Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Want To Become A Life Coach

You're already on the web and looking at options - possible what's made you stop by here and read the article. This article will share 7 of the author's top tips for what makes a difference when you are setting out as a coach. Getting things right to start off with makes things easier when you then move on to becoming in turn a trainee coach, newly qualified coach & finally a coach with a strong professional practice.

Explore your reasons for wanting to become a coach

Before you go off and do anything practical, it's good to take a step back & just get clear about what coaching means to you. What makes it something that you think you'd like to do? Is it so you can run a business? Is it something part time or would you like to see it as a business? How does it fit with your values & the way your life is set up? Understanding why you want to become a coach, can help you be clear about what coach training is right for you (for instance, life coaching, small business coaching etc) as well as giving you a clear light to follow when you are in coach training to act as a reminder of why you are doing it.

Experience coaching for yourself

If you haven't already, get your own coach. I actually got into coaching through being coached myself, so knew first hand more about what the skillset was & what I may expect. This was a great starter to thinking about why I wanted to be a coach, and what I could expect to be doing as a coach.

It's also good practice as a coach to have your own coach, so you are already starting off at an advantage!

Do your research

It's important to understand the different offerings that are out there when you are considering becoming a coach. Often, coach training programs involve a large degree of investment, both in terms of time and money, so you need to feel comfortable that you are making the right investment, and one that you will continue to be happy with over time. This can include designing your own questions to help you understand what you want to get from the coach training, or what the most important elements you must have in the training. This can turn into a checklist for you when you are reviewing the different internet sites for the coach training schools to help you understand how close they are to your criteria.

Speak to coaches to find out more about the training they did

It can be good to get some first hand thoughts from coaches about the training they did. Sometimes the coach training schools can point you in the direction of students that have completed their training, or you can look at the training school websites & contact coaches directly. Otherwise, if you look at google groups or yahoo groups, there are sites out there that will point you in the direction of forums for coaches that you can ask questions about coaching.

Consider the impacts of training.

Unless you live in a vacuum, your decision to become a life coach via coach training & accreditation will make a difference to those around you. Now you know a bit more about what is required from the different coach training schools, it is time to think about how that may affect you personally. This can be as simple as creating a list of pro's and con's, considering the financials and the time it will take you to complete coach training. It can be having a conversation with those close to you about what it will involve & seeing how they feel about it and what support you can negotiate.

Immerse yourself in development

Most of the coaches I know are continually learning. Whilst it is important to keep a balance so you aren't spending unbounded amounts of money on learning & development (which is very easy to do!) there is lots of support & information out there at low or no cost. Looking at bookshops top tens can help you see what the hot trends are - these are books that are selling! Your library, as well as the internet, is a great source of low cost/ no cost information relating to personal development.

Build on your self awareness.

Understanding your own development, what makes you tick, is a great start to make when you are considering coach training. Raising your own awareness of who you are, what's important to you & how this may impact on you as a professional coach is a good way to challenge yourself right from the start.

Claire Chapman is the coaches coach specializing in working with trainee & newly qualified coaches. Claire focuses on helping coaches to unearth their core strengths, to create space to explore themselves, their coaching & their business, & then to take tangible action to get the right results. Claire works with coaches via telephone for one to one coaching & with the Get Clients Now!(TM) program and other group coaching sessions. Visit the website now to sign up to receive the 30 day e-course "Lessons for Life" what they didn't teach you at coach training school - and what to do about it.

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