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Why Tony Robbins Can't Pass ICF Coaching Certification

Posted by Julia Stewart

Tony Robbins Life Coach CertificationThe other day I had a conversation with one of my coaching students about why Anthony Robbins wouldn't pass IAC life coach certification.

On further reflection I realized that he wouldn't pass ICF coach credentialing, nor the new IAPPC coach certification, either. Why is that? Because he engages in some huge life coaching no-no's. I'll explain in a moment...

Maybe it isn't fair to measure what Tony Robbins does by standardized life-coaching models. After all, he calls himself a 'Strategic Interventionist', not a life coach.

Then again, he does have a coaching page on his website that claims he is the "Father of the Coaching Industry". Hmm, that flies in the face of what tens of thousands of coaches say, that Thomas Leonard is the 'Founder of Professional Coaching'.

 

For instance, Thomas Leonard founded both the ICF and the IAC. But...

 

And I'm just guessing here, but this is a really big "BUT": There are quite a few overlaps between Thomas Leonard's approach to coaching (I studied at both his schools, where I received several coach certifications and I was Lead Certifier for the Thomas Leonard Coaching School) and Tony Robbins' approach, which I've studied informally.

I'm a huge Thomas Leonard fan, BUT...it times out that Leonard may have stolen (ahem, borrowed) many of his ideas from Robbins. I'm just speculating, but Tony Robbins' most popular book, Awaken the Giant Within, in which Robbins calls himself a coach, was based on his work with thousands of people over twenty years and was published in 1991. Thomas Leonard founded his first coaching school (the first life coaching school in the world), Coach University, in 1992, with an awful lot of the very same ideas (though there are some key differences).

Not that I think Tony Robbins invented all of his own ideas. Like many entrepreneurs, he seems to have repackaged, renamed and reorganized ideas that were already out there; some new; some ancient.

A few folks trace these ideas back to Jim Rohn, EST, or Landmark. Others trace their early development to the 19th Century American Transcendentalists. But you can find their roots in the words of Jesus Christ and the Buddha, and in even earlier writings and oral traditions from around the world. (This is one of the many reasons why a degree in psychology or social work, even a PhD, won't make you a life coach.)

 

But back to Tony Robbins and why he can't pass life coach certification...

 

REASON #1: Robbins often coaches people who are suicidal. One of the biggest no-no's in coaching is that coaches don't coach people who are mentally ill. And suicidal thoughts are a symptom of some mental illnesses.

The IAC, ICF, and IAPPC all warn against using coaching as a therapeutic tool. The main reason for this rule is that an unskilled coach could actually harm the client. An additional reason is that the coach may expose him/herself to a lawsuit for practicing psychotherapy without a license.

I would not encourage a coach to coach anyone who is in tremendous psychic pain, but I personally have coached clients who had some big issues. In many cases I required them to see a therapist while they worked with me. But they often told me that coaching helped them more than therapy. For some clients, those who are willing to take responsibility for their issues, the tools of coaching are far more empowering than psychotherapy.

Robbins claims he's never lost anyone. If that's true then maybe his strategic interventions aren't as foolhardy as they would be for some coaches. And maybe he's actually saved thousands of lives. In that case, what he does is courageous and extremely valuable.

REASON #2: Sometimes Robbins does most of the talking. This is one of the basic rules of life coaching: Let the client do most of the talking. But Robbins frequently doesn't follow this rule.

I've seen him coach people when he did almost all of the talking. And it appears to work. Why? He reads body language extraordinarily well and he has a keen understanding of human nature. Isn't that true of other coaches, as well? I think it is, but Robbins has decades more experience than most coaches and he's worked with thousands of people. Most coaches can't scratch the surface of what Robbins has already accomplished and their skill levels reflect that.

Still, talk too much in a coaching session and both the IAC and ICF will fail you. In most coaching sessions, I think they are right. But there may be exceptions...

REASON #3: Robbins makes rude jokes about his clients, often when they are deeply suffering. As one of my colleagues said, 'I just thought he did that because he was an a**hole!' Apparently he does it because it jolts the client out of a stuck brain state just long enough for him to shift them into a more empowering thought pattern. And it seems to work!

