Question 1: What are the pros of saying something about the situation?Dr. Moira Hanna
Question 2: What is the cost of responding?
Question 3: What is the cost of not responding?
Question 4: What industry organizations exist to help promote broader knowledge and best practices?
I’m Dr. Moira. I’m a college professor, instructor, coach, and passionate mentor to health coaches around the world, but I haven’t always been that confident and committed to my coaching career. I wasn’t sure if I could make it work or even what the best approach was to success and fulfillment. I decided to step up and step into my dream of guiding health coaches on their journey from Hesitant Health Coach to Committed Health Coach. With a unique approach to coach growth, the Health Coach Catalyst program creates a strong hexagonal effect. The Coaching Hive podcast is your glimpse into the concepts, ideas, and approaches that underscore the Hexagonal Effect while giving you the opportunity to implement tools and tips along the way. Are you ready to dive into today’s podcast? Then let’s go and remember that this podcast is family friendly so go ahead and play it through your speakers!
Welcome to Episode 13 of the Coaching Hive Podcast!
As the month comes to a close, I am feeling excitement. I know that many of you have started to take action, making a commitment to progress over perfection and have even implemented a mindfulness practice to be more in the moment. Our world is a noisy place, and it takes intention to calm our body, mind, and spirit to be more present in the everyday and with our clients during a coaching session.
This week, I was reading a Facebook forum and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach brought up a really good question. She asked how do you handle a situation where someone is calling themselves a health and wellness coach, but are only selling a product and maybe aren’t a certified coach.
Many people chimed in with a variety of responses from frustration that it diminishes the work we do as certified health coaches to concepts of staying in your own lane. I think that this is a great place to end our mindfulness and mindset series.
What do you do when other’s actions and words feel like they are threatening your creditability as a certified health coach? There are many different approaches as seen in the thread of comments.
This suggests that there may not be just one set response in this circumstance, but I thought I would share a few questions I ask myself before deciding how to respond in these situations. My approach has always been tempered by a mindfulness mindset as well as one that focuses on how to best use my time and energy.
So, the first thing that we need to ask ourselves is, “What are the pros to saying something about the situation?” Obviously by throwing your two cents into the ring you might be able to share your ideas with a few people. This may bring awareness, but unless you have a large and engaged following your reach may be somewhat limited. Saying something does show your commitment to the industry and to protecting clients’ best interests.
The next step is to ask, “What is the cost of responding?” There are two parts to this question. The first one is personal. Do you find responding to these situations personally draining? Does it get you ramped up? Frustrated? Defeated? Worried? If you discover that your response is primarily negative, this might be a sign that it is not a battle to be fought, at least right now.
The other side of the coin is looking at the cost to your business. Let me give you an example. What if you decide you want to make sure that others know that this particular person is not a certified health and wellness coach? While noble in protecting the field, does it actually do anything to further the field? Does this type of response do anything to further your business and creditability? Your answer might vary, but it is likely that you are thinking, no. I know in my experience that I can’t change what others do, but I can control my actions, thoughts, and behaviors. So, I would rather spend that 30 minutes promoting what I DO offer and why I am credible than tearing someone else down. Because at the end of that 30 minutes, you haven’t shared what the field IS capable of. You have just shown why you shouldn’t rely on this one person or group of people.
The third question closely follows the second and we need to ask ourselves, “What is the cost of not responding?” How does this impact me personally, my business, and my field as a whole. This is tricky. Not responding doesn’t cost me anything personally because it means that I’m preserving my energy, time, or intention. I’m staying focused on what I can do rather than becoming bogged down in what I truly don’t have control over. In having a positive mindset I know that there is a place for each person in the business world. We each have knowledge and strengths to share.
For my business and as a field the potential cost of not responding means that some people could be hurt by the unethical or uniformed actions of someone acting as a health and wellness coach without the requisite training. But at the same time, if we are acting ethically and sharing our credentials, training, science-based approaches with our clients and the industry then it becomes clear how our services are different. Like I said, tricky.
We all want what is best for our potential clients and the industry as a whole. So, we have to think about what impact not responding will ultimately have and this brings me to the final question to ask yourself, “What industry organizations exist to help promote broader knowledge and best practices?”
Once you determine the organizations who are “going to bat” for the field you can explore how to get involved. This might mean financial donations, volunteer engagements, acting as a board member, or offering a way for coaches to come together for the purpose of learning, growing, and promoting the field in an ethical and science-based manner.
These industry organizations will have a wider reach and will help to make the most of your time, energy, and enthusiasm for promoting best practices. This doesn’t mean that you can’t look for community opportunities to share about your field, it is simply another way to bring widespread awareness to the general population.
The question of how to handle these situations is multi-faceted and does not have a clear right or wrong approach in most cases. Please don’t get me wrong. There are situations that require swift and decisive action. There are times when the action you are observing is unacceptable and harmful to others and there is a clear action to take. This is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about something where you have time to stop, and think, and respond in a thoughtful, measured approach.
After some thought to that post this week I responded by saying the following, “I think it becomes extremely important to continue to grow our professional skills and implement them with the help of peer and mentor support. As we do this, our profession becomes more recognized and respected. The difference will become apparent. This combined with all of the efforts of the NBHWC will shine a light on what health and wellness coaching is and how it can be used to guide a client to their vision of well-being.”
By taking time to respond in a mindful manner, by looking at the situation from a variety of viewpoints it is easier to come up with a thoughtful and meaningful response instead of one built on strong negative emotions.
This week, as you respond to conversations and posts, notice what influences your response. It is a mindful approach? Or is it a response born out of frustration?
I hope this checklist of questions has been helpful as you explore your own response to situations that are frustrating. As a quick review, here are those questions again,
- What are the pros of saying something about the situation?
- What is the cost of responding?
- What is the cost of not responding?
- What industry organizations exist to help promote broader knowledge and best practices?
I look forward to beginning May with a brand new series meant to motivate and encourage you on your journey as a certified health and wellness coach. I encourage you to keep in touch with your progress and I’ll see you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive podcast.
~ Dr. Moira