Who is Tinkering with your Porsche

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Would you let a backyard mechanic loose on your prized Porsche car if you owned one? When I ask this question I always get answered with “Of course not!!”

When I ask the same person would they think of their mind as being as least as valuable as a Porsche they always answer “Yes” as well. This then leads to an interesting discussion.

When I next ask them if they could then justify allowing themselves to place their minds in the hands of untrained persons to coach their mindset and personal and interpersonal dynamics they state “no”. They are then are gobsmacked when they find out they have often been doing exactly that for some time!!

It is not uncommon for many professional business owners to have been unconscious to the choices they make in this critical area of their business and personal life when they select a business, executive or life coach. Reasonable people expect others to behave reasonably.

What is often not known is that coaching and counselling in all their forms are both largely unregulated industries. There are no proper laws, standards or regulations in place which prevent any person put ting up a shingle and calling themselves a coach or a counsellor.

What is worse is there are also no sanctions against that same person then proceeding to practice some form of mind intervention on clients.It is commonplace for business and life coaches to work with people’s minds in the course or methodology of their coaching practice.

Most business coaches have no formal training or experience to practice mind interventions apart from maybe having attended some self help or modality course, or have read several of the various transformation or self help books on the market. This is not enough to protect the client who allows themselves to be opened up emotionally by mind-interventions practiced within some of these traditions.

This is dangerous as any mental health worker will tell you that it takes a good 5 years of education, training, supervision and clinical practice to become competent. Letting members of the public who are in transition in their life and therefore vulnerable, or who are stressed through a non-performing business or career, into the hands of untrained coaches is unprofessional and can traumatise the client in the process.

I recently had 3 persons each contact me after a weekend “transformation” course around time, money, mindset and team frameworks. All three had something triggered in them over that weekend. The facilitators could not help them in their trauma and let them leave the course unfit to drive home or function at work the next day.

The course had used both a timeline regression technique and visualisation to “reframe” the past for the clients so they could move forward with a new one. Each of the 3 clients went into trauma and as some past memories were reactivated and they became re-traumatised by the recollections.

The course was unsafe for those 3 individuals as the facilitators could not diagnose the unfolding breakdown in the affected clients. The facilitators did not know how to intervene and repair or contain the trauma of the attendees.

The 3 affected individuals were unsafely left on their own to deal with the problem, and unwisely left alone to drive and make their way home. There was no follow-up contact by the coaches who ran the course.

My advice to coaching clients is to challenge anyone who would work with your mind by asking:

• What formal training do they have in the mental health field and is it at Registered Training Organisation(RTO), TAFE or University level accreditation?
• How many years clinical experience do they have in working with clients at the level of mental transformation?
• Are they a member of any professional bodies to do with mental health such as CAPA, AICM, AICT, or some other professional body?
• Do they have a Supervisor who reflects and reviews with their interventions with clients?
• What ongoing professional development are they doing in the area of mental or emotional health(this does not mean reading websites or books).

My advice to coaching clients is to also check with anyone who would coach you to understand if they:

• Have ever owned their own business. What sort for how long and for what outcomes?
• What prior corporate experience does the person have or prior work experience and roles in business?
• What industries have they worked in or had experience in?
• Have they ever turned around a failed business into profit?
• Have they owned or worked in a franchise based business?
• Have they owned or worked in a retail based business?
• Are they predominately product or service based in their experience?
• Have they been involved in bricks and mortar businesses or just digital businesses?
• What formal coaching and business qualifications does the coach additionally possess?
• Do they have either a criminal conviction, fraud or bankruptcy in their past?

Just think of your mind as a Porsche and treat it accordingly. It is one of the few possessions you have that will be with you till you die, and which is the basis for all happiness in this life. Guard it with your life!!

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