So why should I bother having one for myself?
Maybe you’ve asked yourself this as you’ve come across the work I get to do. Voice people tend to think they have an understanding of what a “coach” is, even if they identify as a “teacher”. I think this question needs to be asked again and again. What is a coach?
You may already know how firmly I believe that every coach needs a coach and every teacher needs a teacher.
Coaching is Additive Learning.
It’s working with current and prior knowledge.
It’s pulling out and adding to who someone already is, not tearing people down and rebuilding them. This is coaching, no matter that subjects being coached.
Sometimes people see coaching as “fixing problems” – fix the high notes. The breathing. The tone quality. The mindset. The revenue steams. Fix.
Coaching is not supposed to be (or designed to be) consulting or counseling or therapy.
Coaching is a grand adventure into discovering more about you, so you can move from “being” into “doing”.
Being a “voice coach” does not exempt us from being curious and invitational. It doesn’t release us from using coaching skills in addition to vocal knowledge.
Sure, we can give our students and clients information. It’s important to realize that this is more consulting. NOT coaching.
Ultimately, our job is to lead folks into the best version of themselves, for themselves… not to tell folks who to be, but to help them dig out who they already are.
It’s not just instruction or deciding or “should”ing all over people. It’s truth-telling and passenger-seat navigation.
I’ve taken more coaching pieces of training than I can count. Read a lot of books.
And today, it occured to me, one of the reasons our field can sometimes be toxic.
Voice Teachers, at our core, tend to internally define ourselves as coaches and teachers – but we behave as consultants. And because of this, there is a whole bunch of BS that gets slapped onto the teacher/student experience that:
- Is out of alignment with expectations.
- Assumes that information is either right or wrong.
- Creates confusion about the desired outcomes of the process.
We say that teachers need more pedagogy – knowing how to teach – and this is true.
What teachers also need is training on how to coach.
And training on how to, with consent, coach and/or consult, and when it’s appropriate for each modality.
It would behoove us to recognize the roles of a coach, consultant, and teacher, and develop the skills for all.
Have you trained to be a coach? What have you done to add this modality to your business?