If you are attracted to coaching and want to work with people on some of the most profound aspects of their life, then you might be wondering how to become a transformational coach.
This article answers that question and is an ideal introduction if you’re new to coaching and beginning to explore it as a career.
In it, we explore how to become a transformational coach, providing a step-by-step overview of the process as well as deeper dives into some key aspects.
If you’ve already done a lot of research and are ready to join a course, then you might find that some of our more-specific articles on our blog will answer particular questions you have around choosing the right course, deciding what kind of coach you want to be, creating your business and so on.
That said, I hope to cover all the main elements of becoming a transformational coach in a way that gives you a launch pad for further reading.
Now let’s dive into the topic of how to become a transformational coach.
How to Become a Transformational Coach: A Step-by-Step Summary
1. Decide if Becoming a Transformational Coach is Right For You.
Start by reflecting on why you want to become a transformational coach.
Understand the unique challenges and rewards this path offers and consider if the core aspects of this career resonate with your personal values, strengths, and ambitions.
2. Learn More About Transformational Coaching
There are plenty of resources available nowadays to learn more about transformational coaching. Indeed, our own book, The Complete Guide to Choosing to Train as a Coach is a great place to start.
You might also find it enjoyable and useful to attend our Introduction to Transformative Coaching, a free, 3-hour live training session we provide several times per month.
Beyond Animas, you can join other introductory events, read books, listen to podcasts, attend webinars and so on.
In a nutshell, get to know the profession you want to be a part of.
3. Engage with the Coaching Community
Connect with practising transformational coaches, either in person or online. Join Facebook or LinkedIn groups or local Meetups.
If you’ve not received coaching before, you could find a coach and undertake some coaching sessions to see how you enjoy the experience.
Why not explore our directory of qualified Animas coaches and find a great coach..
Engaging with coaches and the coaching community will give you a practical understanding of the field and provide an opportunity to ask questions, get recommendations and seek advice.
4. Find and Enrol in a Coach Training Programme
To become a transformational coach, you are going to need to undertake a formal coach training course.
This is particularly essential for transformational coaches due to the depth of work such coaches do.
Choose a reputable coach training programme that provides a comprehensive curriculum, practical coaching experience, and is accredited by a recognised body like the ICF.
We have written a detailed article on what to look for in a coaching course on our blog.
5. Complete Your Training and Earn Your Certification
Be diligent in your training.
Attend all the modules, participate actively in coaching practicums, and complete all the necessary assessments.
Once you’ve met all the requirements, you will earn your certification and can move into the next stage of your journey to become a transformational coach.
6. Gain Practical Coaching Experience
Start coaching clients.
Coaching is fundamentally a skill that needs to be performed, not simply learned. This means working with clients. Indeed, the best learning of all comes from the reality of coaching people.
This can be on a volunteer basis initially, gradually moving to paid sessions as you gain confidence and experience.
Make sure to get feedback from your clients to continually improve your coaching skills.
7. Engage in Continuous Learning and Development
As you gain confidence in your core skills, you will want to continue to learn and develop your skills.
Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences.
Keep up with the latest research and theories in coaching.
Ongoing development is not only an important part of the process, but a fun, inspiring and engaging element of the journey to become a transformational coach.
8. Develop Your Coaching Model
Although not a necessity, many coaches develop their own unique coaching based on their experiences and learning.
This could be your approach to coaching sessions, your niche area, or the specific tools and techniques you use.
Take time to notice where your strengths lie, what approaches you enjoy working with, and what issues you find you work well with.
9. Build Your Coaching Business
With experience under your belt, you will gain a better understanding of how you will operate as a transformational coach.
This could be starting your own coaching practice, joining an existing practice, or working in-house in an organisation.
Create a business plan, develop your branding, and market your services.
We’ve written many articles on starting and growing your coaching business and How to Get Coaching Clients – A Marketing Primer for Coaches is a great place to start.
10. Find Your Clients Consistently
Use networking, content marketing, and social media to find your clients.
Building a strong professional reputation and word-of-mouth referrals will also help attract clients over time.
Initially this will probably result in sporadic results with every new client feeling like a major achievement. Over time though, you will learn how to gain clients consistently such that it just becomes part of your working life.
Many coaches now join associate organisations on a freelance basis. Organisations such as BetterUp and CoachHub are an excellent way to gain regular clients in some of the largest organisations in the world.
11. Continually Reflect and Improve
Regularly reflect on your coaching practice. What’s working well? What could you improve?
Use this reflection to continually refine your coaching skills and business practices.
At this stage, working with a coaching supervisor can be extremely useful. Indeed, we think that for a transformational coach, it is essential to have a coaching supervisor.
By following these steps, you will be well on your way to a rewarding and impactful career as a transformational coach.
Remember, the journey is as important as the destination, so enjoy each step of the process as you embark on this exciting path.
Having laid out the key steps in a summarised fashion, let’s dive deeper into some of these areas.
Why Become a Transformational Coach?
Deciding to become a transformational coach can be a life-altering decision, both for you and the individuals you’ll coach along their journeys.
Being a coach presents unique rewards, challenges, and opportunities for growth that few other professions can offer.
Here are some compelling reasons to consider this path:
1. Making a Profound Impact
The core appeal of being a transformational coach lies in the profound impact you can make on others’ lives.
Unlike other forms of coaching that focus on achieving specific goals, transformational coaching enables deep-seated change in individuals. You help clients transform their perspectives, behaviours, and ultimately, their lives.
The satisfaction derived from witnessing this transformation and knowing you played a part in catalysing it is unparalleled.
2. Continuous Personal Growth
The journey to becoming a transformational coach is an ongoing path of personal growth.
The skills you learn and apply in coaching – emotional intelligence, active listening, effective communication, problem-solving – are not only vital in your professional life but also enrich your personal life.
Moreover, the self-awareness you gain and the personal development you undergo equip you to handle life’s challenges with resilience and grace.
3. Intellectual Stimulation and Variety
No two clients are the same, and as such, the challenges and triumphs you encounter as a transformational coach are continually changing.
This variety keeps the role intellectually stimulating. There is always a new problem to solve, a new perspective to understand, and a new success to celebrate.
This diversity of experiences can keep your work exciting and engaging.
4. Flexibility and Independence
As a transformational coach, you have the freedom to shape your career path.
Whether you choose to work within an organisation, start your own coaching practice, or specialise in a specific niche, the options are numerous.
Moreover, with the increasing popularity of remote coaching sessions, you can work from anywhere, offering the flexibility to balance your personal and professional life.
5. Sustainable Career Path
Transformational coaching is not just emotionally rewarding but can also provide a sustainable livelihood.
As organisations and individuals increasingly recognise the value of transformational coaching, the demand for competent coaches is on the rise.
With experience and a solid reputation, a transformational coach can command competitive rates for their services.
6. Contributing to a Better World
At its heart, transformational coaching is about fostering positive change.
As a transformational coach, you have the power to inspire this change on an individual level, which can ripple out to affect families, workplaces, communities, and societies at large.
In your unique way, you contribute to building a better, more empathetic world.
Embarking on the journey to become a transformational coach means choosing a path of impact, growth, and continuous learning.
If these elements resonate with you, then this might just be the career you’ve been searching for.
What is Transformational Coaching?
So far we have used the term transformational coaching as though it is a well-understood term. In fact, transformational coaching is a broad term that is used in different ways by different people, even with coaching.
Indeed, at Animas we refer to transformative coaching since this is more explicit in its origins in transformative learning theory and the focus on critical self-reflection.
However, all interpretations of transformational coaching have something in common in that it is assumed to focus on wider change than merely goal-setting.
Transformational coaching differentiates itself from other forms of coaching in that it seeks to inspire a profound, holistic change that transcends short-term goals and instead affects the client’s perspectives, beliefs, and behaviours across multiple aspects of their life.
The impact of a transformational coach stretches far and wide. Their interventions can have ripple effects, influencing not only their clients but also the environments these individuals interact with.
This kind of coaching creates self-empowered individuals who contribute positively to their personal life, workplace, and community.
Transformational Coaching Vs Performance Coaching
To understand the niche of transformational coaching, it’s useful to contrast it with performance coaching.
While both approaches have their place, performance coaching focuses on specific goals within a limited context. This could include improving employee productivity, achieving business goals, achieving a certain weight goal and so on.
Transformational coaching, conversely, encourages deep-seated change, equipping clients to transcend their current paradigms.
While transformational coaching and performance coaching can overlap, the key difference lies in the depth and nature of the change they facilitate.
