So you are thinking about becoming a coach? In Part One of this blog series I looked at why anyone would want to become a coach. The industry is booming. You can make a good living. And most importantly, you can help others become the best versions of themselves. In Part Two, I looked at the different types of coaching. I mentioned business coaching, life coaching, executive coaching, career coaching, etc.
In Part Three, I want to focus on an important issue that many prospective coaches and even people already coaching face, “do I need to get certified? If so, where should I go?”
A coaching certification is not required for coaches. Some people believe that having a certification is helping to police the industry, but unfortunately there are a lot of certifications out there that cost a lot of money and provide little value. Before I give you my opinion on certifications, let me tell you why someone might want become certified.
You may want to become certified if you lack confidence because perhaps you already lack education. Or you may want to because you have found a certification course or program that is perfect for you and it fits in your budget. Other than those two things, the main benefit is a few letters you can add after your name that most people won’t understand.
If you decide you really want to become certified, I recommend any certification that is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF). Going through a university is always a great option. This, I believe is what looks the best on your resume and where you probably can learn the most. There are some great programs within universities like Georgetown, Columbia, Duquesne, and many more.
My opinion on certification has two parts. I believe that getting credentialed through the International Coach Federation is fine. That requires an application, a log of hours, and some other things that are important. I always recommend that more than anything.
But I do not believe a certification makes you a good coach. I know a lot of great coaches who are not certified. Many of them could teach courses on coaching. I know some bad coaches who are certified and vice versa. My point is that it is a toss-up. You will be successful not because you are certified, but because you commit to your business. You will be successful because you can sell coaching and because you are good at what you do.
There are a lot of coach certification programs out there that are really just scams. They get you to pay thousands of dollars to learn how to be a coach, but they teach you nothing. You cannot learn to coach through a three hour course or even a 10 or 18 hour course. You learn to coach over time. What you need to learn is how to sell coaching because that is how you build a coaching business.
In order to be a good coach, the most important thing that you need is good content. Coaching is not and should not be advice giving. It is about guiding clients on their journey towards success in life, business, and any goal that they set. Lucky for you, Part Four of this blog series will be on content. Be sure and come back next week!