10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

10 Questions to Ask Your Coach Training Provider Before You Enrol

Just as not all coaches are created equally, neither are coaching schools and training programs.  Here are 10 questions to consider or ask your coach training provider, before you enroll on your coach training certification.

1. Is the program accredited? And for how many hours?

Whilst accreditation is not a requirement for coaches, it is advisable to select a coach training program that is. This means that the program has been assessed and regularly reviewed by an external body. As with all industries that are not regulated though, there are some pitfalls to look out for.

      • Just as not all coach training programs are not created equally, neither are accreditation bodies. The requirements for accreditation vary widely from organisation to organisation, and some courses that are accredited are not as comprehensive as others.  It pays to review the criteria for each level of accreditation to ensure that you investing in a credible and comprehensive program.  The most widely respected coach accreditation body is the International Coach Federation.
      • Even with ICF accreditation there are a number of things to be aware of. There are 3 main paths to achieving credentialing with ICF; ACTP, ACSTH and the Portfolio path.  ICF requires a minimum number of coach specific training hours as a major part of credential application and those courses that are CCE or ACSTH marked may not have the minimum number of 60 hours. It pays to check if credentialing is something that you are planning for. (ACTP courses all meet that criteria)

2. How is the training delivered?

Is the course delivered in person, or online?  Check if there is a requirement for you to attend any live workshops or trainings as part of your certification. This may mean additional costs both in time and money.  It’s also important to understand how much live training is provided with online courses; are you left to study alone, or do you have mandatory class time that you need to commit to?

3. How big are the class sizes? What level of attention will I get?

Whenever you are learning a new skill, the amount of feedback that you receive whilst you are honing it, will directly impact your results.  Think of a mass exercise class vs working 1:1 with a personal trainer – the more individualised the attention, the better your form, and therefore the more confident you can be about your results.  Check to make sure that the class sizes are small, and that you get plenty of time to ask questions of your trainer.

4. What is the curriculum?

A better question may be, what is the focus of the program? Your coach training provider should be able to provide you with an outline of the topics covered so that you can see if the course fits with how you wish to use your coaching skills.  

5. What experience do the trainers have? Does the provider help you with the business end of coaching?  To what degree

Do not assume that because someone is teaching a subject that they are an expert in the subject.  Check that the lead trainer is, in fact, qualified and experienced.  Also, look for references or testimonials from their coaching clients as well as their students; teaching and coaching are not the same thing.

How much real world coaching experience has your trainer had?  And in what fields? If you are planning to launch an Executive Coaching Practice, and your trainer has never coached in a corporate environment, is that important to you? Be aware of the level of experience of your trainers, and if this information is not readily available, then ask.

Gaining your skills and certification is one thing, but what do you do with it after that?  Arguably a larger learning curve for a lot of coaches is how to take those skills and earn a living from them by consistently attracting quality clients, and learning the skills that make a business profitable.  Does your coach training provider offer this type of training as part of your course, and if so, to what degree?  

6. What practical 1:1 feedback will I get on my coaching skills?

Getting feedback on your skills as a coach is key to becoming a masterful change maker, and supervised coaching sessions are one way to receive feedback, as is peer coaching where you are coached and coach your fellow students. Be sure to ask how much feedback you will receive on your coaching skills, and by whom.

7. Can you get support after the training is complete?

Just as passing your driving test is the gateway to really learning to drive, your coaching qualification heralds the beginning of your coaching career, and there are bound to be bumps in the road as you shift into gear.  Will the organisation offer you support as you grow your coaching experience and business, and at what cost?

8. What is involved in achieving certification?

If completion of the course materials is the only prerequisite to achieving certification, then the value of the qualification is questionable. A credible course should require a level of assessment and evaluation of the coach’s skills before issuing certification. Be clear on what is required to graduate. Stringent criteria is not a bad thing, (and is a requirement of ICF accredited courses.)

9. How much does it cost?

What is the total cost of the course and options for payment? Do you need to pay extra for assessments? Is there a payment plan available? And is there a surcharge for paying by installment?  Are there necessary textbooks or course materials that are not covered in the advertised cost?

