Even though certified life coach training is not a must for you to start your life coaching business, getting certified has unique advantages. The most obvious advantage is that certification separates the non-trained from the professionals. However, there are other benefits gained by taking a life coach training that is certified by the ICF. These include:
- The training will help you to focus on the client.
- The training will teach you to coach the client rather than the problem.
- The training will help you to attend to the client’s learning, being, and action.
Let’s look at each of these in greater detail.
1. Certified Life Coach Training Will Help You Focus on the Client.
A life coach partners with their client to explore various areas in the client’s life in which changes can be made to help them move forward. Ideally, the client needs to take ownership of the coaching sessions. This can only happen if they fully understand what they are gaining from the experience. When you take a certified life coach training, you can hold a client accountable to their agenda through the following steps:
- Coming up with action steps. You will be trained on how to work with the client to develop some actionable steps.
- Allowing the client to be in charge. Training will help you to allow the client to be in charge. It is part of human nature to want to impose your solutions on someone you are trying to help, but in life coaching the coach must take a back seat and allow the client to discover the most optimal solution for their needs.
- Maintaining focus. In any conversation, people sometimes let their minds wander. A trained life coach will know how to steer the conversation to focus on the intended topic. Maintaining focus on the client’s agenda is an important life coaching skill that can differentiate between a successful and unsuccessful coaching session.
2. Certified Life Coach Training Prepares You to Coach the Client Rather than the Problem.
One of the most important fundamentals of life coaching is that the client has all the resources they need to deal with any challenge they encounter in life. The apostle Paul must have realized this when he reminded the Philippians that they could do all things through Christ who gave them strength (Philippians 3:14). Taking appropriate training will help the life coach know:
- Their client is not broken. This is an important point because it is not the job to “fix” the client. On the contrary, clients actually know what besets them, and they need their coach to help motivate them to work things out.
- They are looking for solutions, not problems. The coach’s role is not to create problems but to help find solutions. The life coach should be concerned with how they can give the client insights that might help them move forward on their journey towards the solutions they need.
- Their clients have all needed resources. A Christian life coach must always appreciate that their clients are already empowered, and they are to work with the Holy Spirit to get the solutions they need. The life coach is, therefore, a facilitator to help them realize the solutions.
- Not to make assumptions. The problem with making the assumption that your client is unable to do something will make you seem like you are trying to be clever or a know-it-all, and this will be counterproductive.
- The importance of confidence. It is important for the life coach to have confidence in the coaching process. It is also important to be confident in the client. Without this confidence, the coaching process will falter.
Training will help you realize that a life coach doesn’t need to be the expert, with all the answers and all the solutions at their fingertips. Asking powerful and appropriate questions is more important than having the best answers. The life coach should allow the client to use the word of God as the mirror through which they will see themselves as God sees them—not as they are but as they are meant to be.
3. Training Will Help You to Attend to the Client’s Learning, Being, and Action.
Another benefit for certified life coach training is that it will help you to know the best way to attend to your client’s learning, being, and action. These are the most important tenets of personal growth. Without the awareness of “self” in an environment of learning and action, it wouldn’t be possible to have a meaningful conversation. But here is the challenge of learning: When you attempt to help your client without taking their characteristics into account, you are, in effect, asking the client to try to move forward without any context. Learning is only effective if the client understands the importance of acquiring knowledge.
As a life coach, it is important to help your client to understand their “self” in relation to the scriptures. Christians do not discover their identity by looking into themselves, but rather by looking to God. This is the stage where the client defines their unique personality, values, and other personality characteristics. The life coach must ask powerful questions that will inspire the client to understand their being. Here are some examples of good questions to ask:
- What do you wish to achieve by accomplishing your goals?
- What does being a disciple of Christ (professional/minister/parent/student) mean to you?
- Which characteristics you display when you are at your best?
- What do you admire most about yourself?
- What are the changes that need to be made in order to achieve your goal?
Discovery of new information (learning) is a very important facet in life coaching. Learning is usually facilitated by the coach but created by the client. Learning largely depends on the context, concept, and meaning. The concept refers to the idea that the client becomes aware of what they want to accomplish. Context refers to the life of the client as it relates to information relevant to themselves and their goals. Meaning refers to the awareness the acquired information creates in the life of the client.
The purpose of the life coaching process is to inspire positive action. The way to measure success is whether or not their client was inspired to take action steps. Clients seeking life coaching services desire to realize an objective. The life coach should work with their client in order to develop an effective action plan. For instance, defining and clarifying the client’s vision. A clear vision is like a goal except that it also has finer details, for instance, of the specific time frames. It is important to ensure that the action plans are aligned with the client’s life values.
Getting certified life coach training is very important for anyone wanting to set up a professional life coaching business. You will receive pertinent and important training that will set you apart from other life coaches. While it is important to always be led by the Spirit, the Bible also reminds us to study in order to be approved before men (2 Timothy 2:15).
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