Are You Thinking of Becoming a Life Coach?

November 6, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Life Coaching Articles


Are You Thinking of Becoming a Life Coach?

by Harry F James

If you are thinking or have ever thought about becoming a life coach you may be unsure of which is the best route to achieving your goal. After all the term ‘life coach’ is now quite widely used and can encompass a variety of subjects ranging from relationship to a spiritual life coach. With that in mind how do you become a life coach?

One of the first things you need to do is identify what area you intend to work in and who you intend to deliver a service to. Answering these questions will help you decide whether you should seek life coach training.

It is reasonable to assume that without the necessary commercial expertise and experience you will more than likely lack credibility and put yourself at a disadvantage to competitors if you cannot demonstrate your ability to deliver structured, believable opinion in your role as a business coach.

There are however some key skills that are extremely important. To begin with, you have to really like and care about people, you need to be a good listener, a resourceful problem solver and have considerable knowledge of human behaviour. You need to be able to set achievable goals and develop plans of action that allow your client to bring them about. A life coach should be organized and able to pay careful attention to detail in order to regularly monitor results.

Coaching is an agreement between you and your client; so patience and the ability to deal with frustration are crucial. Unfortunately clients do not always do what they agree to do and as a life coach you will find that getting people to suddenly give up negative behaviour patterns can be a great challenge. You need to know how to inspire, encourage and also be creative in overcoming barriers and doubts. You must also be able to accept disappointment as not all clients will accept change.

Another thing to take in mind is the fact that coaches do not advise – their role is to work with the client to reach an achieved outcome or goal.

Life Coach Certification

If you have ever seen the film ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, you may recall that the Tin Man was told that a piece of paper did not prove that he had a brain – it was his actions that counted.

As coaching is very much a trust and results based business, there are great benefits of gaining recognised, credible accreditation. A professional qualification implies that the holder has devoted their valuable time to learn the ins and outs of being a professional life coach and is therefore likely to be better equipped to do the job.

However it is worthwhile to remember that unless you can verify the merit of the qualification; it may as well mean nothing. There are many ‘life coach academies’ that offer certification based on a variety of criteria ranging from simply paying a fee after attending a short course to gaining a qualification by registering online. Whilst the qualification might be genuine, it may not be easy to verify.

It is a fact that at present not all life coaches are required to be accredited. There are many coaches who give advice on a subject yet might not have a ‘recognised’ qualification, however can demonstrate tremendous success over a period of time.

There are many life coaches who have used their transferable skills and experiences in other fields to make effective, successful coaches. A former social worker might have all the experience required to give credible, structured relationship life coaching opinions if that was a major part of their previous role. A good life coach will usually have clients you can contact who will be happy to act as references. Taking the time to speak to these references will give you a feel for a coach.

The bottom line is that a coach with a qualification from a recognised accredited professional body offers the client recourse to that organisation if unsatisfied with the service they have received.

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