10. Is there a refund policy?

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions by both parties, things turn out to not be a great fit.  What is the refund policy?  Can you get your money back if it turns out that the course or trainer is not for you?  Also, what will happen if you are unable to complete the course due to personal reasons?  Can you receive a partial refund, or be credited with time to complete any necessary live training?

Make a list of what is most important to you in a training provider and add more questions as necessary to ensure that you choose a great fit for your development into Life Coaching.

Embarking on a coach training certification is exciting and something to look forward to. By asking these questions at a minimum, you can be sure that you are entering into this stage of your career with your eyes open.

10 Ways That Formal Life Coaching Training Can Help Your Wellness Business

10 Ways That Formal Life Coaching Training Can Help Your Wellness Business

You have a passion to help your clients to succeed with their life changing goals, and you are uniquely placed to do so.  But sometimes they share something with you that you just can’t seem to get past, or you wonder what else you could do to help them become truly empowered and mindful in their life.

You’ve considered adding a life coaching qualification to your toolkit, but aren’t quite sure if it’s worth it, since your core business is not coaching.

Life coaching continues to be a fast growing industry and is a great way to make a deeper impact with your clients.

Here are 10 ways that a formal life coaching qualification can help you in your current business.

 

  1.      Switch from problem solver to solution facilitator.
  2. You are already helping your clients to see the possibilities of a better life by following your guidance. As a trained life coach however you will be able to guide them towards their own answers; empowering your clients in this way, means that your guidance and expert advice is far more likely to stick for a lifetime.

 

    1. Go beyond the surface and have a deeper impact,so that your clients work with you longer and refer more business to you.
  1. Life coaching is powerful and can multiply the impact of your work exponentially. The result is that your clients have a far more impactful experience with you, and so your relationship with them flourishes.  The result of that is long lasting relationships and more referrals.
    1. Attract media opportunities and favourable joint venture opportunitiesby negotiating win-win agreements

    Life coach training doesn’t just help your clients, it helps you too! When you understand people in the way that life coach training teaches you to, you can begin to pitch for media slots and joint venture opportunities in a way that seems irresistible for the other party.

    1. Deal with conflict swiftly and elegantly

    Conflict and misunderstandings are unnecessary energy drains for you and your business growth. Life coach training will give you tools to elegantly manage conflict when it rears its ugly head, in a way that feels great for you and the other person.

    1. Be seen as a leader in your industry

    As your reputation for outstanding results for your clients grows, and your media appearances increase, your presence as a leader in your field comes naturally, authentically, and organically.

    1. Get past your clients’ resistance to change

    Change is inherently dangerous to our survival and so it is natural that your clients, however much they want the change consciously, are going to be resistant unconsciously. Life coach training will help you to work with your clients to move safely through that resistance and into the success zone with your help.

    1. Communicate confidently and effectively

    The meaning of communication is the response you get. What if you could predict the response that you might get in most situations, and have the communication tools and strategies to deal with any situation that arises?  Life coach training helps you to hone outstanding communication skills.

    1. Stand out in your field with a unique value proposition

    When you hold a life coach certification from a reputable school, you build a deep level of trust with your clients. They know that they are in safe hands. and that you are equipped to deal with not only their functional health and wellbeing, but also their mental wellbeing.  (And as a trained coach, you will know when to refer your clients on to professionals in the medical profession.)

    1. Expand your reach by offering coaching as a gateway to your wellness/healing business

    As more people search for guidance and inspiration in today’s world, and life coaching becomes more and more the norm, you can grow your existing business by offering life coaching as a service that compliments your core offering. This opens your business up to a whole new clientele, who may use all of your services, and refer their networks to you.

    1. Expand your practice by attracting and keeping the best talent using your coaching skills

    It’s not just clients who will be drawn to your practice, you will also attract and keep, the most talented team members to grow your business.  Taking a coaching approach to leadership has proven time and again to foster the best and most successful company cultures.

    More and more wellness practitioners are adding formal coaching skills to their toolkits to help their clients, and their businesses. Learn the 3 core coaching skills right now, in this free instant-access training.

  2. You’ll learn what trained coaches are doing in their coaching sessions, and how to apply those skills to your life and business.
  3. Get this comprehensive video training and workbook INSTANTLY.

What is Coaching?

