Leveling Up

Published by Peter on

Last week I leveled up. I am now a Professional Certified Coach (PCC).

“But Peter,” you may be asking, “weren’t you already a certified coach?”

I was. I achieved the basic ICF certification two years ago (nearly to the day).

Since then, I’ve worked with more than 200 clients totaling nearly 500 additional hours of in-session coaching. ICF also made me pass the credentialing exam again last week, which they changed since the last time I passed it.

Why did I bother with certification?

As I’ve pointed out before, you don’t actually need to be certified to call yourself a coach. To me, however, certification matters.

The world is full of charlatans, crackpots, and well-meaning incompetents who are all too happy to take your money and tell you their opinions on life, the universe, and everything else, no matter how wrong or misguided they may be.

ICF certification requires getting educated, being mentored, and putting in real work. The basic certification requires 60 hours of coaching eduction and 100 auditable hours of in-session coaching. The PCC requires 125 hours of education credit plus 500 hours of in-session coaching experience.

That may not sound like a terribly high bar (I met a plumber the other day who is in his fourth year of apprenticeship, after all), but it’s not that easy to get to 500 hours of actual coaching.

And you learn a lot along the way.

What type of certification matters?

To confuse the market even more, every assessment and methodology offer their own certifications. You can get certified in Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, DiSC, HBDI, Positive Intelligence, and so many more.

Each of those is a tool that can be used at the proper time, in the proper context. Those certifications are all useful in their own way, if you are looking for someone who has a deep knowledge in that particular instrument or assessment.

Pick the right professional for the right topic.

ICF certification is about coaching competency, not about any one methodology or tool, however. It’s kind of like the difference between learning to install a toilet, and learning to be a plumber.

Which matters more, certification or lived experience?

I don’t care because I have both.

Okay, that’s not true. I do care. Lived experience matters, whether you’re talking about life experience (marriage, kids, divorce, world travel, gender diversity, creative arts, etc.) or career experience (startups, entrepreneurship, career changes, layoffs, management, nonprofits, C Suite experience, etc.).

Someone without much life experience might be an effective coach, just like someone who bought their first wrench yesterday might be able to install your new toilet.

I’m sure he’ll get it eventually.
Generated by Adobe Firefly

A plumbing apprenticeship lasts a long time, however, because it’s a complicated, messy, unpredictable business. Every house is different. Before they send a plumber out on his own, they want him to see as many wacky, real-world situations as possible.

You can hire anyone with a wrench to work on your plumbing. But why would you?

So it goes with coaching. My vast and diverse lived experience doesn’t give me more answers than someone with less experience.

In fact, just the opposite. It gives me more questions.

It gives me better questions.

I can help

Looking to be a better leader? Contemplating a career change? Struggling with a big life question? Want to write or publish a book? Thinking about retirement?

I can help. Hit me up for a free coaching session now.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *