What Is The Best Training Experience For Life Coaches
Are you interested in becoming a life coach and you don’t know what is the best training experience that you need?
Oftentimes, when somebody decides to start a new profession the first things they research are what courses they need to take, what should they learn, and how long it takes.
Life coaching is not such a regulated industry as others, still, you have to respect your clients and be sure you are properly prepared before declaring yourself a coach and start charging people for your services.
We asked Minuca Elena to reach out to 40 life coaches and ask them the following question:
What do you think it’s the best learning/training experience that life coaches should have?
Our goal was to find out if it matters the most to graduate from certain classes or if self-study or overcoming certain obstacles is enough to make you a good life coach.
Our experts are:
Keep reading to see what the experts had to say.
Jeff Sabins – Proven Valor Professionals
As a Strategic Management Coach, my belief is having experience with adversity brings great perspectives to businesses and people in general.
As a retired infantry Marine, I have experienced combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia including receiving a Purple Heart.
As a parent, I have lived through the torment of having a child experience a brain tumor and going through a decade of surgeries and therapy. Additionally, we have a child with autism and deciphering that life as well.
As an entrepreneur, I have been on teams within corporations that have gone bankrupt and personally seen how a multi-regional company went from millions to nothing.
Having this experience makes me able to understand what other individuals are going through and provides them with my perspective of the end state of adversity, and understanding of what has worked and not worked in the past.
Experience and empathy go a long way for a coach to be successful and beneficial to others.
Lauren LeMunyan – Spitfire Coach
The cardinal rule I tell all new coaches is you get out what you invest in related to time, effort and finances.
If you want cheap training over a weekend, you may learn coaching skills, but what you’re missing is the transformational work first for yourself and then how you can apply that to your clients.
There are a ton of coaches out there, many of who are untrained and even more who are not certified by a governing body with the International Coaching Federation.
What’s the difference? I’ve noticed with untrained and uncertified coaches, that they give advice and behave more like therapists and consultants which can be extremely dangerous to some populations.
As a certified ICF coach with over 2700 hours of experience, I ascribe to a code of ethics through ICF that clearly separates the role of coach, friend, therapist, mentor, and consultant.
My goal is to create high trust, highly ethical space to support my client in reaching their future goal, not learn a selling program or make 6-figures. In fact, as certified coaches, we do not guarantee outcomes.
So if you’re looking for training make sure it’s an ICF-accredited school, invest in coach mentoring or coaching for yourself through the process, and continue your education after getting certified with CCEs (Coaching Continuing Education Units) in other schools of thought and frameworks.
Leah Tillyer – The Confidence Club
The best training experiences should include an ICF accredited course.
Life coaching is an unregulated industry, as such the International Coaching Federation has established and set exceptional standards for coaches to adhere to. This becomes increasingly important as coaching grows in popularity.
In terms of learning experiences, I’m a huge believer that the best coaches have lived through some of the experiences they coach for. It’s not essential, but there’s a saying – you can only go as deep as you have been.
For coaches to help their clients grow they have to be able to challenge, push and hold them to account – it helps if you have been through the growth so you’re empathetic and know that change for the better is possible.
Finally, it’s really important coaches are coached for their own learning and growth. Self-awareness is essential for coaches and working with another coach continues their journey of looking inwards.
Vincent Cheng – Heal The Source
To be a life coach, one does not need to graduate with a Psychology degree or does not even need higher education to become a life coach.
You must have a background in psychology, education, wellness, or even business and a coaching certification from an accredited training program that can give you credibility and make you more marketable as a life coach.
In my case, what happened was I was in a spiritual soul searching of various religions that led me to find out what true happiness is. It is usually defined as enlightenment, heaven, and everlasting life.
I ventured across 32 countries and lived with a Zen monk in a 600-year-old temple which woke me from my slumber and generated a new definition of true happiness – helping others find their true happiness!
Thus began my vocation as a psychotherapist and life coach.