What is Coaching?

What Is Coaching, exactly? How to get the best from coaching in today’s marketplace

 

Coaching is not a regulated industry which means that anyone can call themselves a coach legitimately, but that does not mean that all coaches are created equally.

For every success story, there are at least as many failed coaching relationships, and as a certified coach for over a decade, that makes me sad.

I have had my own amazing experiences, and others that have left me feeling violated, and abused my so called coach.

At the end of this article, you will be able to enter your next, or first, coaching relationship with your eyes wide open which should contribute to a stellar experience free from unwelcome surprises.

 

The definition of coaching

I think this mishmash and oftentimes mistrust, of coaching experiences, is down to a fundamental misunderstanding of what we are getting ourselves into when we hire a coach.

And when you look at the definitions, it is little wonder.

For example, dictionary.com defines a coach as

“a person who trains an athlete or a team of althetes: a football coach

a private tutor who prepares a student for an examination

a person who instructs an actor or singer”

and this is absolutely true.

Yet when I researched the definitions of coaching from the International Coach Federation and the Association for Coaching respectively, these are the descriptions that I came across:


ICF defines coaching as

“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment.” International Coach Federation

 

“A collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, life experience, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee.” Association for Coaching

 

These descriptions, even though wordy, do paint a very different picture of what coaching is.

 

And all of them are completely true and valid, but that doesn’t help you as a client, or coach to embark on the clearest of relationships.

I find that it helps to introduce the help of some other terms at this point to distinguish the potential relationships and expectations for each:

 

Teaching/Training/Instructing

Any new skills that are to be learned would fall into this category for me. For example, sports, music, dance, maths, creative writing etc would fall into this category.  This is where new information is being introduced for the first time, and taught to students. This is where I would use the description that Dictionary.com provided.

Mentoring

Mentoring is where the mentor shares their own experience with their mentee. They will help the mentee to achieve what they have achieved by giving guidance and demonstration of how they achieved the goal.  There is a proven path that the mentor has walked. There may be some teaching involved.  I see a number of coaching programs, particularly online, that would fall into this category.

Coaching

Coaching is a set of skills that the coach possesses that can be applied in any situation and the coach may not have experienced the goal that the client seeks. The coach does not teach or share information with the client; instead they skillfully elicit the answers from the client themselves. This is borne of a fundamental belief that the client has all the answers already.

My rule of thumb is that if there is content (information) involved, then this not coaching.

 

Key Takeaway

Coaching is a broad term for a number of different relationships. As a client, it is important to understand what type of relationship you want for you.

 

What is coaching exactly?

When we talk in terms of life coaching, and performance coaching (including business and executive coaching) we are embracing this definition:  

Coaching is a process of unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. Gallwey, cited in Whitmore (1996)

In addition to the belief that the client holds all the answers, there are five fundamentals or principles of coaching that should be understood by both coach and client.

 

5 Fundamentals or Principles of Coaching

1. Suspend Judgement

In order to suspend one’s judgment, one needs to have the attitude of ‘I will coach my client as they are now, where they are now without my judgment clouding their uniqueness or current situation’. For whatever reason, if one feels that it is not possible to suspend ones judgments, one should recommend the client to see another coach.

2. Future versus Past

Coaching is future oriented but we also must be grounded in the present. If a client seems to be stuck in the past, perhaps it is better to advise him/her to see a therapist (more past oriented). A ‘coaching type of client’ is interested in working with the coach on what they want to create in their own life for the future right now.

3. Solutions Focused versus Problem Based

To enable a client to move forward effectively the coach must facilitate solutions. Problems and failures should not be dwelt upon but learnt from. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure that the coaching focuses on what the clients wants and the solutions that are needed to overcome their problems.

4. Action Orientated

It is easy to say ‘I would like to work out to feel better physically’, however we all know that it is not enough to make that statement: it requires taking – action! The same goes for coaching sessions: to simply map out goals, but to take no action toward them is just as unlikely to bring about results as us thinking we will get toned muscles just by saying we want them – without working out. It’s important to remember that the client can come to the coaching, but if they don’t act upon the commitments that are made in the coaching then they will not get results.

