Navigation Tools for the Heart, Mind and Soul
ABOUT PEER COACHING
We provide a unique and different approach to coaching. Most people who are interested in coach training probably are interested in what is offered by the standard coach training organization and in another section of our web site we have identified what is available from those organizations. In the following paragraphs we detail what we share with other coach training organizations and what makes our approach to coaching and coach training different than other organizations.
Coaching is typically a one-to-one relationship with a professional coach who helps you clarify and articulate what you want most from life and how best to achieve it. Coaching helps you create the results you want in life, work, relationships, and spiritual growthin spite of the obstacles you encounter.
Coaching helps you approach life, not as a series of problems to be solved, but as opportunities to create what you truly want. Living life from a creative stance enables you to produce results with less effort, less stress, and much more enjoyment. And results are easier to sustain over time. Virtually any results!
"Coaching is like having a personal trainer for your soul."
If you are doing well in life but recognize that you could do better, coaching may be beneficial. Coaching helps you transcend self-imposed limits and bring out the highest and best in yourself. Coaching is particularly helpful if you have an overly complex life, work too much and play too little, want to change careers, start your own business or enhance an existing one, or want to downshift to a simpler, more healthful way of life.
For many people coaching is a natural activity. Almost everyone exhibits coaching potential. In virtually all social networks, there are natural coachespeople who provide listening, support, and wisdom.
Coaching is not a substitute for therapy. It is not for people with serious emotional problems. It is about creating results, not dealing with crises. And while coaching focuses on the present and the future, it can assist to change perspectives or attitudes resulting from troublesome past experience.
The key to continued success in life and work is not just motivation, it is momentumthe ability to produce results even when motivation fails. Regular coaching sessions can help you sustain action through tough times, learn from setbacks, and discover your inner resources and strengths as you persist toward your highest goals.
Peer coaching is a more unique form of coaching. A peer coach is typically a colleague, co-worker, or friend who participates in what might be called reciprocal coaching: you take some time to coach me; then I will take some time to coach you. Unlike executive coaching or other forms of professional coaching, peer coaching takes place between people who expect to coach each other. Peer coaches, therefore, normally share similar professional or job responsibilities. They use exactly the same skills used by business and personal coaches, but they often do not charge for their services, although an exchange of compensation may take place.
WHY TAKE COACH TRAINING?
Coaching is an activity that has a long history. However, in the last few years it has taken on the form of a discipline. You may be involved in peer coaching and not even realize it. With increased media attention to coaching, you may now realize you are not working alone; there are other coaches you can consult with about coaching; and you have many opportunities to learn more about coaching.
If you are like others who take our workshops, you are already involved in coaching, but not necessarily a formal coaching relationship. Most likely you have received feedback from friends, co-workers, or family about how helpful you have been in assisting that person achieve a goal, solve a problem, or make an important decision. You could be one of many natural coaches whose own career or life direction did not include coaching. Given this potential as a personal coach, you may want to find ways to enhance your coaching skills, strengthen the coaching aspects of your career, or possibly choose coaching as a way to earn a living. Our workshops can help you to affirm your choice.
Workshop Participants Receive:
Personal follow-up coaching
Toll-free telephone support
Referral service opportunities
Membership in the Peer Network
Subscriptions to publications
Access to our award-winning website
Like others who take our workshops, you may be a helping professional with limited experience in coaching. You may want to improve the results of your work with clients. You may want to learn how to build on existing skills to increase options for clients, or you may want to offer a new service to different clients. You may, for example, want to distinguish psychotherapy from coaching; you may want to network with other coaches and learn how coaching is used in different contexts; and you may want to use our workshop to compare coaching with other helping interventions.
Our courses are primarily offered on a workshop or seminar basis. Some of our advanced courses are offered on a self-directed, expert-supervised project basis. We also provide support to our participants through e-mail and telephone
HOW WE BECAME INVOLVED IN COACHING
In 1985 Peer Resources incorporated to establish a Canada-wide network of peer coaches and trainers. We wanted to build on natural skills and to increase the likelihood that everyone would have access to a peer coach. We believe that a key source of psychological and spiritual growth, and personal well-being lies within our social, personal and career network. All too often, however, in present day society, individuals are involved in activities or circumstances that decrease access to their natural community of peer coaches.
Our mission today is to support the development of a variety of coaches and coaching resources while at the same time working to prevent the factors or conditions that interfere with natural coaching.
One of the strategies we have implemented to accomplish our mission is the creation of a training program for coaches. Typically, individuals take our courses to achieve one or both of two objectives: to strengthen their existing or natural coaching abilities; or to become certified as trainers for other coaches.