The IAC, IAPPC, and ICF all recognize that shifting the client's thinking is an important part of good coaching, but using a sledge hammer to do it? That's a great way to lose the client's trust. In most cases, it's better to respect and empathize with the client, especially when they're struggling. Then again, if you have only a short time to coach someone who is in deep trouble, maybe the gloves need to come off...

REASON #4: Robbins doesn't have any coach-specific training. Actually, this is mainly a problem for the ICF. The IAC recognizes that there are good coaches who, like Robbins, have thousands of hours of experience and have been learning for decades everything they can about how to facilitate enormous personal growth and development in others, but who may not have attended an ICF-approved coach training program.

Quality coach training appears to speed up the coach's development, so they can coach competently within a year or so, instead of within ten years, which is what it often takes, for the self-taught. Instead of arguing who is right about this, the IAPPC is experimenting to see what works best. Stay tuned...

Robbins started his journey as a coach while he was still in high school - long before coach training existed. He not only coached his classmates, he claims he read 750 books and attended every seminar on personal growth that he could afford (sometimes attending the best ones several times, so he could master the material). Then he went on to coach thousands of people for decades.

Tony Robbins exemplifies what Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers: That extreme mastery is the result of about 10,000 hours of experience, rather than the result of extreme talent. Talent is nice, but an obsessive commitment to 'take massive action', as Robbins would say, matters more. 

 

Let's face it, Anthony Robbins really doesn't need life coach certification.

 

He is famous and his results speak for themselves. He gets away with an awful lot, because his clients already know his reputation and trust him, immensely.

So does life coach certification even matter, when it doesn't recognize the skills that such a well-known master coach uses so successfully? It does, but maybe not for the reasons you would think...

IAC, ICF, and IAPPC certification processes are more rigorous to achieve than most coaches realize. They virtually force coaches to get thousands of hours of coach training and practice in order to pass. They won't turn you into Tony Robbins, but they will make you a much better coach.

 

Think of life coach certification as a supportive structure that helps you become the kind of professional coach you'd want to work with.

 

But take everything certifiers say about coaching with a touch of humor. Because these highly-respected certifying organizations may miss a wide range of possible master coaching techniques, regardless of what they say about inter-rater reliability. That just means the certifiers agree with each other; it doesn't mean that their criteria include every form of masterful coaching.

 

If they fail you, remember, they'd fail Tony, too.

 

Don't use either passing or failing life coach certification as an excuse to quit your coaching development. Use it as a challenge to keep going and become the kind of coach who can turn around a client's life in minutes.

By the way, Tony Robbins probably is the Father of the Coaching Industry. But Thomas Leonard is the coach who began turning coaching into a profession. Both have made enormously important contributions.

Thomas started the IAC because he was frustrated that ICF life coach certification was leaving out some great coaches. I later started the International Association of Positive Psychology Coaches' Certified Positive Psychology Coach credential, because I became frustrated that IAC life coach certification is also leaving out some great coaches.

 

I'd certify Anthony Robbins.

 

[UPDATE: 5-24-19 In light of new information, I would NOT Certify Tony Robbins.

 

Reason? As I wrote in this blog post, Robbins has made multiple duplicitous and self-serving comments criticizing women who complain about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault without disclosing that he has been accused of such crimes by multiple women, himself. Whether he is guilty as his accusers say, or not, his public comments, lack of disclosure, and disrespect towards women who have been traumatized violates the ethical guidelines of this school, the IAPPC, ICF, IAC, and CCE.]

 

I've definitely learned some new things from him. And I've seen evidence that what he does is highly effective. I've even learned how to use techniques that Thomas Leonard cautioned against.

What do you think? Do you agree that Tony Robbins wouldn't pass ICF or IAC life coach certification? Or am I totally off base?

Want to learn more about becoming a coach?

Get a free Become a Coach eBook here.