5. Celebration Focused

After every achieved effort that is meaningful to us as individuals we must take the time to celebrate it. By celebrating we are associating positive feelings of happiness and joy to reaching our goals. In the future when we want to achieve other goals we automatically conjure up those past positive feelings of happiness and joy and we are more likely to follow through with future goals.

 

This takes us a step closer to understand the pillars upon which coaching is built, but what is it exactly, and what is it not?

Coaching is:

  • Clarifying what a client wants from life
  • Setting and implementing goals
  • Uncovering values
  • Monitoring progress
  • Providing an environment for positive change
  • Providing accountability
  • Motivating a client
  • Correcting non-achievement
  • Identifying plans and action steps for change
  • Staying focused with clarity on a client’s vision

Coaching is not:

  • Providing counseling with past issues
  • Mentoring and telling a client what to do
  • Discussing issues a client is hesitant to explore
  • A social conversation
  • Fixed to the coach’s agenda

 

The coaching relationship is highly collaborative with the client performing the majority of the talking in each coaching session prompted skillfully by the coach.  Together, actions are designed to ensure that the client reaches their desired goals.

 

However, it is not all about taking action. A skilled coach will also be able to expertly and gently, challenge their client on obstacles to their goal, whilst helping the client to learn and understand more about themselves. This results in empowerment that lasts a lifetime.

 

Key Takeaway

Coaches believe that their clients have all the answers, and that their purpose is to help uncover them.

 

What you can expect in a coaching relationship

Coaching can be an incredibly powerful experience. Below are just a few of the my clients’ experiences:

“Two sessions with Lorraine changed my life”

“What Lorraine can do with just a few words blows my mind”

“Lorraine has a superpower”

“Lorraine, you are a miracle worker”

 

Now I do not share these statements to stroke my ego. In fact, the opposite is true. Whilst my ego would love for me to believe that I am somehow special or unique, I know that the actions that I took that resulted in this feedback, were simple and can be learned.

What makes the client experience so powerful is that by using skills of listening, questioning and creating a safe space, the client is able to explore themselves at a far deeper level than if they were following instruction.

This is what you will experience from a coach who abides by the definitions we have discussed in this article:

  • A safe and confidential space in which to explore your goals
  • A minimum period for the relationship (this ensures that the coach has space to build momentum for the client)
  • An agreement that outlines the expectations of both client and coach
  • To be fully heard in each session
  • Challenge through artful questioning techniques that encourage you to dig deeper, and examine your values and beliefs
  • Exploration of a number of opportunities to reach your goals
  • Accountability for agreed actions
  • Celebration of your successes
  • RESULTS!

 

For this to happen it is important that you select a coach that you connect with. Referrals can be a great place to start, however it is vital that you meet with your prospective coach before hiring them as the whole relationship hinges on strong rapport. Without an initial connection, trust and rapport cannot be built and that will have a detrimental impact on results.

Luckily, seasoned coaches are well aware of this, and select their clients accordingly. They understand that the best matches get the best results, and that is as good for them as it is for their clients.

 

Key Takeaway

The most powerful results come from designing your own solutions with the help of a masterful coach

 

In review of what we have covered so far:

Coaching is a broad term for a number of different relationships. As a client, it is important to understand what type of relationship you want for you.

Coaches believe that their clients have all the answers, and that their purpose is to help uncover them.

The most powerful results come from designing your own solutions with the help of a masterful coach

 

In conclusion,these skills can be applied in any context, which is why coaching has become so ubiquitous in recent years. As more and more people and businesses witness the power of a great coaching relationship, the demand for it continues to grow. And with any growth industry, there will be those who seek to benefit without the proper training, skills and ethics.

 

It can be tough to know what you need as a client, when you are seeking help, but by recognising that there are a myriad options for coaching relationships and identifying what you need most, and how you want to be coached is the first, most powerful step in achieving the results that you desire, and deserve.  It is also worth remembering that you may have many coaches, mentors and instructors over the course of your life/career/business. These relationships can be short or lengthy.

 

For exceptional results from coaching, it is necessary to enter the coaching relationship with your eyes open. This means ensuring that there are no unwelcome surprises, and setting clear expectations for both coach and client from the outset. Interview your coach in the same way that you would interview any other team member.