There are plenty of life coaching courses out there – googling “life coach course” brought back 162,000,000 results! The question is “Can any of these courses actually equip you to be an effective and successful life coach?” Obviously, with a lot effort, some can but many cannot. Here are some guidelines for selecting life coaching courses.
Certification Means Nothing
Today, there are no established standards for coaching and coaching courses. So by itself, giving a certification at the completion of a coaching course means nothing. You need to take a very close look at the course and the organization giving the course. Look for a record of success, not just for the school, but more importantly for the graduates and their clients. Ask for references. Call the references. Ask tough questions. And read between the lines.
You Cannot Learn to Coach without a Lot of Coaching
Keep in mind that coaching is a craft, not just a body of knowledge. You cannot become a coach by reading a book, or watching hours of video. You have to coach and be coached in a controlled setting. That means that a life coach course must teach a coaching structure that brings solid, consistent results. You should coach based on a that structure and be observed by another coach who gives feedback on your coaching. This can easily be done over the telephone, particularly if the calls are recorded so you can review them along with the feedback. This must be a major component of any effective life coach course.
How to Benefit from a Weak Life Coach Course
So what about all the coaching courses out there that don’t provide comprehensive, hand-on training? Can you benefit from them? The answer is “Yes.” Think of these courses as outside reading you might do to supplement a college curriculum. If you buy an online video coaching course, go through it for a gem or two, and be happy with that. Expand your practice with a skill. Remember an idea that you learned in your comprehensive training that you have not thought about in a while. Just don’t expect a life coach course like this to turn you into an effective and successful life coach.
JTS Advisors Strategy and Accountability Coach