 

Topics: ICF, Coach Certification, Thomas Leonard, Tony Robbins, life coach certification, certified life coach, Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Life coaching school accreditation, certified coach, Coach Certification Bootcamp, IAPPC

Best Life Coach Certifications

Posted by Julia Stewart

Best Life Coach CertificationsWritten by Julia Stewart

If you want to become a life coach (or business coach, executive coach, career coach, etc.), then you need one of the following best life coach certifications (See table, below). They are all "general" coach certifications, meaning they measure the knowledge and skills required for professional coaching, regardless whether you are a life coach, business coach, executive coach, or some other type of coach. Because, as we say in coaching, "All coaching is really life coaching, because everyone has a life." If you have expertise in business, for instance, you can combine that with your coaching skills to become a business coach.

There are hundreds of life coach certifications to choose from. I created the following table to compare and contrast some of the leading coach certifications, and their requirements, to help you avoid getting caught up with the wrong organizations. Watch out for organizations with similar-sounding names that may be disreputable. Some of them are scams. 

You need at least an entry-level (competent) certification, because surveys show that prospective coaching clients prefer coaches with credentials, when given the choice, even if they don't ask about certification. On average, most certified coaches achieve proficient-level certifications. Certified master coaches are relatively few and are considered the "elite". Yes, you can often attract more clients (those who are looking for the best) and charge more for your coaching when you have master-level certifications.

What makes these the best life coach certifications? All the following organizations are highly respected. Some basic differences include:

Best Life Coach Certifications Table resized 600

 

If the above table is too small for you to see, or if you just want to have a copy of it for future reference (recommended), click the button below:

Get the Best Life Coach Certifications PDF

Topics: become a life coach, become a coach, become a business coach, Become a Master Coach, becoming a certified coach, Become a Certified Coach, life coach certification, Become a Masterful Coach, Certified Coach Training, certified life coach, certified business coach

Life Coach: Why It Doesn't Mean Anything Anymore

Posted by Julia Stewart

Certified Life Coach

It's almost impossible to the miss the story about the two 'life coaches' in Brooklyn who committed suicide this week. That story is everywhere, because it's so ironic. The two actually co-hosted a radio show called, The Pursuit of Happiness!

Apparently, they failed to find it.

This post isn't about them. They clearly were in a lot of pain and their passing is tragic.

This post is rather about the subtext of the media frenzy (okay, it's a small frenzy; let's just call it media attention) surrounding this story.

The subtext asks...

  1. How could these life coaches help anyone find happiness, when they were clearly miserable, themselves?
  2. Were these life coaches hypocrites?
  3. Would you want a life coach who is suicidal?
  4. Aren't there any requirements to calling yourself a life coach?
  5. How can you trust anyone who calls him/herself a life coach, when they might be depressed, mentally ill, suicidal, or who knows what?

In answer to number 4: No. There are no legal requirements to calling yourself a life coach. Yet.

That means my dog could be a life coach. She may be more qualified than some human life coaches.

And I'm not just singling out life coaches. Business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, health coaches. None of these titles means anything. In today's world, everyone, including bill collectors, can and do call themselves coaches.

The guy selling vitamins at the health-food store is a nutrition coach. The woman who works at the dress shop is a retail coach. The manager at a telemarketing company is a sales coach.

None of these phrases means anything, because they have come to mean whatever anyone wants.

Right now, there is maximum freedom in the coaching industry, because there are no real legal requirements. That allows massive creativity and growth and that's great for coaches and can be great for clients, too. Although the situation appears to be changing and the suicide story may speed up that change.

The real problem these days is for the consumer who doesn't know whom to trust.

The answer, of course, is credentialing and industry oversight, but a lot of 'coaches' are fighting it.

  • They say it's an evil plot by established coaches to keep out the competition
  • They say a piece of paper won't help them coach any better
  • They say it's an effort to control coaches, or to sell them training and certifications

Really?

That first argument is just paranoid. The second is true. Although, I've seen hundreds of coaches learn to coach much better, while on the way to qualifying for a piece of paper. And the last may, or may not be true, but it's not a good enough reason to not get certified.

Life coaches get certified because they want to be the best they can be. Because they are committed to their profession. Because they feel it is the right thing to do. Because they are proud to be certified. They also get certified to distinguish themselves from the worst of the worst.

Consumers look for assurances that they can trust the life coaches they hire. And they deserve some assurance. That assurance often takes the form of a certification.

