Does A Professional Life Coach Have to be Certified?
A professional life coach is comparable to a personal trainer. She or he works with clients to challenge them and cause them to find motivation within themselves.
Most life coaches will not be doing pep talks or counseling -- services that are ideally reserved for professional therapists.
A personal life coach is trained to listen, to bring forth the client's personal power, develop strategies with with the client to come up with a workable path to achieving the clients needs.
As far as whether professional life coach should be certified or not, again, this is another grey area in the professional life coaching industry.
The reality is that a personal coach does not need to be certified in order to be an effective life coach. Usually, the more established self improvement companies will train their own life coaches.
People who are certified in various "alternative pyschology" methods such as NLP will by default be "qualified" to coach based on those methods.
At this point, it is unclear whether life coaches are legally required to be certified. However, the International Coach Federation is a non profit organization that was formed to preserve the ethics and code for coaching standards worldwide.
They have also set up an accredation process for life coaches. As such, a life coach who is a member of the International Coach Federation is a step ahead of those who are not, in terms of credibility.
Where to Find a Professional Life Coach
Most personal development companies now offer life coaching, and therefore employ life coaches to work for them.
If you go to a well established company owned by well known self improvement teacher, such as
or any of the rest of them, you are likely to get life coaches that have been thoroughly trained. This however does not mean they are necessarily more effective than a professional life coach that works independently.
However, many of these personal development companies will take their life coaches through rigorous hours of coach training, and in many cases they may even be trained by the actual self improvement "guru" himself.
As well, there are thousands of ethical life coaches that are very good at what they do, even though they may not be affiliated with any personal growth "guru".
How You Can Qualify Life Coaches
Your potential life coach has to deliver exceptional coaching, not just have an opinion. Ideally, they will make it clear to you what techniques they have been trained and certified in that they will be using to help you get the most out of your coaching experience.
Others merely use their life experiences as their strong point for coaching. While this is not necessarily to be scoffed at, it may qualify better as mentoring.
Many life coaches use NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) as their main tool to coach you. Others might use The Sedona Method. Yet others might use Emotional Freedom Techniques. A life coach might also use undefined methods or many different methods combined.
So, How Do You Know a Life Coach is Right For You?
Here are a few questions you can ask of your potential professional life coachAsk for their credentials or what qualifies them as a life coachDon't just go with testimonials, as most people will only give you their positive testimonials. However, if they have coached many happy clients, that is the proof in the pudding right there.What method of coaching will they be using?How often will your sessions happen? Will the coaching sessions be over the phone, in person or online? How do they plan to hold you accountable to your commitments? Accessibility: How accessible will your coach be? Can you contact them by email of phone outside of coaching sessions? The truth is that you will sometimes be stuck and need to be in touch with your coach. How long will your sessions be? What can you possibly discuss in less than an hour?Do they have a money back guarantee? The majority of life coaches do not offer this. Although this can be a double edged sword, it can be a hint that the coach is committed to getting you results.Some life coaches will even offer to share in your new profits. That is good. It means they've raised the stakes in their vested interest to see you succeed.Will you have to sign a contract, and if you will, what are the terms? Do not be afraid to insist on a no-contract deal. You should be able to back out without paying for no services rendered.
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