I have been a certified coach since 2014. I took a six-month program to make sure I knew the processes and procedures to be an effective coach. I did not coach professionally until I got the certification and I made sure it was listed under the International Coach Federation (ICF). I followed it with the ACC in 2018 when I got the paid hours and did the paperwork necessary to make it happen. Now I am a board member for my local ICF chapter, I lead a coaching certification program for a university and I have my own Tech-Life coaching practice.
I share this to say I am constantly in a coaching conversation in my daily life. People ask questions and have opinions about coaching, so I am going to use those conversations as the basis for this article in hopes of sparking ideas and impacting change.
Here are some of the topics that come up in the conversations around coaching:
Do I need a certification?
At this time the short answer is ‘No’, since coaching is not a regulated field. Should you have a certification? I say ‘Yes’ for several reasons. First, the certification gives you the background to coach properly. There are many skills that you use in coaching that you will learn in the certification that you won’t have to learn on your own. The certification also helps you get the ICF and BCC certifications easier. That was a plus for me. You can get the industry certifications without regular certifications but it is much harder.
What I would like to see is that certifications are required because so many issues would be resolved with proper training. I also would like to see that all training offered was ICF and BCC certified. That way, it would be easier to get those certifications overall.
How do you choose a coaching focus?
What I noticed is that some people know what they want to coach right away while others learn through self-discovery and study. I knew life coaching right away but I stumbled into tech coaching as I did more presentations. Believe it or not, I do more coaching in the area I stumbled into versus the one I knew right off the bat. Your clients and marketing have a way of changing your business in a way you don’t expect. Luckily it was in alignment with my values and it was something I did well, so it worked out. Pay attention to what makes your heart sing and how you naturally serve others instead of chasing money and your business will thrive.
What I would like to see is an alignment test that would give you several areas that you could coach in and you could do the research and study from there. It would save time for many people.
How do you get started in coaching?
This answer is different for different people. I have seen people start with group coaching programs. I have seen people start with 1-on-1 coaching. I have seen people take a certification program that comes with the information needed to start their business. I personally took the certification first then started doing speaking events and training opportunities to get the word out about my coaching programs and I went from there. I paid attention to my clients and soon my business took off.
What I would like to see is that every program includes the business essentials so that coaches come out equipped with the tools to be great!
This is a short list of topics that I am frequently asked when it comes to coaching. I would love to hear your thoughts about the topics I brought to the table. What would you like to see in the future and what topics did I not cover so I can do a follow-up article on those topics? Thank you for reading and I look forward to your thoughts!