The role of a life coach is to support and facilitate individuals to achieve profound change and to fulfil their potential. It’s an honoured and privileged role and can be immensely rewarding and itself life-enhancing, as a career. However, how to be a life coach doesn’t itself come with a prescribed path. As you determine how to be a life coach you will need to understand what a life coach does, and the appropriate and most valuable routes open to you.
What is Life Coaching?
Coaching was, until relatively recently, largely focused on development and goals. Life coaching is more about uncovering and developing the inner belief systems of the individual in order that they may even identify appropriate goals, and certainly so that they can achieve and sustain change and growth in their life.
In practice, this means meeting (usually one-on-one) whereby a discussion is held surrounding the attitudes, beliefs and values of the individual. It’s challenging work, and not the straightforward goal-setting of previous coaching methodologies. It will involve careful discussion of current and past situations, as well as the future, and thus establishing goals which are more meaningful longer term. From here you’ll be looking at the core of what holds someone back from who they have the potential to be, and working to overcome these barriers.
Your success as a life coach will be dependent on many different skills and aptitudes.
What Do I Need to Become a Life Coach?
You can view this as two-dimensional: the qualifications needed, and the interpersonal attributes which make applying technique possible.
Life coaching in the UK is unregulated. That doesn’t mean you should embark on a life coach business without suitable qualifications in place. In fact, for business and personal success, we strongly advocate you join the ranks of self-regulating professional coaches by obtaining accredited qualifications, and by becoming a member of one of the key professional coaching organisations.
The vast majority of those embarking on a life-coaching career are already experienced in the world of work, usually having at least one other professional endeavour behind them – and with good reason. The best life coaches are, of course, those who have a rich experience on which to draw. As such, you need to choose a qualification that builds on this and facilitates the practical considerations of current life.
Of course, different individuals can have the same qualifications but bring different skills to their life coach business. It is the combination of skills and aptitudes that make for a life coach who truly helps people achieve profound change.
Developing these different aptitudes – from active listening skills to how to question effectively – should be encompassed in the practical experience gained within a reputable life coach course. Similarly, they can be developed through connection with other experienced coaches and mentors.
In fact, to become an exceptional life coach, you should expect that your own journey is not only one which results in your ability to practice life coaching facilitating profound change in others. Your journey should also achieve profound change in you.
How to be a Life Coach – The Right Journey
Therefore, you need to select a pathway to life coaching which will bring you both accredited qualifications and development of the aptitudes needed for first-class coaching practice. Being an unregulated profession, this is actually harder to achieve than you may think.
Always check that a prospective course offers you:
- Accredited learning with a reputable professional body, most notably the International Coach Federation (ICF)and/or the Association for Coaching (AC).
- In practice life coaching experience.
- An opportunity to be coached yourself and/or receive mentorship both during and following your course.
- A network of other coaches and experience pool.
- Flexibility to work around your existing commitments and schedule.
The Animas Accredited Diploma in Transformational Coaching meets all of these requirements. Find out more by joining one of our Free Introductory Days and find out for yourself how to be a life coach through Animas.