When does a coach become a coach?

I’ve just received my Academy of Coaching Excellence Practitioner course certificate. This means I’ve successfully completed a stringent training course accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and International Coach Federation (ICF).

I’m a certified coach! Hooray!

Does that make me a coach? Or does that happen when I join a professional coaching body? Or after I’ve coached 100 hours? Or 1000 hours? Or a year ago, when I said I want to become a coach?

When you think about it, when do you become a carpenter? When do you become a Sales Manager? When do you become a Social Media Expert?

The brain simplifies the world around us

Our brain has a strong tendency to categorise people. After all, there are over 7 billion of us these days, it’s not surprising that the brain needs to reduce the order of magnitude!

This tendency, or skill, is a key factor in our evolutionary success. From an overdeveloped ape somewhere in the higher half of the food chain we have managed to become lords of the planet by joining together into ever larger societies. In order to do that our brains had to adapt to be able to cope.

And we still do it. We even use it consciously in marketing.

Pigeonholes alias prejudice

What do you think of Audi drivers? (arrogant, impatient?)

What’s that guy with the beer belly like? (fun, relaxed?)

Who’s that lady in a short skirt and high heels? (lady of the night?)

See that cross on that necklace? (good person?)

When we can immediately pigeonhole someone we see without long considerations then we save ourselves time, energy and stress. The idea of a considerate Audi driver, a short-tempered beer drinker, a nurse going out with some friends or an immoral Christian would create dissonance in our brains and divert capacity and energy from more important things.

So, yes, it’s absolutely OK to categorise me as coach. After all I have a certificate to prove it! 🙂

Let me know what you think!