If you are in any normal pursuit, you probably read a book, or take a course but how do you learn to coach? Maybe you check out some journal articles, should you have access to materials at a university. Possibly, what you want to learn is on the Internet, so you trawl through expert websites to get up to speed. In a few rare cases, maybe you are lucky enough to have access to a topic expert and you ask them for information.
Now… how do you learn to coach?
This is a question that is fascinating since coaches need to figure out the best ways to impart their knowledge to clients for them to use. How coaches learn is an unbelievably important thing for people who want to change their lives for the better.
Unlike other modern profession in the world, life coaching is really an apprenticeship. Instead of learning via reading or attending lectures, the vast majority of knowledge comes via observing and doing. While learning about all the theories helps, the practical element is also very important.
Before we carry on, let’s break this article down further – what do coaches actually do?
Design training sessions to impart knowledge to their clients.
Once you have done this, you need to teach that to your clients through training.
These elements are huge. As a life coach, you need to teach and communicate your ideas in a clear and effective manner. And the topics covered are potentially vast and hugely different which may include different coaching techniques, phases of life, and dynamic situation analysis of your clients and the issues they have.
Life or business is complicated. That’s one of the things that makes coaching so captivating.
So much of what a life coach actually does in training is correcting things that are not quite right, or teaching clients about the options they had available. A teachable moment occurs, the life coach stops training, rewinds to what clients want to discuss, and then corrects actions to how clients want it done in the future.
So now we know what coaches do – the next step is learning how to do it. In order to teach the material to clients at an elite level, you have to master the material yourself.
Where does that mastery come from and how do you learn to coach?
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Playing the game.
It’s possible you picked up some life coaching skills naturally when your brain and body were busy coaching.
Learning from other coaches you acquired life coaching skills from.
These coaches can mentor you and be your role models for the real world.
Life coaching courses.
In many cases, you are required to go through trainings to be a life coach, so enrolling in a course or two can be useful.
The Internet provides quite a mixed bag of material. While some resources can be truly useful for a life coach, others might not be comprehensive.
Watching other life coaches coach?
How do you learn coaching from other life coaches? You can watch videos posted by them and see how they conduct their coaching sessions.
Without belaboring the point too much, coaching is both a knowledge-based profession and a practical apprenticeship. It’s not just book learning we are talking about but learning the material well enough to communicate it to other people. It’s seeing the situations in coaching sessions and then correcting them in a way that the client can understand and that makes them better for the future. And it’s reviewing training and outcomes to figure out what is missing, so you can implement and adapt future training sessions to address that.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community