How to find the right life coach certification
If you’re considering becoming a life coach, one of the first steps you’ll need to take is finding the right life coaching certification program for you. There are so many options available which can make the search really overwhelming and might even stop you from starting at all.
Before you even start looking for a certification program, you need to think about what you want to achieve as a life coach, what kind of life coaching you want to do and even have a little understanding of the kind of person you want to coach.
As I mentioned, there are an endless supply of learning options when it comes to coaching certifications and each one will have a unique way of teaching and a unique focus. Some will focus on life coaching, some business coaching, some mindset coaching, some manifestation coaching. Knowing your goals and objectives will help you find a program that will help you achieve those outcomes.
You also want to think about what you want to learn academically. Some certifications focus on techniques (or hard skills), for example NLP, hypnosis, etc, with little or no training in professional coaching skills (soft skills) like contracting, listening, powerful questioning, etc. I would say that these are significantly more important than the coaching ‘techniques’ you’ll learn because you’ll be using them much more frequently than any techniques.
The Created Coach Method teaches both! You’ll learn the professional coaching skills that are ESSENTIAL to a successful coaching relationship as well as the techniques that will help you dive deep with your clients to create long lasting change from within.
Although I offer a life coach certification program (The Created Coach Method), I am still going to encourage you to research other coaching programs. I do think CCM is the best option and you won’t find anything else that contains the breadth of information and support that we have, but maybe it’s not what you’re looking for, and that’s OK. It’s important that you choose the program that includes everything you’re looking for.
Not only is there a ton of variety in what’s actually taught in a certification but there’s also a lot of variety in how the program is delivered. Some are online, some in person and some are a mix. Some are self-paced so you can learn when you’re available and some require you to be present at specific times, whether in person or online, to learn synchronously.
There’s also a HUUUUGGGEEEE variation in tuition fees. You have to do your due diligence here to find out which program teaches what you want to learn and which one fits into your budget. Higher price does not necessarily mean better experience or more legit. Make sure you’re comfortable with the price tag and that you don’t overextend yourself. There’s a lot of talk in the coaching industry about making ‘quantum leaps’ by spending a lot of money, but I can tell you from experience that’s a load of codswallop. Do what feels right for YOU.
Learning how to be a successful and effective coach is about more than just learning things through a video or a zoom call. Developing any skill takes practice and this applies to coaching. My very first coach certification had very minimal hands-on practice. We sat in a room, watched a technique, practiced once and that was it. There was basically no feedback so we didn’t know what we did well or what could be improved. Unfortunately this is really common in coaching certifications. A lot of students are graduating as certified coaches with very little practical experience and very little supervision.
In addition to theoretical coursework, it’s important to look for a certification program that offers experiential learning opportunities like coaching practice sessions, technique practice sessions, case studies of live sessions, role plays and observations of real coaching sessions. These experiences will give you the chance to apply what you’ve learned in a practical setting and gain valuable experience.
You might be asking yourself “Is it possible to get hands-on practice if the course is online?” and the answer is YES! Most of your clients will be online so getting practice online is the best way to do it.
A good life coaching certification program should provide ongoing support and resources that help you develop your coaching skills, ask questions and network with other coaches. In The Created Coach Method we have regular group calls that both current students and graduated students can attend. All students (current and graduate) can access all of the online material, group calls, 24/7 coaching and everything else that’s offered in the certification for life. For as long as the certification exists, you have access!
One of the biggest things that sets CCM apart from all other coach certifications is the ability for every single student (current and graduate) to receive coaching. So many coaches start their journey never having been coached before. This is totally OK, but if you start coaching people never having been coached yourself, you’re doing yourself and your clients a disservice.
Here’s why; If you’ve never been coached before, you don’t fully understand how powerful it is. If you’ve never experienced how transformative coaching can be, your ability to convey why someone should be coached is missing something. But when you have been coached and you have experienced a transformation through coaching, you have the ability to explain it at a new level. You can speak from experience, not just theory.
Receiving coaching on your journey is vital to your growth as a coach. Look for programs that offer you the option of being coached along your learning journey because I guarantee it will help you both professionally and personally.
I want to share some things that I consider red flags when it comes to reputable coaching certifications. This is based on my own experience as a student and my many years watching the coaching industry evolve into what it is today.
Their main marketing strategy is selling you on “building your dream life”. This is a red flag to me because the focus is on what I’m going to get and how my life will change and not the skills I’ll learn and how it will benefit my clients.
The course is taught by assistants. And often these assistants have no previous experience coaching and working with clients, they’ve only been taught how to teach people the techniques.
Another one of the main marketing strategies used is FOMO and getting you to join because you’re afraid of what you’ll miss out on if you don’t. I’ve been caught by this one before.
And possibly most importantly, you’re being pressured into joining. Maybe any communication you have with them is about them assuming you’re joining and trying to get you to act fast. Or maybe there’s fake urgency. If you ever feel pressured to make a decision, run the other way.
You need to use your discernment here to determine what’s right for you. If you have any questions make sure you reach out to the person who can answer them before you. If you have concerns also make sure you reach out BEFORE you join the program. When you’re investing your time and money you have to take responsibility and ensure you have everything you need to make the best decision for you.
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