Who prefers failure more than success? Unfortunately, we all do make mistakes, and some lead to a wreck. We pick the wrong answers, the wrong methods, the wrong paths, and the wrong people. Therefore, we have some words of caution.
The Rise of Coaching
Coaches are meant to help people apply principles and methods of success to their lives. They address a crucial need.
Management consultants like Peter Drucker and some researchers like Abraham Maslow studied workers and leadership. This spurred the discipline of Organizational Psychology which in turn helped develop Executive Coaching. Meanwhile, research about individual success slowly grew from the efforts of Napoleon Hill and Abraham Maslow. Based upon the early 20th Century self-help books and training programs by Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, and Norman Vincent Peale, many people who claim to foster success have multiplied as motivational speakers, life coaches, career coaches, academic coaches, and performance coaches. Some are quite effective, but most coaches have drawbacks.
"Coaching is a practice in search of a backbone, two backbones, actually: a scientific, evidence-based backbone and a theoretical backbone. I believe that the new discipline of positive psychology provides both those backbones." Psychology Professor Martin Seligman of The University of Pennsylvania, Flourish
The Possible Fall of Coaching
There is great potential for businesses and societies through coaching if coaching is at least competent. Unfortunately, instead of taking the time to learn things systematically, too many people rely upon short cuts and opinions. This is a central problem that Socrates realized about expertise, education, and success in ancient Athens about 2,500 years ago. If coaches allow this to happen, both coaches and clients will fail. If too many coaches fail, people will become cynical, and the field will collapse. Why would anyone sail an ocean or climb a mountain without people who have true expertise? The entire profession of coaching must address this problem thoroughly and quickly with long-lasting solutions.
Short Cuts and Opinions Success requires the ability to cope and bounce back from stress and stressful situations at work. While many coaches may have some great ideas and tips, the vast majority of coaches and motivational speakers have no background in science and research. As a result, they rarely understand neuroscience, they often lack a systematic understanding of psychology, and they typically assume that their ideas are correct and work. However, limited knowledge translates into few facts or few facts plus a lot of unsubstantiated opinions. Those problems limit the efficacy of coaching and can lead to failure.
Lack of Business Background Another drawback is that new coaches who do have clinical psychology backgrounds often have no business background. Therefore, they may know much more about certain types of motivation, but they often lack a meaningful understanding of a client's occupational situation and workplace. Then there are many psychotherapists who have no science background whatsoever. They have a very mixed and unsubstantial foundation of opinion that one cannot build success upon.
Biased Business Background Many people with a corporate background are given mistaken and narrow conceptions of coaching because they have worked at a corporation where the concept of "coaching" was supposedly encountered in scenarios like these: 1. Coaching and mentoring may be confused with each other. 2. Coaching might only be a "skills gap analysis." 3. Coaching is just another word thrown around in the office. 4. Their "coach" may have been a one-time motivational speaker who didn't talk to them. 5. Their "coach" may have been be a consultant whom someone sees just one time. 6. Their "coach" may have been someone's boss who has no understanding of coaching. 7. Their "coach" may have been a computer program.
Can Coaching Be Salvaged? The contrast between success and failure is quite stark. Ethically, a coach must not coach clients toward failure. Someone who only uses opinion instead of good constructive facts causes does not help people optimally to success. How can anyone develop coaches who will truly become experts of success instead of pseudoexperts who cause failure?
"Positive psychology can provide coaching with a delimited scope of practice, with interventions and measurements that work, and with a view of adequate qualifications to be a coach... Coaching with these evidence-based interventions and psychometrically established measures will help set the boundaries of responsible coaching practice." Psychology Professor Martin Seligman of The University of Pennsylvania, Flourish
The ECRIT Solution
Constructive Development of Coaches ECRIT desires to spread more global success instead of seeing failure and misery spread in the name of success. Therefore, ECRIT shares Martin Seligman's perspective that properly educated and trained coaches can provide a great service toward success and well-being around the world. We endeavor to help create the best possible coaches.
Our Method ECRIT attempts to carefully apply the latest research information from neuroscience and psychology. However, there are important old and new paradigms that are also useful. Therefore, ECRIT shares current effective business perspectives in addition to the ancient perspectives by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Interestingly, those Greek philosophers taught that success and well-being must be both taught as classes and trained individually by specialized experts of success.
Training Other Experts ECRIT trains prospective coaches and is involved with creating standards for coaching.