I got my first coach certification a decade ago and have qualified for several more, since. I've learned something new with each one. I'm not finished.

Although I believe more in learning than I do in credentials, I've noticed that the goal of credentialing is an effective way to stay focused on learning. It has worked for me and for thousands of other good coaches.

I sell training and certifications to coaches mostly because I want to help good coaches distinguish themselves from ineffective or dishonest coaches. It's an honor to work with people who are committed to being their best. Whether you get certified by my organization or some other, get certified.

Certified Life Coach means something. IAPPC, IAC or ICF Certified Life Coach really means something.

It's time to stop calling yourself just a life coach.

If you want to explore the path to coach certification, click below:

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

Topics: business coach, life coach, executive coaching, ICF, Life Coaches, Become a Certified Coach, life coach certification, certified life coach, sales and marketing coaches, Life Coaching, life coach training, IAC, IAPPC

7 Concerns About the New Board Certified Coach (BCC) Credential

Posted by Julia Stewart

BCC - Board Certified CoachYesterday, I received a letter in the mail congratulating me on my new BCC (Board Certified Coach) credential from CCE (Center for Credentialing and Education).

 

It was nice to get, but no surprise.

CCE, a non-profit which has been certifying a variety of counselors for years, recently stepped into the realm of business, executive and life coach certification, with this very impressive-sounding new credential. But any executive, business or life coach who was previously certified by the ICF or IAC and who could demonstrate that they already have coach-specific training, got grandfathered into the BCC for $100. The only catch was that we had to take a norming exam to help CCE establish appropriate exam questions for future coaches who test for the BCC.

Even though I have reservations about the new BCC life coach certification, I decided to take the plunge and get it for the following reasons:

  • Life coach certifications from independant not-for-profit certifiers are generally the most respected in coaching, because with no regulation, coach training schools (at least the ones that are disreputable) sometimes have very low coach certification requirements (or no requirements other than a fee). 
  • I think competition between not-for-profit certifiers is good for coaches, their clients and the coaching industry, because it forces the certifiers to listen to us and upgrade their services in order to stay relevant. So a new not-for-profit coach certifier may be positive for the profession.
  • At this stage of the game, no single life coach certification organization is the recognized leader, worldwide. The ICF claims this distinction, but most coaches do not agree, especially in fast-growth markets, like Asia. So it may be a good idea to be certified by more than one not-for-profit life-coach certification organization.

That said, I have plenty of reservations about the new Board Certified Coach credential and don't plan to use 'BCC' after my name in most situations - at least not yet. Here's why:

  1. As one of my colleagues, who is certified by both the IAC and ICF, recently commented, a certification from an organization that mainly certifies counselors may further confuse the public about the difference between coaching, therapy and counseling. Appearances to the contrary, business and life coaching are completely different from either counseling or psychotherapy. Coaching is based on different paradigms and does not target clients who are mentally ill or in crisis. A decade or so ago, when I became a coach, the profession of coaching was under attack by psychology professionals, who claimed we were practicing therapy without a license. Then a landmark lawsuit in the state of Colorado established life coaching as a separate profession from psychotherapy.  Furthermore, the reason coaching is still not legally regulated anywhere is because coaches don't work with vulnerable populations. Since that landmark case, therapists and counselors have jumped on the coaching bandwagon in large numbers, because they aren't hamstrung by regulations, they've seen how effective coaching can be and because they can charge more for it. As another coaching colleague commented: The confusion between coaching and therapy isn't because coaches are practicing bad therapy; it's because too many therapists are practicing bad coaching. One of the reasons I decided to get the BCC anyway, is so I can watch from the inside how CCE's influence plays out and can speak up as needed. If CCE does its job well, it could actually cut down on the confusion and erroneous assumptions that counselors and therapists sometimes make when they hang out their Life Coach shingles.
  2. CCE bases the BCC credential solely on college degrees, coach-specific training and passage of a multiple-choice test. Reputable life coach certifications always require demonstration of coaching skills. Why? Because unlike virtually any other profession, including counseling and psychotherapy, efficacy in business and life coaching is not based on expert knowledge, but on the skill of assisting coaching clients to leverage their own knowledge, thoughts, actions, gifts, etc. In other words, coaching is a skill set, not a knowledge base. A degree has little or nothing to do with competency in coaching. Coach training is a very good thing, but doesn't automatically ensure a skilled coach.  And multiple-choice tests measure knowledge, not coaching skills. To get my stamp of approval, CCE needs to add an oral test to their certification requirements.
  3. CCE claims its multiple-choice test is the first scientifically-based measurement of coaching knowledge, but is it really? The 'science' is based on the answers to test questions that coaches who are certified by the 'less scientific' IAC and ICF gave on BCC norming tests. In other words, it's piggy-backing on knowledge collected by thousands of non-science-based coaches and calling that scientific. In any case, one of the reasons coaching has rocketed to the forefront of human development is because coaches have been free to mix findings from neuroscience and positive psychology with ancient wisdom traditions, plus their own insights and intuition, to create new approaches to human growth. Science is good, but results are what matter.
  4. CCE claims to be the first certifier of coaches that is itself 'accredited'. That's good, but it may not mean what you think. Usually, when we talk of accreditation in education, what we're referring to is the 'gold standard' in accreditation, which in the United States (which influences education around the world), means that your educational institution is accredited by a not-for-profit regional accrediting agency that is in turn, approved by the U.S. Department of Education. CCE is not accredited by such an agency. I tried to trace its accreditation back to the USDE, but only got as far back as an agency that accredits engineers (not exactly related to coaching). To my knowledge, no not-for-profit coach certifier, nor educator of coaches, possesses the gold standard in accreditation. That doesn't mean they aren't good, it just means they don't have the ultimate stamp of approval in education. (Beware though, of phony 'associations' that are invented by un-scrupulous 'coaching schools' or more-aptly, certification mills, just so they can claim to be 'accredited' by somebody.) CCE's accreditation doesn't make it a better source of life coach certification. In fact, they may not understand the profession of coaching as well as either the ICF or IAC.
  5. There has been some suggestion (unconfirmed) that the CCE may require its Board Certified Coaches to administer a psychological profile that measures the mental health of new coaching clients, in order to refer them out to psychotherapists. This would be no more appropriate than requiring Certified Financial Planners to test the mental health of their clients (after all, behavioral economics is the latest hot specialty for therapists), or requiring bartenders to test their customers for alcoholism (shouldn't some of those barflies be in rehab?). I know many psychologists believe 90 - 100% of all people are at least neurotic and could benefit from therapy, but coaches aren't in the mental health business, are untrained in the area of diagnosis and in many locations it would actually be illegal for an untrained professional to try to diagnose a mental illness. What coaches are responsible for is helping their clients reach the clients' desired results. If coaching isn't effective in reaching those results and the coach suspects psychotherapy could help, they can best serve their clients by sharing that observation and declining to waste the clients' money by continuing the coaching. But coaches testing for psychopathology? That won't serve coaching clients (but might serve counselors and therapists), because the real test of whether coaching will 'work' for a client is not the client's diagnosis, but whether or not the client is ready to take full responsibility for his/her own life. If it comes between keeping my BCC or succumbing to a requirement to administer  psychological tests, I may give up the credential and I'm sure I'm not alone. But I am so far taking a 'wait and see' attitude towards this.
  6. CCE's ethical standards for BCCs are more appropriate for counselors and therapists than for life coaches. That's not automatically bad, but suggests that CCE itself, is confused about the differences between counseling and coaching. For well-written and appropriate ethical standards for coaches, view the ICF's ethical standards.
  7. The BCC hasn't yet stood the test of time. Thus far, the Board Certified Coach credential is not widely recognized, nor is it the the gold standard in coaching. At this writing, Master Certified Coach credentials from the ICF and IAC share that distinction. For the time being, I would recommend the BCC only as a provisional certification, on the level of the ICF's ACC (Associate Credentialed Coach), that a new coach might want, while they work toward a more recognized coach certification.

What do you think? Share your comments and concerns about the new Board Certified Coach credential in the comments area below.