The everlasting joy of helping others find a way out of their suffering and into true happiness fuels every single cell in my body. With purpose and progress come continuous happiness.
While no job or business is perfect, the important thing is to enjoy it, even learn from it. If you are unhappy in your current situation, why not take steps now to change it?
It is hard, I know, as it took me a few years to step out of my unhappy job as an engineer. But somewhere out there is a job or business that is perfect for you.
If you are already there, I salute you. If not, realize that it may take some time to figure out what you really want to do, and even more, time to actually get there. That’s all right!
I can tell you from experience that finding and doing what you love is absolutely worth it, every step of the way.
All of my research, training, and hands-on experience have made me a stronger, happier person. I feel in charge of my own destiny… and, well, there is just no greater feeling.
Do what you love, and love what you do, whatever that may be. You’ll be happier for it, trust me. I promise you will never look back.
LIFE is the best learning experience a great life coach should have!
Imagine you have to make a choice:
One coach is younger and has experienced and overcome some of the same challenges you are facing at this very moment.
They also have chosen to stretch themselves by traveling the world, learning about different cultures, people, and about themselves along the way.
This has taught them to be empathic, a skilled communicator and listener who “hears” not only with their head, but also their heart. Yet they don’t have either a certification or accreditation.
The other is older and has all of the accreditations you could dream of, but their life experience is relatively simple. They’ve never lived beyond their comfort zone, preferring instead to stick to the tried and true.
I know which one I would choose; someone who’s walked a path similar to mine and not only survived it but is thriving.
While having certifications and accreditations is a plus, when you look at the bigger picture, having life experience is what matters. It’s about the life in your years rather than the years in your life.
Thea Westra – Forward Steps
Initially, the best coach training is self-education. It’s imperative to have our own life in order, as a personal foundation, to be a better coach.
You also have more natural energy when you are clear with your own environment, health, relationships, and money.
I recommend a browser search for the “clean sweep program pdf” which is a 100-point list that’s very useful. If interested, I do have a copy of it here for you.
I would suggest completing an officially accredited program with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Coach U offers a comprehensive coach training program that provides core, foundational skills for individuals who are interested in developing good coaching skills.
Lastly, I can recommend taking a few programs with Landmark Education, for example, Communication: Access to Power, Communication: The Power to Create, Communication: Access to Power, the Team, Management and Leadership Program.
I’ve completed those myself, in addition to their Self-Expression and Leadership Program and very many of the other seminars they offer.
Life Coach Smita D Jain
Besides a proper coaching certification from ICF or equivalent bodies, which is a given, it is imperative for life coaches to learn about marketing themselves so that they can reach, and serve, more people.
Coaching is a business, not a practice, and life coaches need to have an entrepreneurial mindset to succeed in their coaching business.
Unless people know who you are and what you have to offer, they will not come to you and will not get an opportunity to benefit from your coaching.
Identifying your niche, positioning yourself as an expert in the minds of your target clientele, and promoting yourself as an authority to solve the concerns and challenges of your target market are all important to growing your business when you start out.
Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and it is important for coaches to identify which marketing strategy, tools, and techniques suit them and learn the most effective ways to reach out to their target clientele segment.
Hence life coaches should also invest in the science of coaching- learning about marketing tools and techniques to reach their target customers- to reach their customers and serve them better.
The most important training that a life coach should have is two-fold. First and always, is getting their own lives together, mentally, emotionally, physically and in the way that they work.
They don’t need to be perfect, but this should be their highest priority and they should be living the lifestyle that they teach their clients.
Too often I see a disconnect between how the coach is showing up and what’s actually happening in their lives. That kind of disconnect can have a negative impact on your clients and your business.
Second, is having experience working with people and actually helping them. There’s so much that comes up when working with someone, that experience will help you navigate this (or identify where you need to upskill).
You can draw on your personal experience, however having experience of helping a client through problems is where you’ll get the most range. Learning how to be the best coach you can is an ongoing process.
