How To Become A Life Coach
You can read some good and the not so good advice on how to become a life coach and market yourself. Here's my take on what to do and not to do and the best paths to take for credibility and success.
Let's take a look at the why's and wherefore's of:
- Just announcing you are a Life Coach!
- Getting some specific training
- Engaging a qualified Mentor
Since first writing this page, I've been involved in some very "hot" conversations on social networking coaching groups.
The counter-opinion to mine has been that there are many definitions of coaching and all are valid.
My stance, and the stance of most properly trained coaching professionals, is that there needs to be the same specific criteria, qualifications and standards for what coaching actually is, as there are for psychology, counseling and other helping professions.
Otherwise as a profession it will never get or retain the respect it deserves.
So, having got that off my chest, let's look at some of the paths that are available.
- Just call yourself a Life Coach:
Or a business or executive coach for that matter:
Yes a lot of people do this and because coaching (as yet) is not a registered, licensed profession such as psychology, there is nothing to stop you just getting some fancy business cards printed, hanging out your shingle and setting up shop.
Also some people feel that Life Coaching is so similar to their current profession that they can simply tag on the title and learn the distinctions along the way.
However, this is rarely true and definitely not how to become a credible life, career or employee coach! You are going to get sick of hearing this, and not just from me, that even though related to these professions, life coaching is distinctly different. The coaching process has different purposes, and requires different skills and perspectives than any other personal development discipline.
So even if you are already a skilled healing professional, do please take the time to learn
What is a Life Coach
as distinct from other helping professions.
- Get Some Coach Specific Training:
The best way to become an authentic coach with professional integrity is to enroll in some training.
There are literally hundreds of schools, universities and colleges that train people how to become a Life, business and executive coaches. It’s big business and like any industry there are the good and bad and indifferent
Life Coaching schools
The variety in syllabuses and fees charged is huge from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars and price may not always be an indication of scope and quality.
You can pay as little as under $200 for a home study course on how to become a life coach to over many thousands of dollars for a truly comprehensive program lasting two or more years.
On these longer courses, you are often encouraged to start life coaching pro bono, or at a reduced fee, as part of the syllabus which is a great idea as it gives you actual coaching experience to learn and build on.
Distance Coach Training:
If you are looking to coaching in India or China or one of the other countries or regions where coaching is comparatively new, you may have difficulty in finding an accredited local coaching school.
However, many excellent and independently accredited coaching courses are now offered via distance learning, that is by telephone conference class.
The quality of a particular training is often difficult to discern and can make the selection process overwhelming.
I recommend that you thoroughly research training options and use the questions in my
coach certification programs checklist,
before you enroll.
If you have a lot of similar experience to coaching, you may only need a short add-on course to give you the distinctions you need. But if you are a novice in the field then I would recommend one of the more comprehensive courses accredited by an independent Life Coaching Association.
- Hire your own Mentor, usually in conjunction with coach training:
One of the most important elements of how to become life coach is to have your own coach. If you haven’t already had coaching, then consider this as one of your first steps.
Through the process of being coached on how to become a life coach and whatever other issues you may have, you will really experience what good coaching is all about and how fantastic it can be.
A Mentor Coach is an experienced coach who, in addition to handling other issues, specializes in helping aspiring and new coaches become coaches and operate successfully. Some coaching schools include a free or low cost Mentor as part of the training which is a real benefit.
Find more information on
Coach Mentoring and Supervision.
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