By Minuca Elena
Oftentimes, when somebody decides to start a new profession the first things they research are what courses they need to take, what should they learn, and how long it takes.
Life coaching is not such a regulated industry as others, still, you have to respect your clients and be sure you are properly prepared before declaring yourself a coach and start charging people for your services.
We asked Minuca Elena to reach out to 40 life coaches and ask them the following question:
What do you think it’s the best learning/training experience that life coaches should have?
Our goal was to find out if it matters the most to graduate from certain classes or if self-study or overcoming certain obstacles is enough to make you a good life coach.
Keep reading to see what the experts had to say.
Jeff Sabins – Proven Valor Professionals
As a Strategic Management Coach, my belief is having experience with adversity brings great perspectives to businesses and people in general.
As a retired infantry Marine, I have experienced combat deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia including receiving a Purple Heart.
As a parent, I have lived through the torment of having a child experience a brain tumor and going through a decade of surgeries and therapy. Additionally, we have a child with autism and deciphering that life as well.
As an entrepreneur, I have been on teams within corporations that have gone bankrupt and personally seen how a multi-regional company went from millions to nothing.
Having this experience makes me able to understand what other individuals are going through and provides them with my perspective of the end state of adversity, and understanding of what has worked and not worked in the past.
Experience and empathy go a long way for a coach to be successful and beneficial to others.
There are two important experiences life coaches should have.
The first experience needed is formal training in one’s niche area, whether it’s working with a specific concern (e.g., holistic wellness) or a specific population (e.g., students, athletes).
In addition, formal training should include learning the skills of
a) reflective listening
b) asking questions for clarification and promoting clients’ curiosity about their own experience,
c) learning how to remain objective.
Such awareness and knowledge-base can help coaches refrain from making assumptions and guide clients toward setting and achieving their own goals.
The second important experience that is needed is a coach’s own personal experience. We are drawn to the field of coaching and helping in large part due to our own history.
While it is important to remain objective with clients, there are times when more personal disclosure (e.g., a helpful anecdote, storytelling) can enhance coaching work.
Such collaboration reminds both parties of their common humanity and that consistent small steps can lead to great places.