What you should look for when searching for a coaching course

How will you know that you take the right coaching course for you?

This is a big and important question which we’re sure that you ask yourself.

Coaching is touching people’s lives,
it’s helping people create change,
so it’s important that you train well, in a course which will help you gain enough knowledge and have enough practice to be confident and feel reassured about what you do.

Knowing how to work professionally and ethically is key to providing good services to your clients, and being self-assured as a coach is key to success.

A good coaching course will give you that, so it’s important to choose the right one.

Look for a course which will include the following:

Teaching the difference between a friendly way of helping and a professional way of helping:
There’s a big difference between being a good friend – someone people come to for consolation and advice – and helping someone professionally.
Although we build on your existing capabilities to be what we call a “People-Person” (being friendly, empathic and open), this is not enough to be a professional helper.
A coach is not just being a good listener or a person who provides a space for someone else to be themselves.
A coach’s job is to create this safe space in order to facilitate growth and change with their clients.

A good coaching course will teach you the way to combine your natural abilities to be there for another person, with methods and models of helping, so you’ll be able to support someone, and assist them methodologically to achieve their goals.

 

Teaching skills and tools needed for a professional helper:
Coaches must rely on themselves and the knowledge they have during coaching sessions and on knowing how to work professionally.

This means that you have to know and practice many different ways and methods of helping people, until you can sit comfortably and with confidence in front of a client and have them trust you enough to unfold their story.

In order to do so, you need to learn about, try and practise many ways of working until you feel self-assured. This is the way to earn trust.

So look for a course which offers you the ability to develop your skills and professional abilities.
Here are a few very important things which we suggest that any coaching course must have, to help you learn and practice:

  • Listening skills (to include active listening skills)
  • Effective communication skills
  • Powerful questioning
  • Feedback giving skills
  • Creating awareness
  • Dealing with feelings and emotions
  • Building empathy and trust
  • Goal setting
  • Ethics
  • Safety and healthy boundaries

 

Will be based on a strong ethical code of the profession
Coaching is a profession based on strong ethics. We deal with peoples’ personal stories, and we must know how to handle this with care.
The code of ethics is a guide to what is “right” to do, so the benefit of the client is always of primary importance.
It also helps us to know how to avoid harming people, and how to set healthy boundaries.
To work ethically also means to work effectively.

Gives ample of support:

Being supported in your journey to become a coach is crucial.
The studies are intense, there’s a lot to experience and do, you are going through a meaningful journey yourself, and all that means that you’ll need encouragement and help on the way.
We of course recommend that your home environment (family and friends) will be there for you, but we must emphasise that your journey to success in becoming a coach has a lot to do with the support systems which exist on the course.

So what to look for?
That the course you enrol into will have:

  • A good ratio of students to trainers. This will ensure that you’ll be observed enough and supported enough. We recommend around 6 students for each member of staff.
  • Face-to-face lessons – so you can discuss things freely
  • Peer-working teams – so you have opportunities to discuss things with other people who go through the same journey as you
  • Open door policy with the trainers – So you can contact them with any issue, big or small, and they’ll be there for you
  • Regular personal meetings with the trainers – so you can get feedback, discuss progress and personal issues
  • Online support in between training days (we use a Facebook group as well as online Q+A sessions)
  • A mentoring system when possible
  • Intervision time – So you learn how to discuss professional issues in a group and…
  • Supervision by professional supervisors

All this needs to be part of the course

Setting professional boundaries
We all entered the profession of coaching because of our love of people and the wish to help them.
But this can cause some difficulties too, because it’s very easy to give too much, to do for the client where they should do for themselves, and to let it all get into your own personal life.

For that you must learn professional boundaries which are the guidelines for maintaining positive and helpful relationship with clients.
Boundaries help both coaches and clients have a clear way of working, which helps to avoid tension, misunderstanding and misconduct.
Knowing and working with clear boundaries helps us provide the best possible care.

 

Will include ample practice
We cannot emphasise this enough.
No book, no lecture, no video, and no article will ever replace practising coaching with real people.

Look for a course which is offering a large number of hours of supervised practice, and right from the start.

We believe in staggering practise, so in the beginning our students are practising on each other for a short amount of time during the training days.
The practising slowly builds up from 5 minutes in the beginning, to a whole hour already around the middle of Phase 1.
During the training days, and thanks to a high number of staff present on the course, we can offer observation and instant feedback. This has always been appreciated by our students in the past.

While in the beginning we practice every new tool on its own, towards the end we aim, of course, for a nice flow in which the coach-in-training is able to choose the method and tools suitable for each situation.

This comes with time.

While you’ll be only practising with internal people during Phase 1, in Phase 2 we’ll support you in your first steps of working with real clients. First those who present not-so-challenging cases, and gradually you’ll be more confident to work with real clients who present real challenges, just like when you’ll be working on your own.

On top of this, there’s what we call “Peer Group” studies: These are small groups of 3-4 people who get together to practise between training days.
They can become your support system too.
We always hear great feedback about this part of the course too.

So to summarise: We start with practising in class and with short exercises, and we gradually move on until you’re confident to work by yourself for a number of sessions with real clients.

This way you feel reassured, there’s plenty of time to repeat and consolidate things, and there’s plenty of self-reassurance in the air.

Teaching you some marketing, self-promotion, and business knowledge
What will be the point of you knowing to coach people, but people will not know of your existence?

Look for a course which takes you by the hand and helps you to be confident in promoting yourself.

 

At the ICCI, one of the modules which is spread throughout Phase 2 is “Basic marketing and business knowledge” in which we’ll gradually help you discover what needs to be on your website, how to promote yourself in the community, find who are your target clients, learn how to write effective blog posts and statuses and emails, and how to present yourself in networking events etc.

 

This takes time to get used to, so this too is done gradually over the course of a few months until you feel ready to be there in the community and offer your services.

This is part of being a professional coach: to be out there and offering your services to the community.

 

Is that not what it was all about in the first place?

 

If you’d like to hear more and register to our course, which offers all of the above, please contact me using the info below as soon as possible, because we only take 18 people on the course and already have a list of people who’re going to register for the next intake.

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