Before you invest the money, time and effort to become a certified life coach, it makes a lot of sense to understand what that really is, why you would want to be one, and how to go about getting there. That is just what we are going to explore in this blog post.
Just What Is a Life Coach?
A well trained life coach is like a doctor as they emerge from their internship. They have a broad knowledge which addresses most of the medical needs of their patients. They can help a lot of different people with different problems because all their patients fundamentally share the same biological systems. And no matter how a doctor may eventually specialize, they never leave behind this fundamental knowledge. So to, life coaching is the basis for all coaching, and is an excellent place from which to build your coaching career. The coach my eventually specialize in business coaching, high performance coaching, relationship coaching, just to name a few, but it all comes back to coaching the life and humanity of their clients.
Why Become a Certified Life Coach?
The previous paragraph gives some pretty good reasons for becoming a life coach, but why become a certified life coach? Going back to our medical analogy, you certainly would want to become a “certified doctor” by getting your license. In fact, it is illegal to practice medicine as a doctor, if you have not both qualified to and formally became licensed. This is because the proper practice of medicine is a matter of life and death. The science and art of medicine are very old and well understood. The process of training to become a qualified doctor is well established and highly regulated. This is all true for the practice of medicine, but not for the practice of coaching. This means that simply being certified does not really prove anything, nor does not being qualified. There are a lot of poor coaches who are certified and a lot of great coaches who are not, so we have to look beyond a piece of paper that says if you are certified or not.
What to Look for in a Great Life Coaching Program
To become a certified life coach is really secondary to deciding that you want to be a coach, and start by learning to be a life coach. What you really want to do is identify a great program, and work very hard to learn as much as you can and master the practice of coaching through that program. Here is the simple criteria that I use in selecting a program. First, are the teachings of the program comprehensive and science-based? Truly effective coaching is based on a broad knowledge of human behavior and it is based on a lot of hard science. If you want to provide really lasting help to a lot of people with a broad range of issues, you cannot be a one trick pony, and you cannot rely on feel-good pep talks. Second, the program must include a ton of mentored coaching. Like medicine, you cannot learn to be an effective coach from a book or from a series of videos. You need to do a lot of coaching and get a lot of coaching all in a structured environment, so you can develop very refined coaching skills. And third, the coaching program should have a clear track record of success for its graduates and their clients. Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of each of these three points. After all, who wants to put in all that money, time and effort only to end up being a life coaching quack?
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach