A relatively new official discipline, life coach training has been on the rise as more and more people are seeing the benefit of having someone independent of their life that they can turn to in order to bring their goals into focus. Similar in some ways to mentoring, life coaching helps people to make key changes in their lives such as changing careers or managing stress more effectively. The best part of becoming a life coach is that you will find it can be as rewarding for you as it is for your clients. Continue reading to discover what it will take for you to take up the challenge of this fascinating career and Become a Professional Life Coach.
Select a Discipline
The first step in becoming a life coach is to decide what area to specialize in. In many cases the fields can somewhat overlap but having a clear focus will help both you and your client to realize your goals more effectively. The most common areas where people can benefit from life coaching are finances, relationships, time management, career counseling and developing better leadership skills. Choose an subject matter that you have strong experience in so that you can use examples from your life when coaching someone else.
Attend a Seminar
Now that you have decided the discipline that you are interested in coaching, the next step is to attend a short seminar run by an experienced life coach in your subject of preference. What you are interested in at the seminar is not so much the content of what the life coach is saying but the way they are saying it. Observe how the life coach interacts with the audience and how they keep everyone focused solely on their words. At the end of the seminar, speak with the life coach and ask them how they got started as well as what tips they may have to help you get started in your new career.
You can start learning the skills on your own before attending a training course or just dive right into one. There are eleven core coach competencies that are contained within four key areas:
- Laying the Foundation
- Creating a Relationship
- Effective Communication
- Encourage Learning and Results
There are a lot of online resources that you can find related to each of these areas and there are several books that can help you will your training. You should not be in a rush as you need to be able to absorb the information fully and process it in order to be able to integrate it smoothly into your coaching.
Attend a Course
In order to become an accredited life coach, you will need to log at least sixty hours of professional training. This means enrolling in an accredited life coach training course that has been approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). In order to qualify, the course must be solely focused on coaching training and not just a course focusing on one of the key areas. The term you are looking for when searching for a suitable course is “ICF accredited coach specific training”
Once you have completed the course and have done your own learning, you need to get some paid experience. To qualify as having completed life coaching experience you must be able to produce a log of your coaching. The ICF requires one hundred hours of life coaching experience with at least seventy five of those hours paid. Ensure you obtain signed consent from each of your clients to keep a record of your coaching and their permission for the ICF to contact them for verification. Assure your clients that the topics of your coaching are completely confidential and that the ICF will only be asking about your performance as a coach. Before starting, make sure you are completely familiar with all the conditions that apply, for an hour to count towards your accreditation. In addition, you certainly want to learn how to start getting paid as a newly practicing life coach.
Apply and Get References
Getting life coach certification is not cheap as the fee for filing an application ranges from $225 for IFC members to $425 for non -members. You can complete the application by downloading the form and sending it through the mail with a check or just fill it in online, and pay with your credit card. For your application to be complete you need to submit two reference letters within twelve months of your application from two different accredited IFC coaches who have observed one of your coaching sessions.
Pass an Oral Exam
The final step to your ultimate goal of becoming an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) is an oral examination. This will be scheduled by the IFC after your application has been processed and consists of a telephone role playing coaching session with an IFC examiner. You will be given a topic that the examiner needs help with, and you will have to provide life coaching on that issue. The exam is usually around half an hour followed by some feedback. However, you will have to wait for an official letter through the mail before you will find out whether you have become an ACC or not. The most important thing is to be as prepared as you possibly can. Every experience is one you can learn from, but you would do better studying extra before the exam than to have to retake it once or more.
Life coaching is a wonderful career as you help people to switch their focus from problems to finding solutions. It is all about helping others find their purpose. Your role is to put people on the right track to achieve their goals and prioritize the steps to getting there. Coaching Questions: Ready to Create a Better Life?, will help you to get the jist of a coaching session. The most rewarding part is seeing your clients become more confident in their decision making and leadership skills. Furthermore, they start to blossom from your life coach training.