Performance coaching tends to be more action-oriented, focused on achieving specific goals within a particular time-frame. It deals primarily with the conscious mind and the client’s present circumstances.
On the other hand, transformational coaching delves into the less conscious elements of the mind, uncovering deep-seated beliefs and patterns. It involves a more holistic approach, considering the client’s past experiences, present situation, and future aspirations. It facilitates profound change that permeates all aspects of the client’s life, often leading to a shift in how they perceive themselves and the world around them.
So, while both performance coaching and transformational coaching can be immensely beneficial depending on the client’s needs, they are not the same.
As a prospective coach, understanding these differences can help you decide which path aligns best with your passion and skills.
Is a Transformational Coach the Same as a Life Coach?
This is a question we are often asked but in some ways it is a misunderstanding of the relationship between the two forms of coaching.
Being a life coach is about who you work with and on what issues. Transformational coaching is about the nature of the change that is evoked.
It is entirely possible to be a transformationally-focused life coach or a performance-based life coach.
Let’s look at this in a little more detail to make it clearer.
What is a Life Coach?
A life coach helps clients gain clarity about their goals, overcome obstacles, and make significant changes in their lives.
They work on a variety of areas, including career, relationships, health, and personal growth.
Life coaching is typically goal-oriented, focusing on concrete objectives and the steps needed to achieve them. For instance, a life coach might help a client set career goals, create a plan to achieve them, and provide support and accountability along the way.
A life coach is almost invariably running their own business as a coach rather than being employed and this allows them to work with clients on any and all aspects of life rather than being restricted to specific areas of work as an executive coach might be.
What Would Make a Life Coach Also Transformational?
As mentioned transformational coaching is about the nature of the change and the coaching conversation.
A life coach might work at a performance level, focusing purely on achieving specific goals, or they might work transformationally by helping clients consider their patterns of beliefs, values, and attitudes.
For example, a transformational life coach might work with a client to uncover limiting beliefs that are hindering their personal or professional growth, then guide the client in transforming these beliefs to empower their life.
Should I Become a Transformational Coach?
Embarking on a journey to become a transformational coach requires a blend of formal education, hands-on experience, and personal development.
An educational background in psychology, human resources, business, or a related field can lay a solid foundation, but the real learning comes from practice and self-growth.
Although there are no formal entry requirements to become a transformational coach, that is very different from saying that anyone can become a coach. There are certain qualities that are necessary.
An equally important aspect is your willingness to go on a journey of personal development. The ability to promote profound change in others often demands a degree of personal transformation.
Essential Skills for a Transformational Coach
The training journey to become a transformational coach should cover both fundamental skills such as active listening and empathy as well as advanced psychological models, coaching approaches and techniques.
However, there are some qualities that someone who wants to become a transformation coach must develop.
1. Listening Skills
Coaches need the ability to listen and understand beyond words, picking up on non-verbal cues and emotions.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Having a foundation of emotional intelligence is a very useful starting point for new coaches.
Are you able to self-regulate and avoid emotional outbursts whilst being sensitive to the moods and needs of others?
3. Effective Communication
Coaching is essentially about conversation and communication. You will learn to ask powerful questions, offer constructive feedback, share your intuition and thoughts without persuasion, and structure the conversation to be effective.
Helping clients identify solutions and formulate action plans.
Understanding and reflecting the feelings of the client in a non-judgemental manner to foster a supportive environment.
These skills empower a transformational coach to facilitate meaningful and lasting changes.
Many people who become a transformational coach already have man of these skills to some degree but the training will help enhance and develop these skills further.
Training and Certification
Choosing a comprehensive and rigorous training programme is a crucial step in your journey to become a transformational coach.
These programmes not only equip you with necessary coaching skills but also provide a recognised certification that adds credibility to your practice.
Here are some key aspects of a quality coach training programme:
1. Comprehensive Curriculum
A quality coach training programme should offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of transformational coaching.
This includes the theoretical understanding of human psychology and behaviour, coaching methodologies and models, and ethics and standards of professional coaching.
It also equips you with practical skills such as active listening, powerful questioning, goal setting, and action planning.
2. Practice Coaching Sessions
Hands-on practice is critical for a coach-in-training to apply and refine their skills.
Quality programmes incorporate coaching practicums, providing trainees with an opportunity to coach others under the supervision of an experienced coach.
This experiential learning is invaluable for gaining confidence and competence in coaching.
