One of the most overwhelming tasks after you decide to become a life coach is finding a good life coach training program. We all want the best but also, we want something unique, something that speaks to our souls. We want something that will give us everything we need to be fully equipped when we set out into the world. We want to make a bigger impact, and we need support and guidance on our coaching journey. There are so many ways to be a coach, adding coaching skills in to elevate your current role, looking to change careers or add it in as a side hustle.
With so many programs available, those still starting out are often left wondering what are the things to look for in coach training programs. And if you don’t do your homework well, you might end up with a program you’re unhappy with. That said, we got you covered.
1. Outstanding training
You need evidence-based training in many different fields in order to work as a coach, and look for a program that supports YOUR end goals and YOUR vision of what your coaching practice can be. You'll need to learn how to work with clients, positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, strengths-based approaches, there are hundreds of modalities and techniques to gain exposure to. Some programs span years, while others give a taste of coaching over a single weekend. Be sure that your program has many different instructors to give you diverse perspectives and also that the program teaches many different techniques and skill sets. There are many core competencies to becoming a coach, along with business skills and interpersonal skills. A good program should also offer business opportunities, real world practice events and a strong community. Becoming a life coach is not an overnight process -- it takes time, support, effort and practice to build up a clientele.
What to ask:
What is taught during this training?
What will I have learned by the end of it?
How will I be prepared to work with clients?
2. Doable and reasonable promises
There are a lot of coaching programs out there that are full of promises. You know… the outcome you should expect once you graduate from their program, the unique experience only their program could offer. This list could go on and on. Be extra cautious when it comes to promises.
One thing we always remind our students is that among the things to look for in a coach training program is solid, doable promises. Because these programs can give you all the promises they want, you should gauge if the expectations are reasonable and doable. If they match the program’s price or the program duration. Because if they’re promising you a lot in only a weekend, or a short span of time, chances are, it’s not the program you’d want to be part of. Coach training is a long-term investment in yourself and your future. Treat it as such.
What to ask:
What will I come away from the program having learned?
What tangible things will I have, after completing this program?
3. A coach training program that fits your lifestyle
Yes, your lifestyle is something to consider. Many coaching programs are flexible, which is a good thing. That said, some can also be very demanding in terms of time and dedication. So assess your lifestyle - how much time can you set aside for your training? Do you have a full-time job? Or maybe two full-time jobs? Are you a mother of two young kids? Do you usually go out on the weekends, partying with friends?
These may seem far-out, if not unimportant at first, but if you want to succeed in becoming a life coach, it’s highly advisable to pay attention to your lifestyle and what's doable for you in terms of a time commitment.
What to ask:
When does the training take place? Where? How?
What are the weekly time commitments necessary to graduate?
4. Positive testimonials that extend beyond the program itself
What is the experience of being in the program like? Will I be able to coach at the end of it? Well, ask a graduate. It is one thing to be given all the skills and tools you need to become a good coach, it’s another to be taught how to use such tools and skills in the real world. And no, not all coaching programs provide this kind of training. Some purely focus on making sure you know everything you need to know so you could fit the what to look for in a coach cookie-cutter. But there are programs that extend what they teach. Programs with a goal of making sure you know how to use and apply what you learned. And this is what you want.
There are a lot of coaches out there. And they all have their own general knowledge plus unique skills. In order to stand out, be sure to include this nugget on your list of things to look for in a coach training program. You don’t just want to know the essentials. You would want to know how to apply them in the real world as well. Look for testimonials or ask to speak to a graduate. (Check out the rave reviews for the Catalyst Coaching Intensive here!)
What to ask:
How did the training affect you as a whole person?
Would you recommend this training program?
5. Accreditation and certifications
It all depends on what your personal goals are when it comes to coaching. Maybe you want to use coaching skills in your existing job, perhaps you're looking to make a career change. The biggest and most well known accrediting body for coaching is the International Coach Federation. The ICF is a global organization that performs a rigorous review process to make sure every coach and coaching program meets international standards. This is quickly becoming the gold standard among coaches, but many successful coaches make it without credentialing.
Understand your own goals as a coach and consider whether credentialing is important to you. Another thing to note here is your own certification after the training. It’s important that once you graduate from a coaching program, you will receive a certification in their methods.
What to ask:
What are the graduation requirements?
How does the certification work?
6. Guidance and assistance on launching your practice
The big thing on everyone's mind is guidance on getting clients. Yes, good life coach training programs should be able to give you the skills and the basic guidance on how to get your own clients. Of course, you need to do the hard work. You need to get your hands dirty and get those boots on the ground, so to speak. And yes, it will take time.
At JRNI, we realized we wanted to train students in different business skills as well to make this process easier. It's important to identify your target client, to understand your unique coaching niche and to make a plan for how to grow your business. Not all programs provide this kind of intensive training thus, make sure you know everything you need to know about a program before you enroll.
What to ask:
What business development skills are taught in this program?
7. A community that will support you for the long haul
Coaching is not an overnight gambit! It takes time to build up and sustain a coaching practice, and there's always new things to learn, new opportunities to create. This is why a close-knit coaching community is worth its weight in gold. You'll need people alongside you through the good times and the bad, the triumphs and the struggles. Our families and friends may not always understand the details of what we're going through, but our coaching community does. At JRNI, we have graduated over 500 coaches who are commited to helping one another, working together and succeeding together. Find a community who's in it for the long haul and will be there for years to come as you launch your practice and make a bigger impact on the world around you.
Ready to know what to look for in a coaching program? If you're ready to learn more about how to become a life coach, take a look at The Catalyst Life Coaching Intensive. Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.