It’s also important to ensure that you’ve worked through any co-dependency and self-worth issues that might entangle you with your clients. Practice and being insatiably curious about learning more is what will set you up for success.
If you don’t have clients, find ways to work with as many people as possible. You’ll learn what type of person and what stage of their life and needs you can be most helpful to them.
Nadia Ibrahim-Taney – Beyond Discovery Coaching
I know life coaches in their twenties who have never lived anywhere but the town they were born into and life coaches in their 50s and 60s who are experienced globetrotters.
The most important learning/training experience a life coach should have should resonate with who their clients are and what their clients want/need from them.
For younger folks, working with a similarly aged person of the same gender and same background might feel empowering or safe in a coaching partnership.
Sometimes folks want the exact opposite in a coach to gain alternative perspectives.
If a coach lives their life truthfully and honestly, that will resonate with their clients and be of value to them. It doesn’t matter what you know, it just matters that you can connect with others.
The best training a life coach can have is from their own lived experience.
Sure, having theories, frameworks, and models is helpful in creating a structure with client-based work, but at the end of the day being able to connect with clients on a deeper level through relevant, resonant stories can go a long way.
Related, life coaches can benefit from reflecting on their own experiences and digging into self-awareness and inner work.
By tapping into the very things that may have been challenging for them, life coaches can transmute these experiences into teachable moments for their clients.
The ideal coach training is one that suits the individual coach to grow in ways they are hardwired. So, in my situation I got multiple coaching trainings because I was looking for different things in my business.
Questions to ask yourself as a coach:
- What is ideal way of delivery? In-person? On-line? Hybrid?
- What qualities and expertise do I need my facilitator/leader to have?
- What type of clients do I feel guided to work with?
Do the programs I’m pursuing help me to both attract those clients and create value?
I also think it’s invaluable to have life and professional experience that matches the services you want to provide for your clients.
So, for me I started off doing holistic life coaching, because I not only got the training, but I’ve always addressed my life in a way where I see how the facets were interconnected.
The first step is to ask yourself what your needs, passions, and experiences are as an aspiring coach, along with your sensibilities, and environments that allow you to thrive and meet the needs of those clients you want to serve most.
Val Jones Speaks
It is my opinion that the best learning/training experience a coach to have is to work with a variety of clients who have a wide range of goals, skills, and challenges.
The more widely exposed to different circumstances a coach can be, the wider their knowledge, skills, and expertise.
If a coach is always coaching the same thing to the same type of client, yes they will be excellent at coaching that. It will be deeper knowledge but not a breadth of knowledge.
I guess an argument could be made for both. Personally, I would like a well-rounded coach.
Michael Feeley Life Coach
I think Life Coaches should study with a professional organization and be certified. I studied with iPEC – Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching.
I did extensive research to see what coaching programs were offered, and iPEC was my top choice. While my coaching genre is specific – Life + Career + Change Coaching – I learned how to coach anyone. That was my goal, and iPEC came through with top honors.
I learned how to help people connect with their inner purpose and passions and join it with outer goals to create scientific and extraordinary results.
Coaches are catalysts for change, enabling a person to work on the most vital issues of their lives to meet their potential and live their best life.
Life coaching enables you to know who you are and what you want to do with your life.
Coaches learn to be deep and good listeners – understanding that the work is about the client’s agenda, not the coaches.
The answers to a person’s questions are in them, and it is our joyful and practical work to help another person find those answers if the client is committed and does the work.
I believe that the most impactful life coaches deeply appreciate the difference between coaching and mentoring.
Before enrolling in life coach training, I thought that I would make a great coach because of insights gleaned from my own radical transformations.
While these insights may be helpful to others, I’ve since learned that it’s far more powerful for a client to uncover their own answers.
Showing up without an agenda, holding powerful space, helping the client connect with their body’s “inner compass,” and deeply trusting your intuition as a coach during a session is what, in my experience, makes for a truly transformational session.