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Topics: Coaching, executive coaching, certification requirements, Coaches, coaching clients, coach, Become a Certified Coach, CCE, life coach certification, certified life coach, certified business coach, future of coaching, coach training schools, coaching vs. therapy, Master Certified Coach, BCC

How to Keep Your Life Coach Certification

Posted by Julia Stewart

Life Coach CertificationYesterday my IAC Chapter hosted a call on how to keep IAC Life Coach Certification.

Some coaches are dismayed to find that their life coach certification isn't a 'set it and forget it' deal. But if you read last week's How to Get Life Coach Certification, you know that the two respected certifying organizations are the ICF and the IAC. Both have requirements that you must fulfill in order to keep your credential.

This is typical in any profession and like it or not, life coaching is on the path to professionalism. Major research initiatives are under way to establish a body of knowledge behind the considerable anecdotal evidence that coaching really works.

Professionalism happens in every service offering that succeeds, from medicine, to psychotherapy, to personal training and it's inevitable in coaching.

You can resist, or you can be more curious. The latter is more fun.

Here are the basic requirements by the ICF and IAC in order to keep keep your life coach credentials.

1. Both organizations require you to maintain your memberships. For the ICF, annual membership is $195USD. For the IAC it is $129USD. A professional life coach can easily earn their annual membership fee with one hour of coaching.

2. The ICF requires 40 Continuing Coach Education Units (CCEUs) every three years. A CCEU is defined as 1 hour of direct coach-specific training. Go here to see how you can earn CCEUs.

3. The IAC requires a Learning Agreement (LA) every five years. The LA is flexible. You simply plan your own learning path around the 9 IAC Coaching Masteries(tm). Examples of acceptable LAs:

In short, you can expect to pay fees and do some extra work in order to be perceived as a professional, but you can also attract more clients and higher fees as a credentialed coach.

With some creativity, you can leverage either IAC or ICF requirements to boost your effectiveness and profitability as a coach, while maintaining your life coach certification.

Get free tools that will help you get life coach certification from the IAC:

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Topics: certification requirements, ICF, life coach certification, Certified Coach Training, certified coaches, certified life coach, certified business coach, IAC, certified coach

Why We're Licensing Our Curriculum for Free to Our Certified Coaches

Posted by Julia Stewart

Certified CoachSchool of Coaching Mastery has been making lots of upgrades to its programs and this is one more in a series of blog posts so coaches know what we're all about going forward.

We started by announcing the Free Coach Training Program, then we announced why we aren't renewing our IAC License and that we're changing our coach certification.

Part of the whole package of change involves our 'ultimate' students and how they fit into the overall coaching picture. The focus here has always been on training the coach who is destined to become a coaching leader. It's a whole different process than training to just be 'good enough' to coach. 

That might sound a little snooty if you don't know us. Actually, great coaches are simultaneously both confident and pretty  humble.

Anyhow, the point isn't to be 'great' or 'masterful' or 'certified'. The whole point is for every coach and every coaching client to have the life and career they really want. A less idealistic way to say this is we help coaches build coaching businesses that aren't crappy. ;-)

Let's face it, traditionally coaching schools have done a lousy job of preparing new coaches for success in the coaching business. In my own research, I've found that 80% of coaches wish they were more successful. While dissatisfaction is a universal human condition, I think coaches who are prepared best, fare best. And I think coaching schools can prepare coaches better.

Mastering yourself, your skills and your business are the steps that breed coaching success. Then there is what you actually do with all of that mastery.

But I digress...

So why are we giving a license to teach our curriculum to our paid students who become certified by us?

  1. The market has been flooded with coaching schools in the past few years. Some of them are a bit dubious. By empowering Certified Coaches to go out and teach quality coach training to whomever they want, we hope to discourage those who are in it merely for profit. 
  2. Coaching skills aren't just for professional coaches, anymore. Everyone from parents to corporate CEO's are coaching their people and getting great results. Coaches who can teach coaching skills are in high demand.
  3. The days of big for-profit coach training schools are numbered. In the future, coach training will be highly niched or offered by universities and employers. Our Certified Coaches will be among those teaching it.
  4. I won't be teaching forever. I'm looking forward to my students picking up the coaching mantle and taking it places I've never dreamed of.

