coaches is the only way we can deliver client results. One of the benefits of coaching is the ability to define and shape a profession on your own terms. This allows us to be in control of our own career growth with authority, credibility and viability. This requires that we stay enlightened to the needs of the clients we serve. What will you do in 2022 to integrate your services?