I do think that having some formalized mentoring by a master coach is critical for most new coaches.
But beyond that, I don’t think that there’s a “best” training or learning experience that life coaches should have, as our work is based on showing up for whatever presents itself during a session.
G. Scott Graham – True Azimuth
The best learning experience is training in Motivational Interviewing, a counseling technique that emerged in the 1990s. About 90% of what I do as a coach is motivational interviewing.
Most people who come to coaching are stuck in some way or another. They are either stuck trying to create their vision — whether it be career, business, health or life — or they are stuck trying to take action toward their vision. Motivational Interviewing helps people get unstuck.
There are ample resources for getting trained in Motivational Interviewing but the best resource is to make sure that your trainer or mentor is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).
This working with a member of the MINT, ensures that you will be getting training and supervision from a vetter profession. This training gives you the skillset to provide coaching, not the skillset to grow a coaching business.
I recommend tapping into the myriad of resources from the Small Business Administration in the United States. Similar services are available in other countries besides the United States.
You can also use MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) like Coursera and EdX for developing the business savvy and abilities to grow a successful coaching practice.
Look for courses that include a capstone project. You can apply the capstone to your coaching practice to evolve the content of the course pragmatically to your business.
Lisa Concepcion – Love Quest Coaching
Nothing can beat the learning that comes through overcoming adversity through one’s own healing journey.
While it’s great that many people are called to serve others as a coach, coaches who overcame heartbreak, illness, financial ruin, or any other personal battle where they were forced to rise up and transform are truly able to combine compassion, empathy along with wisdom and authenticity in their coaching.
Another important thing to understand is that becoming a coach or consultant requires training and that training continues and never ends.
I am a graduate of The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) which is endorsed by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
This program requires discipline given it takes 10 months to complete which consists of different modules and online teaching several days per week, plus weekend immersions with coaches.
There are many fly-by-night coaching certifications out there where a three-hour video course is offered for $250 and at the end, you get a certificate.
It’s so important for people who are considering hiring coaches to see past the clever marketing and check credentials.
When you have someone who actually went through their own challenge, hit rock bottom and rebuilt, and then has the training to help you, you’ll get incredible results.
There are two important experiences life coaches should have.
The first experience needed is formal training in one’s niche area, whether it’s working with a specific concern (e.g., holistic wellness) or a specific population (e.g., students, athletes).
In addition, formal training should include learning the skills of
a) reflective listening
b) asking questions for clarification and promoting clients’ curiosity about their own experience,
c) learning how to remain objective.
Such awareness and knowledge-base can help coaches refrain from making assumptions and guide clients toward setting and achieving their own goals.
The second important experience that is needed is a coach’s own personal experience. We are drawn to the field of coaching and helping in large part due to our own history.
While it is important to remain objective with clients, there are times when more personal disclosure (e.g., a helpful anecdote, storytelling) can enhance coaching work.
Such collaboration reminds both parties of their common humanity and that consistent small steps can lead to great places.
KJ Landis – Superior Self with KJ Landis
I believe that life coaches need to hone the skill of listening. Learning to listen is a skill that is overlooked in many trainings.
We are taught to ask questions and analyze the answers, give advice and develop a plan of action for our clients.
As professionals, we want to go, go, go, to deliver results the client wants and needs.
Really, sometimes the nuances and spaces in between the tasks of questions and answers are even more beneficial for a happy and healthy outcome.
Learning to really slow down and listen attentively, read between the lines, and feel what the client is telling you can create a trust and success both of you will be happy with.
Peter Dudley – Gray Bear Coaching
People often think that a good life coach is someone who has lived the experience you are going through, so that the coach can tell you how to get through it, or how to get that job you want, or how to manage your relationships.
While there’s some truth in that, the best life coaches are people who have not only lived interesting lives full of twists and turns and challenges, but who have gone through rigorous training and evaluation to understand why those experiences are not at all valuable to their clients.
