Coaches get certified for 3 reasons:
But you won’t get any of those from a certification alone.
And coaches who think they will…
…end up broke, out of time, or disillusioned.
There’s a lot of debate around IF coach certifications are even necessary to be a coach.
Sooooo… should you get certified AT ALL as a coach?
Maybe, but if you’re going to…
…don’t be fooled by the “coaching certification myths”.
Will a coaching certification give you credibility?
Most of your credibility as a coach…
…comes from what you do AFTER your certification.
Most of your credibility as a coach…comes from what you do AFTER your certification.”
Although schools make a big deal about it, coaching certification is an “entrance exam”.
Outside of your school’s ceremony…
…don’t expect a parade.
…there won’t be a statue built in your honor.
Certification is only the beginning of your journey to credibility.
Coaches use certification as a “shortcut” to get instant credibility…
…instead of earning credibility by changing client’s lives.
Are you looking for credibility from other coaches, or paying clients?
You don’t really need credibility with other coaches.
They’re not the ones HIRING you.
You only need credibility with clients.
Let’s say your certification gets you into a “Coach Country Club”.
Approval from the entire coaching elite doesn’t mean that CLIENTS will think you’re credible.
Overinvesting into getting credibility with coaches…
…may leave you with little time left to gain credibility with clients.
Will a coaching certification give you confidence?
You don’t need confidence when you’re just starting to coach.
It’s only natural to feel nervous (or at least less than confident) when you’re first coaching.
If you had perfect confidence before you started coaching…
…you might be taking coaching too lightly.
Don’t hide from nervousness.
Don’t try to ‘fix your confidence’ by getting more certifications.
USE this nervousness to motivate you to coach MORE clients.
The MORE clients you coach, the more nervousness will melt away.
No certification, or ‘book smarts’, can give you the confidence that experience, or ‘street smarts’ can give you.
Why do coaches think a certification will make them confident?
Coaches treat certifications like a PERMIT.
Think getting permission to coach makes your confidence flow?
Nobody can give you permission to coach…
…Not any coaching “authority”.
…Not even a client.
And nobody can give you confidence to coach.
Self-confidence comes from the SELF.
Will a coach certification give you clients?
If certifications impressed clients into hiring you…
…all certified coaches would have tons of clients.
Many of them don’t have ANY clients.
Clients do not know if coaching certifications matter.
Clients care about results, not where you went to school…
…so give them proof that you’ll help them get results.
Clients care about results, not where you went to school…so give them proof that you’ll help them get results.”
The best proof is not a certification.
Clients trust these things more than any certification:
- A google search on your name.
- Client success stories and case studies.
- Their gut feeling about you.
- A live demonstration.
- You Actually helping them.
There are some good reasons to get a Coaching certification.
- If you’re looking for a coaching job
- If you plan to coach executives
- If you’re looking to master a specific coaching skill
- If you’re looking for a method to follow (versus “winging it”)
So, if any of those reasons apply to you, get the certification.
But when you do get certified…
…you still won’t have it all figured out.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you get certified:
Get an ICF certification.
ICF certification will allow you to use your certification with ANY kind of coaching.
It’s the most widely accepted and embraced certification standard in the world.
It’s the most widely accepted and embraced certification standard in the world.”
You’ll onboard real coaching skills in an ICF approved training regimen.
Don’t spend too much time on certification.
Decide in advance when enough training is enough…
…so you shift your focus to actually succeeding as a coach.
Leave your training plan open-ended, and you end up chasing your tail…
…taking one course after another.
…always learning, but never coaching.
Spend a few weeks or a couple of months getting certified, not YEARS.
Too much time getting certified gets in the way of actually finding and coaching paying clients.
Don’t spend ALL your money chasing the “best” certification.
You’re going to need some money to live on until you get enough clients to be profitable.
You’ll need money to invest in your business as well.
Whether it be time or money or both…
…don’t become one of many coaches that over-invest in their certification(s).
A lot of coaches show their certification as the MAIN benefit of coaching with them.
This backfires… making them seem just like EVERY other certified coach.
If clients see you as just another coach…
…you become a commodity.
Then those clients will only hire whomever is cheapest.
Can certification be a shortcut to credibility, confidence, and coaching clients?
But what makes credibility, confidence, and coaching clients worth it…
…is that they must be earned.
You earn them through lots of coaching.
You earn them by helping lots of clients.
A coaching business that changes lives and supports the life you want?
That’s the ULTIMATE coach certification.
That’s what REALLY gives you credibility, confidence, and coaching clients.
The Certification shortcut is a leftover from 20th century thinking.
Most coaches grew up being taught that after school…
You go to college…
You get a degree…
…and only THEN do you have permission to pursue your career.
That process worked great when the goal was to get a job.
But most coaches are looking to have their own business and NOT have to answer to a BOSS.
If you want that freedom, you’ve got to be free from old thinking.
Does this mean getting coach certification is a waste of time?
NO, unless you stop coaching clients in the real world.
So, go ahead and get certified.
Just don’t get caught up in ‘certification worship’…
…or you’ll eventually find yourself in a prison of overdependence.
The sooner you start coaching, the better.
Certification is the introduction of coaching skills, but coaching clients is how you acquire mastery of those skills.
Certification is the introduction of coaching skills, but coaching clients is how you acquire mastery of those skills.”
Start coaching clients before you get certified.
AND, if you’re not certified, it doesn’t mean you can’t coach.
…or don’t get certified.
As long as you NEVER stop coaching…
…you’ll just be on a different path to the same place…
Kristoffer “Never Stop Coaching” Thompson