One of the blogs that I follow is “Cosmic Connie’s Whirled Musings“, which comments on trends in the self-help/New Age industry. Lately she has been focusing on the phenomenon of The Secret, especially its (many) not-so-holy aspects.
In her latest blog post “Is the word coaching or ka-ching?” she opens with the following:
“In the months since The Secret exploded like Monty Python’s unfortunate Mr. Creosote all over the cultural landscape, dousing everyone and everything within spewing range with its simplistic New-Wage wisdom about the Law Of Attraction, I have been receiving more than my share of spam emails from people claiming to be Law Of Attraction Coaches. Law Of Attraction coaching, of course, is merely one of the latest outgrowths of the burgeoning personal-coaching industry. And whether or not they use LOA as a hook, personal coaches, or “life coaches” as they more often call themselves these days, are swarming all over the place, with one of the largest breeding grounds being the famous Coach U. We are now faced with a veritable infestation for which, alas, no coach sprays or coach hotels exist.[…]”
I highly recommend that you read the whole post here.
And I happen to agree with a lot of what she says about the sorry state of the coaching industry today. So I just had to respond. Here is the full comment that I submitted to her blog:
Great post! And this coming from a full-time coach and consultant who trained with Thomas Leonard and Coach U back in 2000, and loved the experience!
I’ve been following your blog, and that of Steve [Salerno]‘s, since seeing “The Secret” last fall. I was both encouraged and disturbed by the messages in the movie and now the book, so your comments are helping me to steer a middle course through the “new-wage” minefield.
Right now, the state of the coaching industry is not healthy because of what you and Steve and others are pointing out: a lack of accountability, measurability and professionalism. The example of the “intuitive life-coach” you describe in your post is a perfect example of the problem. Coaching schools fail to equip their students with a personal foundation of discipline and structure. And I’m not convinced that the ICF (International Coach Federation) certification system can put accountability back into the industry (I am an ICF member). I myself would not hire most of the coaches I meet.
I’m also very disappointed in many of the Secret teachers, and their overt hucksterism since the DVD – especially Bob Proctor and the “Secret of Science of Getting Rich” CD set at $2k. That offer really destroyed my respect for him.
I’m part of a network of coaches who want to put accountability back into the profession (www.coachville.com). Being an aerospace systems engineer and project manager in my pre-coaching life, I want to see practical, tangible results from my clients, and provide a practical, tangible system for doing so. I basically teach fundamental project planning skills, applied to life and business.
In the LOA (Law of Attraction) area, I provide workshops and coaching for people who want to apply LOA to their business or life projects, stripping away all of the cosmic mumbo-jumbo and getting to the core: know who you are and what you want, align your environment to promote positive thinking and belief, then take deliberate, bold and consistent action to make it happen. Accountability is created by measuring the actions and measuring the results. It’s simple, but not easy, because most people don’t want to change or sweat (thus the “lottery mentality” promoted by The Secret).
I tell all my prospects that of course you can make it happen on your own. What I add is an accountability system (I like the “consigliere” description you mentioned) to make sure my clients do what they say they want to do, with the bonus of providing tools and tips from my own experience since I’ve been there, done that. I spend a lot of my time and energy to connect my clients with the resources the need, and to help them develop the skills to succeed. I make sure I more than earn my fees by giving my all to my clients.
Reading your posts reminds me to stay real, focused on giving value for money, and delivering results. Keep up the good work, and keep on keeping me honest!
Sometimes a reality check like the one Cosmic Connie delivered is just what the doctor ordered to put my ego back into its proper place…