I have lived such a life. Career successes and challenges, cross-country moves and world travels, marriage and divorce (and more), raising and launching kids, and much more. But what I learned in doing that is how to live my life, not yours.
What I’ve learned in the training I’ve gotten at UC Davis is how to apply the wisdom and perspective I’ve gained, through the discipline of the coaching practice, to help my clients learn how to live their best lives.
That doesn’t come from a coach telling you what you should do; it comes from the coach helping you identify your goals and learn how to achieve your highest potential.
Training from an ICF accredited program like UC Davis is important in making sure the coach has the right attitude, the established competencies, and the proper ethical framework for the most productive coaching relationship.
Fiona Brown – YOUtopia WELLbeing
Undoubtedly the most important skill of a coach is listening. Being a soft skill, if it doesn’t come naturally, will take a lot of self-awareness and practice to master.
While the concepts can be learned through training, it’s the practice that makes it perfect. I find the study and Neuro Linguistic Programming to been the most beneficial adjunct to coaching.
It equips the coach to be able to use many different lenses through which to explore and reach answers and provides tools that help fast-track the attainment of goals in ways that traditional coaching on its own may take longer to achieve.
Being on the receiving end and being coached by another coach refines their own personal style of coaching by understanding first-hand what it is they like and don’t like about the experience.
Jayne Warwicker – Lioness Power
Although certification is important in relation to being an effective and professional Life Coach, some only give you training on methodologies and various information as to how set up your business.
These should only ever be a starting point. Relevant, supplementary qualifications, however are useful and should be investigated by the individual looking for support.
For instance, my BSc in Psychology, I feel, makes me a much more effective Coach, giving me insight into the mechanics of the human behaviour.
As relevant, in my opinion as a Transformational Life Coach, is the life experience of the Coach.
I feel strongly that although everyone’s individual experiences and issues are unique; to truly empathise (not sympathise) and support, the coach must have walked the walk not just talk the talk.
Unfortunately, some Coaches have Life Coach qualifications but have no relevant life experience. Therefore, I feel (as I do), that coaches should specialise in areas that they have experience.
Last but not least, meet with your coach, face to face or virtually for an initial chat (which should always be free of charge) as the relationship and rapport you will forge is essential to the success of the sessions.
If it doesn’t feel right or you feel no connection, move on! Find someone who is a good fit for you.
Cody Dakota Wooten – The Leadership Guide
The best thing any coach can learn, in my humble opinion, is what it feels like to completely lose; To know what it feels like to be at rock bottom, to feel like all hope is gone.
When a coach understands that feeling, completely and fully, and has come back from that – that is when they are actually ready to help others.
Clients don’t care about your triumphs, your degrees, your knowledge, and your expertise. They never have and never will.
What clients really want is to know that you are a human, just like them, and that you can comprehend the challenges they are experiencing, their own feelings of hopelessness and of being at rock bottom, of feeling like a loser.
They want to know that you truly know how that feels too, that you can actually be there to help them find the other side of it, and that you are willing to be there with them in that journey.
The best learning/training experience that life coaches should have:
- Awareness of the present moment.
- An appreciation of who people are ‘now’ versus their past.
- Listening to understand versus listening to be understood.
- Disciplining the mind to be focused and not engage in narratives.
- Skilled at dissolving opposing judgments as soon as they surface.
- Teaching the mind ‘not to care’ because one does care. I.e. By not caring what you think of me as a coach, it becomes 100% about the you / the person that is being coached.
- The ability to effectively articulate life experiences into stories that are real, relevant and on point to the listener.
- Intuitively learning to speak to the listening ear, resulting in being able to be relatable in language, tone and analogies.
- Dedication of ‘service to others’ versus ‘service to self’.
- Understanding the role of ego and how it benefits and harms.
- Honouring intuition and consciously learning how to proactively act on it.
- Learning to get the mind out of the way in an instant.
- Being 100% authentic in connection.
- Embracing vulnerability.