So there you have it. In addition to good coach training, our students are getting a free license to teach our curriculum, once they pass our certification. Those who need it and want it will also get the Certified Coach Trainer program, which we believe is the first of its kind in the world. And it's no extra cost for our 'ultimate' students.

Oh, by the way, we're also working out a way for coaches to join the Ultimate Coach Training Program without paying us thousands of dollars upfront or going into debt. And no, I'm not talking about 'work-study'.

Stay tuned for more announcements!

Topics: School of Coaching Mastery, coaching clients, certified coaches, certified life coach, certified business coach, coach training program, life coach training, certified coach, coach training instructors

Why We're Changing Our Certified Coach Process

Posted by Julia Stewart

Certified CoachSchool of Coaching Mastery is undergoing several exciting changes at once, including our Coach Certification process.

It's all to streamline our coach training and certification options, so they are as meaningful and valuable as possible to the coaches we serve.  

One of our biggest concerns is our Coach Certification. It's a dauntingly high hurdle that potentially shuts out thousands of great coaches. That doesn't serve coaches or their clients.


This came to my attention when I was considering whether to renew our IAC Coaching Masteries(tm) license this December. One of the many reasons I'm choosing to not renew our IAC license is that fewer coaches than ever are seeking IAC Coach Certification. Even most of my own students aren't applying for it when we offer to reimburse their fees! SCM's old certification is at approximately the same level as IAC Certification.

Does this mean we're going to lower our standards? No. I think high coaching standards are more important than ever. What School of Coaching Mastery is going to do is offer a 2-step process that recognizes the outstanding value of proficient coaches who get results, while actually raising the bar for master coaches.

Let's bring the fun back into coach certification!

I think there are two main reasons why more coaches aren't pursuing IAC Certification. One is that Thomas Leonard is no longer out there evangelizing it. Thousands of coaches were already fired up to get certified when Thomas passed away. Without him, the excitment has just melted.

The other reason is that IAC certification is harder to achieve. Over the years, especially after the advent of the Coaching Masteries, I noticed that coaching sessions that I would have passed back in 2004-2005, weren't passing any more.

Harder can be better, except when it's not.

Back when we were using the proficiencies, we passed about half of the coaches who applied. Now only 1/4 of all coaches pass IAC Certification on the first try, which suggests that it is now twice as hard to pass. (SCM students pass at the rate of 2/3.)  

As any great coach knows, the perfect goal is one that is difficult, but doable. If we set the bar too high, the client gets overwhelmed and gives up.

It take courage to let other coaches grade your coaching ability. When there is a only pass out of every 4 applications, it's just easier for coaches not to bother - or to opt for rubber-stamp certifications. That doesn't encourage growth in coaching. On the contrary, it discourages it.

I'm not blaming the IAC. I took their lead, but I'm the one who set up the Certified Mastery Coach designation as one huge leap, with no intermediate steps along the way.

Thomas had it right: Inspire coaches with a certification that recognizes great coaching, but don't make it so hard that they don't even apply for it. Otherwise, there's just no point.

I do, however think there's a place for a more advanced certification, because as the coaching profession continues to mature, it's becoming more competitive. As Thomas used to say, the best way to be successful is to master your craft.

 In addition, I think coaching skills, alone, are really not enough of a basis for certification, any more than coach training and coaching hours guarantee effective coaching. We need evidence of great coaching results. That's what clients want and deserve for the high fees that they pay us.

So going forward, SCM will have two certifications available. First, the SCM Certified Coach, who has demonstrated a proficient level of coaching, along with recommendations that speak to the coach's effectiveness. SCM-CC level coaching is  significantly more effective than most coaching and deserves recognition.

And we'll have the Certified Master Coach who has demonstrated masterful skills and results. Our old Certified Mastery Coach designation will be phased out by December, when we drop the IAC license, but coaches who are currently working on it will be able to achieve it by then.

What excited me about the old proficiency-level certification is that it inspired coaches to reach their full potential, rather than settle for what they previously thought was possible.

