Things I wish I’d known when I started coaching – Part 1

Part 1 – Coaching qualifications aren’t as important as you might think

Ankush Jain speaks about why qualifications aren’t as important as you think they are, and how you’re never ‘ready’ to start coaching.

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Full Transcript:

Ankush: One of the biggest, I guess, misunderstandings that I had, was that qualifications were really important. And I remember speaking to people when I first started and people did say, not everyone, but certain people did say, “well qualifications aren’t as important as you think they are.”

But I didn’t really appreciate that, I think, until I’d kind of had a bit of experience, and to date, I’ve never been asked by someone who has then hired me, what my qualifications are.

The flip side of that is, what is important is my impact as a coach, because even if I did have the best qualifications, and I remember a colleague of mine saying, “oh you should do this course, because it’s from Harvard Business School, and you have Harvard Business School on your CV.”

Well, even if I did have that, and I then spoke to someone, and they weren’t impacted by what I said or didn’t see that I could add value, it doesn’t really matter, where the qualification has come from. And so it’s far more important, that I’m able to speak to someone, they’re able to have a shift in the way they view the world or in a shift that the way they show up, compared to before they spoke to me, that’s really what makes a difference I find.

And that kind of comes to another thing that I wish I’d known when I started out, which is practice, practice, practice. You’re never ready, you’re never ever ready, and I look back at some of my first conversations, and part of me thinks, “oh wow, I knew nothing then.” But what I also know is, in 5 or 10 years time, I’ll look back at the conversations I had now, and probably think the same thing, and we’re never ever ready because there’s never ever a place to get to. And that’s not important, what’s important is that we just start, especially for beginner coaches that we just start coaching, and through that coaching, I know through every single coaching conversation I have, I learn something.

And as I learn I get better and I improve as a coach. This has a direct relation to profitability, to fees, to charging for coaching because as you improve, you might start off and coach for free and also very low fees. And that’s okay because you’re starting and you know your impact’s going to be a little bit less.

But as you get better, that is why your fees can also increase because you are getting better as you practice, and then your fees increase accordingly, but one thing I wish I’d known is, you’re never ready, you’re never ever ready, just start doing it, and I’m quite lucky that I got that piece of advice fairly early on, and I started, but it took a little while to sink in, and it’s still true for me now because there are areas I’ve not worked in, and I’m not ready to work in those areas, but it doesn’t matter because I will be ready just simply by showing up and either it goes easier than I expected or I learn from the experience and I’m more equipped for the next time I do it.


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