There’s a significant difference between practical and theoretical experience. As infamously stated by Winnie the Pooh, “Life is a journey to be experienced not a problem to be solved.”
Life lessons come from facing certain situations in our life. Just recently I asked my mother, “what would have you done, if this, near miss experience had happened to me at 16?”
She wisely responded, “How can I possibly answer that, until you’re in that situation, you don’t know what you’ll do.”
It’s the firsthand experience that provides us with a plethora of wisdom. Wisdom that assist you to look at things from a different perspective. To deep dive in for your life lessons. Asking yourself the tough questions:
• What did I do that I’d do differently next time?
• What did I do that I’d do exactly the same next time?
• What could have I done that would have provided a better outcome?
World-class Life Coaches are the ones who specialise. Ideally, you require their services for a short time. Whilst they assist you to move beyond your current particular life challenge.
To find that world-class coach, search for one who has previously experienced and successfully overcome that particular life-challenge.
Jenni Hackworth – White Lotus Yoga
I’ve found that the best training I’ve received for my life coaching business is just living a full and eventful life.
I specifically coach women who have been stay-at-home moms for 10+ years and are headed back out to the workforce, or are about to become empty-nesters.
I raised four children over the last 20 years, and use that experience, as well as my NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) training, to help women find out who they are outside of their family.
I help them find direction during a time in their life where you can feel lost and unsure of who you are anymore.
If I were talking to someone interested in becoming a life coach, I would highly recommend contacting your local Small Business Administration as well. They can help you with all of the business aspects of life coaching.
As someone who recently completed two levels of life coaching certifications and launched a Self-Love coaching business, the two key things that make anyone a good coach is your ability to listen without judgement deeply and intently as well as where you are in your own healing journey.
One of the main reasons a client gets interested in getting coached is because they are looking for that someone who will listen to them and not just tell them what to do!
Because so many times these clients already know what they need to do but this knowing gets buried deep inside their heavy emotional baggage.
So, many times all a client needs help with is letting go of all that emotional baggage so that they can finally get connected to that knowing!
But a coach can only practice non-judgement to the extent that they practice it with themselves!
Unless a coach has learned to treat themselves with compassion, love, kindness, and non-judgement, they will not have the consciousness level to offer this same space to another no matter how many certifications a coach acquires.
While it is true that life experience is valuable training for life coaches, knowing how to lead someone on a journey to their own fulfilling life takes some more in-depth training.
In my opinion, a life coach with a certification has taken the time to hone his or her skills on leadership and can better lead others.
Certifications can be general (Life Coach Certification) or more narrow (Certified Forgiveness or Grief Coach for example).
Taking the time to hone one’s own skills before coaching others gives the coach a path to follow which makes for a better coaching experience for the client(s).
And after all, this is the about the client’s experience and growth.
Chad Osinga – Mr Tenacity
I believe the best training a life coach could have is Neuro-Associations. Moreover, it is equally important to understand the personal application. Therefore, mastering the ability to rewire our mindset to associate experiences positively is imperative.
Nero-Associations are those deep-rooted connections in our brains between two different things. A fundamental concept would be our associations between the color green and its meaning of “Go” or Red with “Stop.”
As life moves forward, we experience various things; as we do this continuously, we build associations between those experiences and how they make us feel—always looking for ways to develop associations and links to make meaning and develop beliefs about the world around us.
Due to our beliefs formed by our exposures in life, many are stuck, and as a lifestyle coach, it is our job to help them overcome.
The only proper way is through reassociating experiences with different emotions and feelings. That can only be accomplished by an individual who has achieved that in their own lives.
Kekua Kobashigawa – HBIC Development
The most important training or learning for a coach to have is actual life experience in the scope of what they intend to coach.
There is no singular, valid, recognized life-coaching credential. That means it’s easy (and common) to find a weekend, or even one-day long, certification course, and there are a plethora of coaches who are “certified,” but unskilled.
