Crossroads. Everyone is at them at some point in life. It could be something related to a person’s career trajectory or their private life. Whichever the case might be, life coaching is one of the best avenues a person can take in order to get the help needed to know the best route to take. While it is possible for almost anyone to start a life coaching business, the best way to ensure your credibility is by obtaining certification through the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF is the gold standard in coaching and they are responsible for authorizing the ICF certified training programs offered by various institutions in over 140 countries.
Most people mistake consulting for coaching, and this is one of the advantages of taking proper life coach training from an ICF accredited school. Consultants are knowledgeable in their subject areas, and it is their role to tell their clients what to do. On the contrary, a life coach doesn’t necessarily tell the client what to do. They simply ask the proper questions in order to inspire the desired change or action. People hire a life coach because something in their life is not working. For instance, they might realize they are not anywhere close to realizing their lifelong dreams or maybe they are not even sure what their goals are.
Your role as a life coach will be to help your clients to be alert and aware of their life goals. In order to do this, you will have to help your client to realize the changes that they must make not only in their actions but also in their thoughts. This is especially so when dealing with Christian clients. See, the Bible teaches that we are to renew our minds, as opposed to being conformed to the norms of the world (Romans 12:1-2). Most of the problems that we face in life seem insurmountable mountains because of the wrong thought patterns we have grown accustomed to. If one succeeds in renewing their thoughts, they will have succeeded in changing their life. As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right.”
There are lots of advantages of going through ICF certified training programs. ICF accredited training will equip you with some skills that will make you a great Christian life coach. With proper training, you will be more equipped for the following.
- Priorities – The proper training will equip you with tools, skills, and the knowledge that you will need to help your client clarify what matters most to them. Helping your client to understand what is most important to them will help them know where they ought to focus most of their energies.
- Goal setting – The coach should also help their clients in determining motivating goals. More often than not, people set goals that are inspired by their family or society at large. Such goals are not very healthy. It is more effective to set goals that actually resonate with a person’s priorities because they will have the intrinsic motivation to go after the goals.
- Better communication – Communication is one of the most important life skills, but very few people are naturally good at it. Most of us have had to learn how to be better communicators. Communication is one of the skills you will hone through your life coach certification program, and this will not only help you to communicate better with clients, but it will also give you a great opportunity to teach your clients how to communicate more effectively.
- Better life balance – Sometimes we focus too much on achieving our goals until we forget the other important facets of life. Life coach training will help you understand the importance of creating a healthy balance in life, and your clients will, therefore, benefit from your knowledge on work-life-balance.
Know Your Area of Specialization
Apart from being equipped with the above skills, ICF certified training programs will also help you differentiate yourself from other life coaches. Contrary to common belief, not all Christian life coaches are the same. That’s because there are different areas of specialization that you can take as a certified Christian life coach. Some of these specializations include:
This is the life coaching that focuses on an individual’s personal life. Coaches who niche down to personal coaching do this because they want to help their clients to be the best versions of themselves. Obviously, the personal life of someone will have a huge impact on their overall performance in all other areas. For instance, if a client is feeling unhappy and trapped in their marriage, they will most likely not be very productive at work. As a Christian life coach, it is your responsibility to work with your client to understand who they are in God. Most people define themselves based on their careers, achievements, or standing in society, but our true identity should always be found in the word of God. And the certified life coach will know the questions they need to ask in order to help their clients come up with the appropriate answers.
As a corporate or business life coach, your role will be to help your clients to attain success in business or in their career. Any person in career or business is always open to new ways of making their business or career a success. For instance, they might need to feel more confident in order to advance their careers to management level, or maybe they are looking for ways of making their business more efficient. Not taking control of the career or business life is one of the main reasons why people fail in this field, and it is the role of the life coach to help them to gain control.
This is a very specialized niche in life coaching because it specifically focuses on helping clients to be better managers. An ICF certified life coach will have the prerequisite skills for helping their clients to come up with new and creative ways of solving complex management issues. The successful manager will realize greater profitability in their company, improved staff performance, and greater efficiency.
Apart from coaching managers, you could also specialize in coaching leaders. The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders are more people-oriented while managers are more process oriented. Leaders focus on helping the people around them to become better while the manager focuses more on increasing efficiency. As a Christian life coach, you can specialize in helping your clients to discover servant leadership as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.
If you get confused about the many ICF certified training programs available, just think of the end and then work your way back. In simple terms, the kind of life coach you intend to be will influence the program you go for. For instance, if you are looking to become a business coach, then you may want to look for a program that has modules specifically for that. But the most important thing is to ensure the program is ICF accredited because, without it, you won’t be recognized as an ICF accredited life coach, and you will therefore lose credibility.
Do you want more information on taking an ICF Certified Training Program?
Contact Aim Higher to get started today!