Are you interested in becoming a life coach? If so, you might be wondering if you need special training to become a life coach?
As a life coach trainer and former certifying examiner for one of the largest independent life coach certification bodies, my answer to the “do I need training” question is yes and no. Yes, you do need training. No, it does not have to be a particular course or degree.
Think of other service professionals such as consultants or interior designers. A consultant needs to have a high level of skills in her area of consulting, but there is not a “consulting degree”. An interior designer needs training in interior design in order to provide quality service, but there is no particular degree required. Similarly, a coach does not need a degree or certification to begin coaching.
So what kind of training do you need to become a life coach? Many people who enter the coaching field come from careers that already involve people skills – such as teaching, counseling, personal training, human resource management, business consulting, sales, health care, journalism, ministry, parenting, and social work, to name just a few.
These people can build on their existing skill base with additional coach-specific training. Depending on how well their background has prepared them for coaching, they may need anything from a weekend workshop to a 2 year program to bring them up to a professional coach skill level.
In addition to learning new coaching skills, some people will need to “unlearn” certain habitual ways of responding. For example, consultants often have great questioning and problem-solving skills but tend to jump into “fix-it” mode right away. They will need to learn how to back off and let the client develop their own solutions.
The best way to figure out what kind of additional training you need to be a life coach is to get an assessment of your present level of coaching skill. Ask your coaching school if they provide an assessment. You need an honest assessment of your skill level in order to ensure success as a life coach.
Mentor Coach Barbra Sundquist specializes in life coach training. Visit her website “Become A Certified Coach” to get solid advice on how to become a life coach.. Also published at How to Become a Life Coach.