Rick is a design engineer at a Fortune 500 firm who is ready to take his career to the next level. A friend of his has advised him to seek coaching and, lo and behold, he has found your new coaching business. His first question for you is, “You’re not a design engineer. Can you still coach me?” Your first answer for Rick is, “Yes, I can.”
Coaches don’t have to be experts in the fields their clients work in to be a great coach to those clients. If they want analysis, recommendations, and advice in their field of expertise that focuses on their business, they may want to consider hiring a consultant since that’s what they do. What you do is focus on the client. You can stimulate your client to make their own judgments and decisions.
What you bring to the coaching scenario isn’t a vast knowledge of every professional industry but the active listening, understanding, insightful questions, and ability to summarize what has been said in such a way that the client can look at their own situation, reach their own conclusions about what to do and then takes actual steps toward their new goal. You, Coach, help them get from where they are to where they want to be. You help the client articulate what is occurring, see the client’s best and speak to their strengths, help keep their vision alive, challenge, and bring some accountability to the goals they’ve set, and not give advice or direction.
Newer coaches can experience self-doubt as they begin their coaching careers. They’ve completed their certification, they’ve begun to seek out and accept coaching clients, and they may be facing the question, “Can I coach those in a profession other that the one I have credentials in?” Yes, you can. In this scenario, you may not be a Fortune 500 design engineer, but you are a professional Certified Christian Life Coach and you know people.
Where does Rick feel he is now? Where does he want to be? What does he think would need to happen to get there? Is he willing to do those things? Does he have any fears about that potential future? What might be some obstacles that he can foresee and whom might he know with whom he could network to overcome those obstacles? Are there other life desires or goals that might be in conflict with work goals? These are among the innumerable questions great questions can bring to Rick without any knowledge of his industry. Can you coach across industries? Yes, you can!