When I was first researching coaching schools and considering whether or not to become a coach, I didn’t know what to ask to find out what I needed to know because I didn’t know what I needed to know! (I’m sure that makes sense)
So here’s the top five questions we get asked and my best effort to answer the questions. Trust it helps and I’d love it if you’re a coach and can add more insights in the comments sections below – let’s pay it forward for new coaches!
Question #1: What are the different accreditations and what do they mean? Can’t anyone just call themselves a coach?
Great question. Yes, anyone can call themselves a coach, but not anyone has the coaching skills to back up the title.
Whilst coaching is unregulated in Australia at the moment, there are several schools that are making big efforts to offer as much accreditation as possible, which achieves three major objectives:
1. You get the credibility that non accredited coaches don’t have
2. Your clients have the reassurance that you know your coaching skills
3. You get the benefits/training/experience that comes as a requirement of the accreditation
Types of accreditation:
There is no one standard program of coaching. There are, in fact, many different courses available around the world. But there is, on balance, only two types of accreditation that is talked about.
1. National accreditation – this is achieved by the private coaching school applying to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) (the process for this is extensive! Not just a form, but months of preparation, documentation, lesson planning, curriculum creating…) which is what universities in Australia are also. Then the school gets a course or courses accredited as (usually) -
Certificate IV in Life Coaching
Diploma of Life Coaching
2. International accreditation – this is achieved by an extensive, time consuming and difficult application process with the professional body known as the International Coach Federation (ICF). It’s important to note that this is NOT a recognised professional body by anyone except for coaches and is not beholden to the same standards that are required of an RTO in Australia.
Some schools, including this school, carry both accreditations.
There are other accreditations, but these are the primary two coaches talk about – one gives you national accreditation and the other the international accreditation.
I believe the accreditation is less important than the training, experience and abilities that the coach achieves as a result of the training. Seek first rate training, as many hours of training and practice as you can, and don’t skimp on getting access to experienced, accredited and successful coaches, wherever you decide to train!
Question #2: How soon can I start coaching?
Hmmm… I’m never sure how to answer this, and would appreciate your input if you’re reading this! I think you can start coaching when you’re ready. What’s ready? A minimum of some coaching practice sessions done successfully, you’ve received some feedback on your abilities as a coach, you’re learning how to help people using the coaching models, and you… feel confident.
And when you feel confident is going to be up to you.
We have people attracting and working with paying clients within days of beginning their training with us. We have people who have been with us for a year and still don’t think they’re ready. Same training. Same mentoring. Same practice sessions. So what’s the difference?
I trust that answer helps!
Question #3: What are the steps involved in becoming a coach?
I believe there are three broad areas where you need to develop your abilities and have experience:
1. Your personal development – it’s important to read the books, and do the work to become the best version of you, you can be. You don’t have to have your ‘stuff’ together, but you do need to be a work in progress who is willing to stretch themselves, have a go, try new things, and be playful as they learn. If you stress, get dramatic and make scenes because something is ‘hard’ then you would need to spend, perhaps, a bit more time on this step!
2. Your coaching skills – the second part of becoming a coach is knowing, using and developing confidence with coaching skills and tools. The basic and most commonly used coaching tool is the GROW Model, which stands for Goals, Reality, Options for moving forward and Way forward. These steps form the basis of a twenty question coaching session, which is where our coaches start.
As you build your competent and confidence with this model, you begin to add other models and tools to your coaching sessions. That comes at about session four or five (or if you’re me, session six, I was a little slower to develop!)
3. Your marketing – attracting clients is how you will be able to make this your career. Whether you want to be a part or full time coach, there are very few companies employing coaches for their staff in house. Most coaches (probably 95%) are self employed, and are hired by companies and individuals for a period of between 6 weeks and several years, working with the client for 45 minutes a week, a fortnight or each month.
Marketing your availability as a coach is its own unique skill set which 97% of our students DON’T have when they join us. It’s very important that you become part of a program that places an emphasis on this area, so you can learn what you need to know as rapidly as possible.
There’s obviously more to it than this, but we might run a class on this to go into more detail? let me know what you think in the comments below…
Question #4: What makes a good coach?
A willingness to learn, a willingness to unlearn what doesn’t work, a playful approach to having a go, a desire to grow and improve, enjoying seeing others improving and succeeding…
That would be the foundation attributes of a good coach. Then, the training will develop the listening skills, the questioning skills, your ability to challenge, guide and support your client…
Question #5: How long does it take to become a coach?
It depends on how much time you can give it, or want to give it. I finished my Cert IV in Life Coaching in 3 months – but I’m a Type A over achiever who wants it all now!
We tell our new students you can complete the training at your own pace, but we would encourage you to stick around for the support, bonus classes and opportunities to network and learn that come with your membership.
So, they are the top five questions we receive from new coaches. Trust it’s been useful.
I would really love your comments, insights and questions – you can post them below – and I’ll do my best to assist!
I think we might run a class on this for you…