3. Personal Development Focus
Transformational coaching is as much about the coach’s personal growth as it is about their client’s.
High-quality training programmes understand this and incorporate elements of personal development into the curriculum. This might involve using the coaching with the training to create moments of self-reflection to facilitate the coach’s own transformation.
4. Ethical Standards and Code of Conduct
Adherence to ethical standards and a professional code of conduct is paramount in coaching.
Reputable training programmes not only teach these but also hold their students accountable to them.
This equips the coach to navigate sensitive and complex situations with integrity and professionalism.
Certification from an accredited programme can enhance your credibility as a coach.
Accreditation bodies, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), Association for Coaching (AC) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) ensure that the programme meets the highest standards of quality and professionalism.
6. Mentorship and Support
The best coach training programmes offer ongoing support and mentorship beyond the classroom.
This may include mentoring on coaching skills and individual or group supervision on client work.
It might also include continued learning opportunities, community forums, or one-on-one mentorship with experienced coaches. This support network can be incredibly helpful as you start your coaching practice.
Upon completing a quality training and certification programme, you will be equipped with a robust set of skills, a deeper understanding of yourself, and a professional approach to coaching.
You will be prepared to facilitate deep-seated change in your clients, guiding them on their journey towards their fullest potential.
The certification also provides potential clients and employers with assurance of your competency and commitment to professional standards.
Thus, choosing a reputable coach training programme is a significant investment in your future career as a transformational coach.
As one of the few coach training schools that focus specifically on transformational coaching, we invite you to explore our programme, the Accredited Diploma in Transformative Coaching.
Building a Career as a Transformational Coach
Starting a career as a transformational coach can be a thrilling journey. Whether you aspire to work in an organisational setting, open your private practice, or specialise in a particular demographic (like teens or executives), opportunities abound in transformational coaching.
These career paths not only provide fulfilling work but also offer financial viability. The income of a transformational coach can vary significantly, depending on experience, area of expertise, and geographical location, but it can certainly provide a sustainable and rewarding income especially when combined with other approaches such as workshops and training.
As a transformational coach, finding clients is a crucial aspect of building your practice. Networking, both online and offline, is invaluable for this.
Consider joining professional coaching associations and online forums, engaging on social media, and developing a professional website that highlights your services and credentials.
Content marketing through blogging or podcasting can also position you as an expert in your field, attracting potential clients.
Ongoing Learning and Development
Even after embarking on your career, the journey of a transformational coach doesn’t stop there.
Continuous learning and development are paramount in this ever-evolving field. Engage in regular professional development activities to stay current with new techniques and research findings.
Professional coaching associations often offer workshops, seminars, and conferences that provide ongoing education. Self-study, through reading books and academic journals, is another crucial part of this lifelong learning journey.
Networking and Community Engagement
As a transformational coach, building connections with other coaches and professionals in your field can open doors to collaboration and mutual learning.
Attend coaching events and participate in online forums to connect with like-minded professionals.
Community engagement is another vital aspect of a transformational coach’s role. Offering pro bono coaching sessions, speaking at community events, or volunteering at local organisations can build your presence while contributing to society.
At Animas we create coaching partnerships with organisations to create opportunities for Animas coaches to gain experience and, sometimes, paid coaching work.
We also provide all our qualified coaches with membership of a coaching directory where potential clients may find them.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Working as a transformational coach can be deeply rewarding, but it also requires a significant amount of emotional energy.
Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial for longevity in your career.
Incorporate self-care routines into your schedule, take time off when needed, and pursue hobbies or activities that recharge your energy.
Hopefully you now have a much better idea of what it takes to become a transformational coach and whether the journey is right for you.
As a transformational coach, you have the power to inspire deep-seated changes in your clients, encouraging them to unlock their full potential. The ripples of these transformations can extend far beyond individual clients, impacting their families, workplaces, and communities.
You will ignite profound changes in individuals, guiding them towards personal and professional growth.
If this resonates with you, it’s time to take that first step.
The journey to become a transformational coach is challenging, revitalising, rewarding and affirming.
It requires dedication, self-awareness, and ongoing professional development. And it is well worth it!
Whether it’s signing up for a coaching course, reading up on transformational coaching, or connecting with practising coaches, your journey starts now.
Take the leap. Become a transformational coach and make a lasting impact in the lives of others.