August 8

How to Become a Life Coach: A Basic Introduction


A coach is someone who helps other people become clear on what they truly want in life, as well as helping them cope with challenges that get in the way. If you are excited at the prospect of helping others while earning a healthy living, then this article is a good place to start. As you are curious about being a life coach and possibly interested in setting up a coaching practice, you might have asked someone or searched the internet on how to become a life coach.

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Qualifications on How to Become a Life Coach & Why Become a Coach?

• So, let’s learn about how to become a life coach. To become a professional life coach or executive coach, first, you might want to evaluate your current life. While no one is perfect and everyone has some difficulties, one of the challenges of coaching is being comfortable in working with others. We are supporting people and often challenging them to improve. In some ways, you could be a model for your clients by practicing what you preach. If you still have significant challenges in your life that need to be dealt with, consider getting a coach for yourself first. The best way to explore how to become a life coach and learn about the benefits of coaching is just by hiring a coach.

• A coach must have the desire to help others and be interested in exploring their lives. As a coach, you listen actively to your clients, exploring their desires, goals, and personal values which bring out the best in them. A coaching session is not a place for the coach to tell their stories or discuss their issues. Coaching sessions are all about the client.

• Helping others in reaching their goal is the main calling of a coach. Do not forget; clients hire you because of some dissatisfaction with their life. They come to you often concerned, stressed or frustrated as they have not been able to reach a particular goal or solve a problem.

• One qualification on how to become a life coach is proper training. While there are no laws regarding certification and training, a professional certified life coach training course will pay dividends. Graduates from coach training can expect your skill level will be greatly enhanced, and the value you provide to clients will be that much higher. Professionally trained coaches make more money than coaches that jump into the business with no planning. The most powerful life coaching organization in the world is called the ICF (International Coach Federation). They promote coaching worldwide and also accredit coach training schools such as TheCoachTrainingAcademy.com. Attending an ICF accredited school certainly gives the public assurance that they will receive top-notch training.

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• One key fundamental of coaching is confidentiality. For coaching to be effective, clients must feel safe in revealing important issues in their life.

• Another key fundamental is the ability to adapt to different personal styles. If you are loud, strongly opinionated, and your client is introspective and quiet it will be impossible to build rapport and create trust. A top coach will be flexible.

• Be open-minded. People need to discuss their personal challenges with you without being judged. As a matter of fact, if you cannot coach without judging your client you are obligated to end the coaching agreement.

• You should have extensive knowledge about the coaching process. One of the big differences between coaching and training and consulting is coaches are experts in the coaching process. They are not necessarily experts on the topic they are coaching.

Types of Coaches:

How to become a life coach can be challenging and exciting, so you need to determine the role you want to focus on to provide adequate support to your client.

• A professional life coach is a person who helps clients, as they go through the different challenges of their life, such as choosing or starting a career, relationship issues, weight loss, health, time management and general work-life balance.

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• An executive coach provides coaching at the corporate leadership level. Executive Coaching focuses on the development and performance of an individual in an organization and often teams of Executives or managers with a particular task to accomplish. Executive coaching is a business investment; savvy companies invest in. The ICF has funded numerous research projects into the value of coaching. Organizations that employ coaches will comment that coaching is no different then paying the electric bill. Just another necessary investment in improving the company.

• An internal coach is a coach that works exclusively in one company. These salaried positions are often taken by specially trained managers, human resource specialists or coaches hired specifically to work within the organization.

• An external coach is an independent entrepreneur who has solid coaching skills and an appreciation for marketing. External or the entrepreneur coach often develop coaching programs, group programs, write books and are public speakers.

Training Options:

There are different training options that you can use on how to become a life coach.

• Live – Live coach training is a traditional school or bricks and mortar approach. You physically attend coach training courses either locally or travel to larger centers. The big downside of these coach trainings is the cost and fixed schedules. The overhead for these schools is substantial, so they must charge considerable fees for courses.

• Recorded – Recorded programs are coach programs that are archived onto CD’s or downloads. Course content can be from a live training, and you can listen to it anytime, wherever you are. If you have a very tight budget, this can be a good option. The big problem with recorded training is the ICF (International Coach Federation) does not accredit recorded programs. Their position is students must be able to ask questions, enter discussions, be involved with peer coaching practice and attend mentor coaching sessions. It does make sense, as how good would a doctor be if they were only trained by reading, and listening to recordings.

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• Online – When done well, professional online ICF accredited life coach training programs or e-learning offers the best of all worlds. These live trainings are delivered via teleclass or webinar with live interaction. Peer coaching practice with other students plus coach mentors where a mentor coach listens to students coach and provides feedback for improvement. Online coach training is accessed from the comfort of your home and most often during nonwork or business hours. The ICF (International Coach Federation) accredits and promotes Online Professional Coach Training Schools.

Cost related to how to become a life coach

Setting up a coaching practice is inexpensive compared to investing in other types of business.

Cost also depends on the coach, their business, and marketing abilities. One coach may build their website and handle social media themselves, and another may want or need to outsource these requirements. So in this respect, there is no average cost just like there is no common coaching practice. Some start small with a couple of clients to supplement other careers, while others want to make coaching a full-time business. So literally, one coach may start building a coaching practice with $500, and another starts with $5000.

How to become a life coach in relationship to Coach Certification

Regarding the question about certification, there are no jurisdictions as of this writing that require someone to receive training to coach professionally. Currently, the only jurisdiction having state requirements for life coaching is Colorado, and this is simply a yearly state license fee. This can be confusing as most people have some basic coaching skills commonly regarded as “seat of the pants coaching”. These lay coaches simply have a conversation and give clients advice. While this is where some people start as coaches, there is no comparison to the skill level of a professionally trained coach compared to a coach counting just on their intuition.

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Once you complete a coach training program, you can start working as a professional coach. Certification provides you with “social proof” that you have professional coach training and can be trusted as one's coach. “Social proof,” is a term used by Robert Cialdini in his book on Persuasion and Influence. While people often read testimonials as social proof, a certified coach also elevates a coaches status(social proof) showing that they have invested in themselves.

You might have discovered when researching how to become a life coach various coach training schools. Choosing a good certified coach training program can become confusing, as you want to make the best investment possible. While there are good coaching schools that are not accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF), you will be assured a solid education by sticking with an ICF accredited school. The ICF has the highest standard for school accreditation making it quite difficult for schools to receive their seal of approval. You are enrolling at one of the best life coach schools by selecting an ICF certified coaching program.

Personal Coaching improves a client’s outlook in all facets of their life and work. Coaching helps unlock the potential of individuals as well as groups. Coaches live to coach and receive an abundance of personal satisfaction seeing clients succeed. Coaching is a self-leadership process used to develop the client’s leadership strength in themselves.

We trust this article about how to become a life coach has been useful to you. If a career as a professional coach is exciting to you, please contact us with any questions.

Additional Resources on How To Become A Life Coach


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