From International Coach Federation comes this list of Coaching Competencies. Today, in fact, we have two groups of people who call themselves Wealth Coaches.
- Trained as Life Coaches and work with clients around the meaning of money in their lives. Conversation may involve philanthropy and legacies.
- Trained as estate planners or financial planners who elicit vision, then transition into complex plans to achieve the client's goals. Conversation may involve philanthropy and legacies.
Few Life Coaches are cross trained in the financial disciplines. Few financial people are cross trained in the competencies linked above.
I sometimes say that philanthropic consulting is the unlicensed practice of the liberal arts. Perhaps that is to say that some element of philanthropic consulting is "coaching" in the spirit of the listed competencies. What education is most conducive to that result? I have not yet been trained as a Life Coach, so I tend to draw my model for a "maeutic" or coaching interview from philosophy and literature - from the open ended but purposeful conversation about vision, meaning, aspiration, in the light of personal history, religious, political and ethical traditions, and needs of the communities in which a client participates. As the poet Delmore Schwartz wrote, "In dreams begin responsibilities." Having elicited the aspirations, as well as the needs and priorities, it is then the responsibility of the client and advisors to find and effect efficient means to those ends. Again, several of the comptencies linked above are impportant. So, perhaps the open questions are these: Is the coaching discipline the best way to instill these liberal arts skills in advisors and consultants? Is coaching training better than a liberal arts education? Does it presuppose a background in the liberal arts? Is it a shortcut, so that those without such education, can get to the same place, quicker? Or, is it maybe not as good, but more readily available to adults, whose college years are behind them? Putting it another way around: How can we best teach these skills, that of open ended, thematic, colloquy issuing in purposeful action?
I know one excellent inspired legacy wealth coach who has no coaching credential but has an excellent BA in Mythology. Is she "grandfathered in'? ("Grandmothered"?) She is in any case a leader in our field, my leader too. "I am no fool," she has said, and I agree. Foolishness is not taught in any school for Wealth Coaches other than in the Open Air Tutorials we conduct here around the Dumpster. And we have few takers. This Wealth Coaching is a serious business.