When looking for a life coach, or coach of any kind, be sure to vet them. Ask for their personal experiences with their coaching specialty, and for testimonials of satisfied clientele.
In the same way, you’d ensure that your financial advisor was financially successful, and had coached other people to financial success, also ensure that a coach for confidence, performance, business, relationship, or life, has the same.
Joel Flynn – Gentleman Zone
To be coached by a coach.
Behind every great coach is a great coach. Life coaches need to experience the power of being held, seen, and coached through challenges, limiting stories, and their own bs.
It is crucial for life coaches to experience being ‘the coachee’, so they can witness and understand the mechanics of a coaching container – what works, what doesn’t work, and how they actually show up for themselves as a client.
Further, coaches need to be reflected back and made aware of their shadows, blind spots, and wounds – so that they don’t project these onto their clients.
Foundational training qualification
In a fairly unregulated industry, it is important for life coaches to actually have some form of qualification to ensure a strong foundational level of knowledge and skill.
Training informs specific coaching techniques and theory, as well as business and marketing strategies crucial for a successful life coach.
Michelle Fuller – One Bold MF
To be an excellent life coach, you need experience or training. Life experience allows you to empathize with clients in a way training cannot.
Training and certification programs teach you coaching methods. Both are important, depending on the type of coaching you provide.
My approach to coaching is simple. I teach women what I learned on my journey. I coach them on how to set goals, work on their mindset, and develop new habits so they can create a fulfilling life.
I started my transformation in my early forties. I had two failed marriages behind me. I hit my emotional low point coming off another failed relationship and hired a coach.
From there, I created a new mindset and began my journey. I saw incredible results. I moved to a new city, I met new friends, and I got new opportunities.
I am engaged to a man I adore and created a relationship I used to think was impossible.
Because I was able to completely change my life, I teach other women how to do the same. Change is always available and possible.
As an entrepreneur for over 10 years, I have mentored and guided many people through their careers and life.
My advise to those training to become a career coach is to focus on helping in one area of the persons’ life at a time. You cannot shift everything in someone else’s life at once.
Assist/advise them in one area and make sure it is thriving before you begin looking into other areas. This is especially important for beginners.
It is a great tool to come back to the basics of guidance and help yourself to listen to what they want from the life coaching experience with you.
Robert Longley – Intu Action
I think you want a combination of traits in a coach.
Having been certified as a life coach only means you went through a class.
Some are self-paced video classes, others are multi-month instructor-led classes with practice exercises. They are definitely useful, but it doesn’t provide a complete picture.
A life coach should have a passion for helping people and have some relevant life experiences for the type of coaching that a person is looking for.
The term life coach covers a lot of topics. Someone who is an expert in career transitions might not be the best coach for someone going through a divorce.
I like the concept of a Sherpa. A life coach should be a guide who knows some of the path that you are headed on.
They don’t have to know everything about what they are going through, but they do need to be in a position to guide a person on whatever journey they might be on.
To be a good life coach, you have to be open to being coached yourself. While this might sound quite basic advice, you’d be surprised how many people who offer a form of coaching are terrible at following their own advice or seeking input from others.
I’d advise investing in your own life coach who can help you accelerate your learning. It’s also worth paying a communication coach to help you improve how you communicate with others. Such an investment will repay itself multiple times over.
Next, you should study marketing. As you run a business, if you can’t get clients, you can’t live. So, it’s important you understand how to market yourself and your services to attract the right kinds of clients.
If you can go on a start-up business boot camp that will teach you the basics of running a business, then you should. It’ll be money well spent and should put you in a good shape going forward.
Sara and Anastasia Prech – Well and Whole
We are life and health coaches, but our background, and what we think is best, is that we are nurses! Nursing is also the first licensed profession to offer a coaching certification! We believe that nurses make the best life coaches!
Nurse coaching combines the best of nursing, psychology, and social sciences. We get to the root of why people have difficulty changing and how to overcome it.
