Would you ever go to a dentist who doesn’t have a diploma?
We’re assuming that the answer is a straight no! The same principle applies to personal coaching certification. The first step in becoming a certified coach is to go through a legitimate training program accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
So, why personal coaching?
There is a reason why personal coaching certification has been one of the fastest growing career choices around the world in the last ten years. Unless there is a serious physical or mental illness, most people today don’t want to go through years of therapy, digging into their past session after session. They are looking for a quick, effective solution to focus on the now and future.
As life gets busier, more and more people are in need of support, the kind of support that will make them progress and amplify their lives. Coaching does that and it works! Personal coaches who are certified are well-educated in the process of helping people get from where they are to where they want to be. Certified personal coaches who have credentials know how to help individuals:
- Explore and articulate what they want
- Become aware of who they are when they are free of their inner critic
- Move past related mental and emotional limiting beliefs
- Analyse the gap between where they are and what they want
- Progress with their abilities and resources
- Create a success plan with realistic steps
- Reach their maximum capacity
- Move forward and take action
- Measure their results of success and revise the plan if necessary
- Focus on what is really important versus losing time with dysfunctional mental, emotional, and behavioural habits that do not serve the person
- Work on the habit of prioritization for a happier life from the present to the future.
So, how can you become a certified personal coach?
Step 1: Find a legitimate coach training program.
As mentioned, you need to enrol in a program that is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) which is the regulating body for professional coaching. ICF accreditation is quickly becoming the gold standard for all life coach certification programs. When looking for the perfect coaching program that fits your needs, be sure you only choose programs that are ICF accredited.
Like a college degree, earning your coaching certification is the best way to claim your expertise in the field of coaching. Ensure that when you are searching for a program, it has an Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP) type of certification. ACTP means that the program offers the highest level of certification. Do not forget that you are in the field of helping people and people are sophisticated! An ACTP program will prepare you at the maximum capacity to guarantee that you have the capabilities and confidence to coach people.
Step 2: Make sure that your values are aligned with the program’s philosophy.
While all ACTPs must live up to the ICF ethical standards and coaching competencies, their models, philosophies, and methodologies will differ.
For example, the FLOW Coaching Institute’s Positive Psychology based ACTP personal coach certification program values the science of happiness versus the orientation of fixing problems. It also offers the use of structure in a coaching session that has space for creativity and flow at multidimensional levels (mental, emotional, relational, physical, spiritual, cultural, and political).
Step 3: Ensure that the program has its roots in science.
It is disheartening, but there are many coach training programs out there with unrealistic claims and no foundations in science. We strongly recommend that you choose a program that has links to a scientific discipline. For example, the FLOW Coaching Institute’s ACTP personal coach certification program has its foundation in Positive Psychology that was pioneered by Dr. Martin Seligman and Psychologist Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi.
Step 4: Be coached.
It is important that you get coached to have an understanding of what it feels like to be coached. Successful coaches have gone through the process of personal coaching either before or after they complete their certification. As a professional coach, working with a personal coach will give you authenticity.
Step 5: Focus on your competency development for building your practice and get mentoring and supervision on your coaching skills.
Research tells us that professional coaches – whether life, career, or executive – are the ones who invested in their skill development and have gone through mentoring and supervision to improve their coaching skills. Coaching is about delivering meaningful and structured conversations towards desired outcomes; most of the time people are not linear beings and the conversation is not straightforward. If you work with a mentor coach for supervision, with their support you will be investing in your competencies to run effective coaching sessions and increasingly provide value to your clients.