Life coaches come from all different backgrounds, industries and educational levels. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom who is embarking on a new career or a business executive looking for a career change, you can be a successful life coach.
As a life coach you will inspire others to achieve new levels of personal or professional success by teaching them how to set goals, overcome obstacles and stay focused on results. Some of your clients may be seeking a healthy work/life balance while others may be seeking to gain understanding about their life purpose. As a life coach you will ask your clients provocative questions that help them explore what they want in their lives. You will also hold them accountable for completing tasks and reaching goals that they set for themselves. To be able to achieve this successfully, you need to be able to provide your clients with outstanding service and more importantly results.
Fortunately, due to the exponential growth in the personal development industry, there are many life coaching training programs to choose from. For those who have coaching or mentoring experience, life coaching may be a seamless transition with a minimum of training. Others may require a more intense level of training. Regardless of your background, the time you have to commit, your particular style of learning and your training needs you will find the right program for you.
Here is an overview of the various types of life coaching training programs.
Life coaching correspondence courses are a series of classes that you complete independently and at your own pace. These courses are typically found online and are great for those who have very busy schedules. Taking a correspondence course will require that you complete various assignments including, goal setting and self reflection, question and answer worksheets and exams. Upon completion of the assignments, you will send your completed work back to the life coaching educational institution. Your work will then be reviewed. If everything is complete and satisfactory, you will be issued a life coaching certificate of completion.
Life coaching seminar courses are a series of classes that you complete in a group setting in a seminar format. These courses are typically held at a hotel or other venue and last from a couple of days to up to a week. Life coaching seminar courses involve some lecture, demonstration and practice. You will be given written reference materials and will need to complete some written exercises and exams. At the end of the seminar, provided all work is complete and satisfactory, you will be issued a life coaching certificate of completion.
Online life coaching courses are a series of classes that you complete online. You will work independently and the training is delivered via online instructional videos and reading materials. Some online life coaching programs are self paced, while others are not. For instance, if you are taking a life coaching program online at a university, you will likely have to complete assignments based on their deadlines etc. If you are taking a life coaching course through a life coaching educational company you will be able to complete your program based on your own needs and scheduling preferences. A life coaching certificate of completion will be issued upon satisfactory completion of the program.
Tele-course life coaching courses are a series of classes that you complete via telephone or teleconference. These courses are typically a combination of lecture, demonstration, and practice. Tele-course life coaching programs can be completed in as little as a week to several months, depending on the program that you choose and your availability to complete the work.
Upon successfully completing the program, you will be issued a life coaching certificate of completion.
School based life coaching programs are a series of courses that you complete in a classroom setting, usually at a university or community college etc. These courses are delivered in a more structured format via lecture, demonstration and practice. School based life coaching programs are typically based on a semester or quarter schedule with classes occurring weekly. These courses can take anywhere from 6 months to 1yr to complete. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, you will be awarded a life coaching certificate of completion.
Another option for life coaching training is via one-on-one mentoring from a mentor coach. With one-on-one mentoring you will learn by observation and practice. Your mentor coach will provide you with reference materials, and will do role play exercises with you. One-on-one life coaching mentoring programs are typically self-paced and conducted over the telephone. At the completion of the training you will be issued a life coaching certificate of completion.
Tips and Warnings
All programs are not created equal. Do your research and ask questions. Review and compare different course offerings thoroughly and ask for references.
Research the pros and cons of certification and association affiliation prior to choosing a program. Life coaches are not mandated to be certified or belong to any industry associations. There are many highly visible and successful life coaches who are not certified and do not belong to any associations. Becoming certified or joining an association is a personal choice.
Hire your own life coach. One of the best ways to grasp the techniques and concepts of coaching is to be coached yourself.
Be fearless and persistent. You decided to become a life coach because you wanted freedom, flexibility and financial independence while helping others improve their lives. Building a life coaching business requires consistency, patience and hard work.
Take time for yourself. As a life coach you spend a lot of time encouraging others. Be sure to take time, regularly, to nurture your own personal development and growth.