We are service-oriented
We are learning-centered
We are action-based
We are spiritually-focused
We are officially recognized by the Government of Canada as an educational institution, and we are legally incorporated at both the federal and provincial levels. We are also known globally as leaders in training and resources for peer assistance and mentoring.
In addition to our workshops, we act as a clearinghouse for relevant literature, respond to the service needs of practitioners, and create and distribute resources to enhance standards and practices.
Our award-winning website is continuously updated and has been described as the most comprehensive resource available on the internet for peer, coach, and mentor information.
PARTICIPANT SUPPORT SERVICES
We offer a number of services to our course participants and others who are interested in coaching. This section describes our services as well as some key issues associated with coaching.
We do not certify coaches. We believe it is premature and possibly mis-leading to certify coaches. How come? There are several reasons. Coaching is not a distinct profession. It shares common bonds with other helping professions, yet many practitioners and coaching schools ignore these connections or origins. Coaching association advocates have been unable to make a compelling case to distinguish or separate coaching from o
ther activities such as leadership, counselling, psychotherapy, superivision, or managing. Instead they use outdated visions of these activities to deny their appropriateness in certification applications.
Certification appears to be a carrot used by some schools to keep participants lined-up for their courses. While each of these individual courses may provide value and be experienced as worthwhile by the participants, the organization typically does not acknowledge or recognize the prior learning or skills of the participants. This makes it almost impossible for coaches to gain recognition for relevant earlier work and it adds considerably to the cost of professional development.
When you examine the credentials of the top coaches, few have paid any attention to certification. Instead most attend to what a person can achieve or do. When we first began offering coaching courses, most of the participants were experienced in other helping professions and the majority held degrees or licenses in those areas. For the most part they already had established practices. In recent years it seems that most people interested in certification do not hold degrees or registrations in other professions; they view certification as a way to validate their skills and gain access to a market of potential clients. To some, then, certification is perceived as a marketing tool, not a validation of accomplishment.
Certification based on hours of experience may be a way to underscore the importance of experience, but hour-based approaches are at best arbitrary and at worst misleading the public. Why choose a particular number of hours? Is a coach with 250 hours of experience really less able than a coach with 500 hours of experience? It might be logical to say, "yes," but the there is too little evidence that such hour designations are equivalent to capability. In reality the use of hours to determine certification is probably based on the outdate university system of awarding a degree after completion of a certain number of units or courses. Certification based on demonstrated and verified competencies is a more appropriate model for coaching.
There is a competency-based system for coach trainers, however. We participate in a national certification system for coach trainers. Trainer certification has three levels and is competency-based (as compared to strictly hours-based). The time it takes for a person to demonstrate the competencies varies considerably. If you are interested in certification, we can discuss the options provided by other coaching schools and the International Coach Federation.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recongition
Our courses are one component of a three part learning system we provide for our participants. The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition service provides an opportunity for participants to discuss their previous experiences with our course coaches. This system is particularly helpful for persons interested in certification and wanting to know which courses would be most relevant to their needs.
Anyone wishing to pursue national coach trainer certification is advised to participate in this review. While the review is primarily discussion-based, it is expected that the participant will construct a professional portfolio which will provide details (including self-review and assessment) documenting past and current work. The ingredients of this portfolio will be included as part of the discussion. (The is a fee associated with this service.)
Goal Attainment Scale
In addition, participants have an opportunity to identify their learning goals through the creation of a personalized Goal Attainment Scale and determine procedures to achieve their goals. We recommend that each participant taking a Peer Resources course for the first time, involve themselves in a goal discussion with a learning coach. Typically the learning coach helps a participant identify and articulate learning goals, brainstorm a range of desired outcomes, prepare strategies to achieve the goals, and visualize personal measures of progress. One of the products of this interaction is a chart listing these details which can be used as a coaching tool.
Both of these pre-course activities are designed to ensure a seamless match between what we have to offer and what participants hope to achieve. We are familiar with the courses and certification systems available through other coaching schools or associations and we assist our participants in exploring these options as a way to meet their goals. (There is a fee for both of these services.)
The third component of our learning system is comprised of post-session follow-up which includes course assessment and on-going support for each participant to assist them to implement their goals. Participants receive e-mail newsletters, toll-free coaching, and print materials for a period of one-year following their involvement in any of our courses. After this period, participants are free to choose whether they want to continue such services on a fee basis by renewing their membership in the Peer Resources Network.
1052 Davie Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8S 4E3
Last updated April, 2009