I have just returned from a seminar, which was an introduction to a life changing coaching programme. I knew going to the seminar that there would be a huge sales pitch, but the seminar was free so I'm ok with that. I often think these things are style over substance and thought it would be a great place to learn some presentation skills.
Motivational song ( Tonight's gonna be a good nigh) Tick
Being asked to put your hand up far too many times Tick
More cheesey music ( Firework) Tick
Motivational speaker run Tick
Filling time with obvious questions Tick
Sales Pitch tick
Rhythmic chanting Tick
Eyes closed exercise Tick
Stretching exercise Tick
Loud cheer Tick
The seminar was about 2 and a half hours long.
The intro was the usual guff about valuing your time and loving your family however the phrase 'before I get to the content' was said 53 minutes into the presentation. Think about that. That's an admission that there has been little content for the first 53 minutes.
There was an exercise where you stretch then visualise and then hey presto you can stretch a bit further. However anyone who knows anything about muscles will know that the 2nd time you do the stretch ( if straight after) you will stretch further. So what's the visualisation for? Oh right yeah that's to show you can go the extra mile.
Whilst I don't mind these type of things in business or life coaching settings, it really worries me when these people start to work with vulnerable adults. The speaker told us how he had an operation on his ear ( note ear, singular) and was told he would not hear again. However he had a positive mind set and now he can hear. Appealing right? However further into the presentation the guy admitted that he could not hear that well. Mmmm Maybe just maybe he has very reduced hearing in that ear and still has use of the other and so actually what the doctors said was true?
There was the reduced price for the programme, however most of the room, even though they follow this author and use his books couldn't afford the seminar, even at really reduced rates. It's so easy to say we're blocked or not using the stuff. Probably more appealing that it's not actually properly researched work.
The woman next to me talked at me for a while, telling me that randomised control trials are not all that and she knows and because has been in one. The placebo effect is 30%, worth remembering when you go off what you think you've experience. If you don't question, you will have come out of there believing that visualisation makes you stretch further.
I trained for many years to do what I do. I am a regulated professional and have to do regular CPD. However many of these life coaches have little training, ( often days) and crucially have no regulatory body. Do they know that if someone stops taking anti-depressants suddenly they can become a suicide risk? do they know that if an alcoholic stops drinking suddenly they can have seizures? Do they know how to assess a suicide risk? Do they know what to do? do they understand the Mental Capacity Act? These are all vital when working with someone who is a vulnerable adult.
If you want to work with a Psychologist check they are Chartered with the British Psychological Society. Remember Psychologist is not a protected title, so all sorts of people who went to the University of Life can legally call themselves one.
You also need to check they are registered with the Health Care Professions Council.
If you want to check out what I do go to www.workinmind.co.uk
And Breath !!