Life coaching is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that is catching on like wildfire among certain demographics!
People who yearn for more out of their life but have no idea how to get it, seek out life coaches.
People who are faced with a sudden change of life: lottery winners, empty nesters and retirees, those who have vowed to overcome severe emotional or physical trauma…
Even people at the start of their careers are looking for an edge by engaging the services of a life coach!
And they’re not the only ones: these days, more and more businesses are including life coaching in employees’ benefits packages.
Clearly, becoming a life coach can be lucrative: the monthly rate for such services runs anywhere between £150-1000 per client!
Wouldn’t you like to jump on that bandwagon?
If you think you have what it takes to become a life coach – passion, inspiration, motivation and the ability to encourage others, all you need to find out is how to actually become a life coach.
Let Superprof show you the way!
A life coach’s mission it to help you make your unfocused dream a reality! Source: Pixabay Credit: Pixel2013
Distilled into simplest terms, a life coach gives people permission to live as they have always wanted to.
No, they are not fairy godmothers, replete with wisdom and waving a magic wand.
They are people, just like you and I, who have dedicated their lives to empowering others: helping them find, within themselves, the impetus for change that they so desire.
A life coach is not to be confused with a relationship coach; s/he will not help you mend a broken heart.
And, s/he is not a business coach: if you are having business woes, you need a different type of coach.
Lastly, s/he is not a therapist.
If there are legitimate psychological issues barring you from your goals, s/he would certainly recommend you work with a clinician.
Where a life coach excels is in helping you define your goals – be they personal or professional, and empowering you to reach them.
“Nobody at work likes me!” is not a reason to seek out a life coach. However, if you’ve long felt that you are not where you belong, at work or in life, such a professional is the one you need!
How do they get so good at helping people live satisfying lives?
There is no mandated certification process or training requirement for life coaching in the UK.
There: we got that out of the way!
However, there are training programmes that will render you a most effective life coach.
And, while anyone can hang out a shingle (or advertise on social media) that they are a life coach, the savvy client will certainly want to see your International Coach Federation accreditation.
Besides, it just makes good sense to undergo a training program to become a certified life coach.
Here, the GROW model of coaching, where reality and options are reversed Source: Pixabay Credit: TheDigitalArtist
One might argue that life coaching has its roots in sports coaching.
Indeed, the book The Inner Game of Tennis shifted the focus of the player from technical skill needed for playing to the psychological readiness of winning.
Getting rid of self-doubt and anxiety allows the player to become his/her best self: essentially, it means getting out of one’s own way and learning to trust oneself to do a good job.
That same philosophy goes back even further: to what we know as a state of Zen, from the Tang dynasty in China which, in turn, has its roots in the ancient Indian practice of meditation.
Timothy Gallwey’s book was pivotal to the creation of the GROW model.
GROW stands for:
This is one of the earliest and most influential models of coaching, still in use today.
It is also the foundation of several other coaching models!
Other impactful discoverers of effective coaching include Werner Erhard, who ran self-empowerment workshops around the time the Tennis book was published, and Thomas Leonard.
He was the budget director for a company called Landmark Worldwide, formerly Landmark Education.
Oftentimes people would ask him big life questions that essentially had nothing to do with finance, his area of expertise.
He realised that financial dire straits were more of a symptom of grave underlying personal problems than a problem in itself.
Armed with Mr Erhard’s teaching materials – which his company had bought outright, he went on to found, among other associations, the International Coach Federation, which became the main accrediting and credentialing body for coaches.
The ICF now operates in 140 countries, ours included!
The premier organisation that trains coaches, in the UK and elsewhere, is called the Coaches Training Institute, or CTI.
Since their establishment in London in 1996, they have built a no-fail curriculum that churns out, on average, 200 coaches each year.
Prospective coaches first undergo the Fundamentals module, a two-and-a-half day workshop that emphasises communications.
This is not a lecture seminar; in no way are the participants passively digesting information!
Everyone uses their newly-acquired skills within the workshop, formulating pointed questions used in root cause analysis, and three levels of listening.
Upon successful completion of this model, the coaching candidate earns 18.75 points towards his curriculum completion (the entire course totals 200 hours).
‘Fundamentals’ serves as a prerequisite for the next modules, cumulatively called The Intermediate Series.
This chain of courses must be taken in sequential order, and consist of: Fulfillment, Balance, Process and Synergy.
Each title represents a 3-day workshop, wherein you would go progressively deeper into the philosophy, psychology and techniques of coaching.
Once those steps are complete, you have the option of going yet farther: becoming a Certified Professional Coactive Coach.
That title, along with ICF credentialing is the culmination of your 200 hours of learning – be it in actual workshops, virtual meetings or by consulting with clients.
If you apply yourself rigorously, the whole course takes 25 weeks to complete, at a cost of around £6000.
What do all that time and money get you?
Nothing is quite so valuable as what you earn! Source: Pixabay Credit: Kristopher K
At this point, after ingesting that price tag and time commitment, you might be thinking:
If there are no licensing requirements, why should I spend all that time and money?
You would be absolutely correct, but you could not be more wrong.
The essence of being a life coach is knowing you are your very best self, and still working to become better.
All aggrandisement aside, how could you know how good you are now and what skills you’re missing if you don’t subject them to professional scrutiny?
And, even if you do have fantastic interpersonal skills – your friends all say you are the best listener, why not improve on them?
Contrary to popular belief, practice does not make perfect; it makes better – what a liberating thought that is!
Think about it: one never prides about anything they didn’t work for or earn; it is the thrill of the chase that we humans crave.
Even in the American Declaration of Independence, those citizens are only guaranteed the pursuit of happiness; not happiness itself. Did their founding fathers wish to impress on future generations that the quest for achievement is its own reward?
It thus stands to reason that one couldn’t revere what they have not worked for, ardently pursued, and earned through their own dedication!
Besides, there is always something new to learn…
Whether you establish yourself with a coaching business or start a business of your own: as someone trained in coaching techniques, your credibility is already assured.
From there, you can offer your coaching services to corporations – remember, they are waking up to the need for life coaches, or find a niche market.
Perhaps at a senior centre, counselling those aforementioned retirees, or maybe help repatriate people who have lived out of the country for a few years.
It all starts with developing the right skills and attitudes that will make you, and your clients, successful.
Earlier we credited only Americans with the life coaching revolution, and that wasn’t entirely accurate…
You might thrill to know that it was an Englishman, Sir John Whitmore who brought life coaching to the UK, after a dynamic career as a race car driver.
He found himself at odds with what to do with himself after he ran his last lap… sound familiar?
His interest in sports and psychology led him to America, to study under Mr Gallwey himself.
He returned to England in the late 70’s with a few fellows; initially, they coached sports but soon turned their attention to the business world, developing a coaching programme for managers.
He remained active in the personal coaching business, even founding an association of personal coaches that ultimately merged with the International Coach Federation, for whom he served as a trustee until his death.
Now, that’s a passion!
Find relevant resources for life coaches here.
See here how you can build up your clients as a life coach.