Choosing Your Coaching Certification Program

by Lisa Sears, CEO Brass Rings Life

Before there was a Brass Rings Lauchpad Program, there was just me. I knew I wanted (needed) to launch my business quickly.

I needed to get life coach certified immediately and get into action. I wasn’t going to work in the corporate world anymore; I was completely burnt out with “those people”. I was going to lift people, transform lives, save the day.

This was not exactly what the next three months looked like for me.

The certification program was great. I love group work and I got an intense 5-day experience with other ‘want to be’ coaches. We learned discovery, structure of a session, a few techniques to utilize when we came up against blocks and a whole library of templates to use with our clients.

I was actually done with my exam, did all three coaching client practice sessions and my fellow coach partnering sessions within 60 days, probably less. Then the calls started to come in from my classmates. What are you doing different? How many clients do you have? What’s your program look like? Why wasn’t there more direction with marketing in the class? What should I do next??????

Here’s the reality. We are great at helping other people, but we stink at helping ourselves. Our mind chatter, lack of time management, and poor decisions on next steps leave most coaches un-certified and sometimes clientless a year later.

So what’s up with that? 

 

Here’s the reality. We are great at helping other people, but we stink at helping ourselves. Our mind chatter, lack of time management, and poor decisions on next steps leave most coaches un-certified and sometimes clientless a year later. So what’s up with that?

Here’s what I have seen in fellow coaches and myself as stoppers during the Level 1 coaching stage.

L1 Coach Stopper: We try to do it exactly like our training. I had summarized a 100+ page textbook from my coaching certification into 7 pages. Outlines I could memorize, tools I could review before my sessions and worksheets to share. I got clients and I got extremely nervous before calls. I practiced in my head and it felt really awkward during our calls. I have been successfully coaching financial advisors to build their practices — team selling, succession planning, development plans. None of that felt awkward or nerve wracking. Why was this such a challenge?

What to do: Get certified, but don’t get plasticized (yes I made that up).You’re working with people you’ve attracted. People buy stuff because THEY LIKE YOU. So don’t deliver anything less than you and be ok with being simple and honest. I always recommend leading with “I am a coach, I help people get clear on what they want. We then work together to get traction on their plan”. I also make sure that I lead with a simple coaching structure. In training I teach the 5 C’s… in reality, it’s a conversation I have natural talent for. I pull tools in as they come up, and it works.

Coaches help people explore, practice and grow. It can really be that simple. Especially when you are starting out. Once I gave myself permission to let my natural tendencies take over in this framework the awkwardness went away. Pick a simple model for your sessions and let the magic of you take over!

What to do: Don’t pick your program based on cost or grandeur. Other than fellow coaches no one asks me where I got certified. There’s no governing body for our industry. I certainly hold a lot of programs in high regard, some cost a lot and others are more affordable. What’s great about most coaches I meet is they actually do want to help people. Look for programs that don’t over promise and have testimonials that you would want to have the same experience as. Basic skills will give you the foundation (and some confidence) to then weave your signature programs in.

What to do: Trust your natural talents and desire to lift others.Find a program that will help you with a track and some basic tools but not too focused on it being “the right way”. Here’s an example: I loved learning about voice dialogue but I have yet to use it in a session. The value of learning it was that it broadened my understanding of techniques. I have probably 5 basic approaches I could use with any client, and 10 techniques (tools) I take them through regularly. It was only after a year of coaching could I actually identify these tools enough to start making workshops, workbooks and programs around them.

If you have a passion for coaching choose a certification program that’s in your budget and teaches basic skills. Don’t put off final requirements; give yourself 30 days to knock them off! Congratulations, you can now start saying “I AM A COACH”. Practice that in the mirror — often. It will take time and effort to believe in you. Ultimately, there are no regulations around putting Coach on a business card. I included change agent on mine. I welcome you to do the same.

In what ways have you been naturally coaching for year?

When did you notice a shift from fixing to helping others create their own solutions?

What strengths have you relied on in the past?

How can you use those abilities today to get your first client?

 

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