We learn about the amazing science of behavior change and how to apply it to our clients. We help connect our clients to their intrinsic motivation and this helps them to create goals that are truly aligned.
As nurses and coaches, we believe that our clients are the experts on their own life and we meet them where they are. The client is in the driver’s seat.
We help them by holding space, being present, helping them reflect, and really connect to their inner wisdom. The coaching container that we offer as nurses is unparalleled.
As nurses, we have broad knowledge and experience with so many different types of people. We have had so much experience developing therapeutic communication as well!
Clisver Alvarez – Blue Greis Lifestyle
The answer to that question is hands-on and lived experience.
The tricky part of this question is can anyone get to be a life coach and help others accomplish their goals just because they have been through a traumatic experience? Why the simple answer is no.
The person has to have had a transformation in order to be that accountability partner for someone else.
Now one thing life coaches are not is we are not better, above or superior we are like peers to our clients because we have also been in their same shoes.
Now I want to share a story of a person who I worked with very closely. She was in a deep depression, suffering a terrible illness, which led her to a financial crisis and made her doubt her abilities as a mom, wife, and woman.
She felt like a failure in life like she had missed out on the last boat to “successville” But there was something special about this young girl she wanted more out of life yet she just did not know what to do to get it.
Eventually, she built up the courage to leave that life of misery behind and she made a choice she had some money coming in and she decided to spend it all on her future because she decided that she was tired of her lifestyle as it was.
She used that money and moved to another state where she created for herself and her family a whole new lifestyle now she’s living the life she so desired.
Let me tell you how I as a life coach played a role in this person’s life this girl I mention here was me.
Before becoming a life coach I had to go through an extreme transformation and personal growth so this can show you what a success story looks like and what actual transformation has to take place. It’s a choice!
The process you have to make is life-altering choices that will define the course of your life and whether you succeed or not.
Vanessa Hagerbaumer – V & CO Coaching
Combined with a certification program, the best training for life coaches is our own lives.
Coaches know our values, strengths, and belief systems. This helps us honor clients as creative, resourceful and whole even if their value systems differ from our own.
See life challenges as opportunities for growth. When difficulties arise, center on what’s in our power to change and which of our values provide a reason for growth.
Developing ourselves expands empathy and understanding for our clients’ growth journeys.
Develop a foundation of self-care. Healthy habits create a solid base for mental, physical, and emotional health.
Practices such as meditation, journalling, yoga, or walking provide opportunities to connect to our inner wisdom. We have to take great care of ourselves in order to professionally support others.
Take risks to create a life that’s true to yourself. As coaches, we lovingly push our clients toward their vision – we have to push ourselves, too.
Basically, use life as a learning platform to walk the coaching talk!
Elizabeth Treccase – A Clean Slate 4 U
Speaking from experience, the best training is one that has brief instruction, a role-play example then LOTS of time to practice.
Coaching is interactive and it’s invaluable to be coached and feel how the process works from the receiving side.
Every life coach in training should be working with a coach. It is not about reading. It is about experiencing.
Coaching requires unlearning as much as it requires learning. To be an effective coach, I had to unlearn:
- Judging others and myself
- Having answers
- Assuming what I view as good or bad is a shared perspective
- There’s one right or wrong solution.
What I had to learn/strengthen:
- Be curious
- Everyone has their own answers within. They need a coach to ask the questions so they can find those answers.
- Truly listening and not thinking about what I’m going to say next.
- There are literally countless perspectives to be applied to every situation.
- What happens in one facet of someone’s life usually shows up in other facets as well.
The best training experience life coaches can have is from the “school of hard knocks.”
When you’ve overcome adversity and succeeded, you can help others.
Whether it’s death, disability, debt, divorce, or all of the above, no formal training can replace life experience.
Resilience is the cornerstone for developing confidence and achieving goals.
Thank you so much to all the experts that have contributed to this expert roundup! If you enjoyed reading this post then please share it with your friends and followers on social media.