Five Ways to Identify a Good Coach Training Program

coachingGiven the explosive growth of Professional Coaching you will find many coach  training programs, including low-cost “bargains” such as BECOME A CERTIFIED COACH IN A WEEKEND FOR ONLY $600.00!!

If you’re considering professional coach training, here’s a list of five things to look for when choosing a good  training program:

1. A good training program teaches coaching

This may appear obvious, but just as anyone call him or herself a coach,  anyone can call their training program “coaching training.” In fact, many  non-coaches are providing non-coach training, passing along their style of  misguided “coaching.” Look for a clear definition of coaching as distinct from  other helping modalities. In other words, if your potential training provider  cannot clearly explain to you how their coach training differs from other kinds  of training, then that’s a red flag and you should look elsewhere.

Also be sure that your potential training provider is not simply following a  fad or using a marketing device by calling their technique “coaching.”  Investigate to find if they are teaching a model of coaching that applies the  skills and principles described in the core coaching competencies described by  the International Coach Federation (ICF) on their website.

2. A good training program provides practicum and mentoring

Training requires doing — not just reading and listening to lectures. Be  sure your training program provides you with an adequate opportunity to practice  and apply the skills you’ve learned. Most often you will practice your skills  with fellow trainees.

Additionally, your training program may encourage or facilitate a “Buddy  Coach” relationship for additional practice. A dyad is great, but a triad is  even better as the observer can provide more input and feedback.

In addition to experiences with your peers, be sure that your potential  training provider gives you the opportunity to observe, be evaluated, and  experience coaching with a skilled mentor coach. This might be the instructor,  but most often this will be with former graduates who assist with the training.  It’s important that you work with other professional coaches, who can inspire  you with examples of how skilled coaches go beyond the mechanics and clearly  demonstrate and teach the “art” of coaching.

3. A good training program provides certification

Ensure that your potential training provider offers an internal  certification. If you are seeking additional ICF certification, ensure that the  training you receive will meet ICF certification requirements.

To be meaningful, the certification that you earn must include supervision  and evaluation of your competent work with real clients. A “certificate of  completion” can be compared to sitting through traffic school and passing a  written test, and is meaningless for inferring skills acquisition or competence  as a coach.

One question that you might ask is, simply, “Do I need certification?” The  answer is… maybe!

You might already have plenty of credentials and letters after your name, and  potential clients generally don’t ask you to prove your qualifications unless  you don’t appear to have any. As such, if you have a lot of other credentials,  certification may not be essential for you; not like coach training (which is  essential).

However, obtaining coaching certification can indeed assist you to become a  highly skilled and accomplished coach and demonstrate your commitment to a high  standard of professional coaching to your prospective clients. This is helpful  in many ways, including marketing.

4. A good training program prepares you to practice

It’s (unfortunately) common for training providers to focus on skills and  strategies for helping your clients “in theory,” but leave you clueless as to  how it all applies in the “real world.” Your potential training provider should  help you establish things like an intake and assessment process, templates for  client forms and contracts, examples of fee structures and service delivery  systems, and so on. While these may seem like the less glamorous aspects of  coaching (compared to actually working with people who need help), they are  essential for operating a successful practice. If your potential training  provider isn’t supporting you with this learning, you will likely not succeed,  even if you’re a fabulous coach.

5. A good training program helps you get clients

You cannot change the world, help a person, or even make a living if you  can’t get clients. The leaders and staff of your potential training program  should have ample experience marketing their services and building a successful  practice in the real world, and should pass along their knowledge and strategies  to you.

At Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI) this is a top priority  of ours and we provide a 12-week comprehensive practice-building program to all  participants, as well as models for conducting promotional seminars, classes,  workshops, listing graduates on our website, publishing newsletters for the  public featuring our graduates, and providing referrals from our newsletter  subscribers and website visitors, and numerous other ways of helping our  graduates get clients.

Frankly, while we don’t expect many other programs to match RCI in this  manner, we would still urge you to choose a training program that pays attention  to the practical, real-world business side of being a coach – that is, one that  helps you get clients and build a successful practice.

Being a Professional Coach is a fulfilling way to make a good living as well  as make a positive difference in the world. If you enjoy helping others and find  that your friends and family often come to you to talk about their problems,  you’re probably a good fit for this growing profession.

What’s Next? If you’re reading this and it sounds like coaching might be a good fit  for you, be sure to get our FREE Relationship Coach Starter Kit