That's what coaching is all about, right? Helping clients be, do and have much more? Why not a certification process that does that for coaches? That's my intention for our 2 new levels of certification.

As for IAC Certification, I believe our student/coaches will continue to pass it at a reletively high rate even after we stop teaching the IAC Masteries. At least if they apply for it. [UPDATE: SCM DID renew its license to teach the IAC Masteries, afterall. Then we decided to also go for ICF accreditation.]


Applications for the two new SCM Coach Certifications will be available in September. In the meantime, if you're curious, you can

see the basic requirements here.

 

" target="_self">see the requirements for our new certifications here.

Certified Coach

 

If you'd like to be kept updated about upcoming opportunities to get certified by us, go here. And scroll down to the right to fill out a short form.

Topics: certification requirements, certified coaches, certified life coach, certified business coach, IAC, certified coach

Professional Coaches: Stop Going Naked

Posted by Julia Stewart

Coach Certification Bootcamp

I've talked to hundreds of coaches and nearly all of them say the same thing:

They see themselves equally as entrepreneurs and professionals. I'm not surprised.

DEFINITION:

Entrepreneur: Someone who starts businesses for fun. May or may not be successful.

Professional: Someone with professional training & credentials who offers professional services for a fee. May or may not be successful.

Coaches don't just wear two hats. You could say we have two brains, when it comes to running our businesses. One for the entrepreneur (Fun & profit!) and one for the professional (I'll learn everything I can to give the best results and I have credentials that confirm that.)

I love being an entrepreneur. It's loads of fun. I bet you do too. And I bet your inner professional held you back until he/she was convinced you'd done what it takes to be the best you can be. Not always fun - but worth it, if you want to be a professional with integrity. And necessary, if you want to be a professional who succeeds.

You see, to your inner professional, practicing your profession without the appropriate credentials is as terrifying as walking down the red carpet stark naked!

  • Or performing brain surgery without being a doctor.
  • Or flying a plane without a pilot's license.

There's no getting around this, if you see yourself as a professional. So, if you're a coach who wants more clients and you're trying to do it without training and certification (the coaching profession's recognized credentials), then your inner professional is just trying to save you from disaster and humiliation.

You can thank it for that.

Your inner entrepreneur doesn't get this. It's busy running a cool business and it doesn't have time & money to spend on more training. And anyway, coaches don't really need certification, right?

Actually, according to a number of studies (See Coaching Sherpa), professional coaches without training & certification earn less, become successful more slowly, and/or drop out of the profession after a couple of years.

No surprise, eh?

You've got to get your inner professional and inner entrepreneur talking to each other. They need to work together so you can have the fun, ease and profits you planned on and the integrity you require.

Fortunately for you, there's something that will make both your inner professional and inner entrepreneur very, very happy.

It's called Certification Bootcamp. It's for practicing coaches, only, and it's short on both time and money, long on fun, and high on quality, value and results (Listen, I'm a professional, too).

The premiere edition of CERTIFICATION BOOTCAMP is coming up in a few weeks.

IT INCLUDES:

  • 10 TELE-WEBINAR CLASSES
  • 4 TELECONFERENCES
  • 1 LIVE EVENT

You can customize it and take only what you need.

It's fast and fun and priced so low, even your inner entrepreneur will love it. If you jump in quickly, you inner professional will breathe a sigh of relief and will finally, FINALLY, let you succeed like you know you are meant to.

NO MORE GOING NAKED.

This program is only open to a few good coaches and it's already filling, so if you're at all curious, check it out right now. Your inner professional will thank you.

If you have more questions, call us at +1-877-224-2780

Coach Certification Bootcamp


Check out Coach Certification Bootcamp here.

 

Topics: professional coach, Coach Certification, Become a Certified Coach, certified life coach, certified business coach, IAC, certified coach, advanced coach training

Become a Coach: Ten Ways to Succeed Quickly

Posted by Julia Stewart

Want to become a successful coach? Make sure your coach training includes everything you need...

Success at becoming a coach depends on your learning style and how committed you are to the process. For best results, combine at least several of the methods listed below.

1. Listen to coaching classes. Passive attendance in coaching classes is probably the most common method that people use to learn to coach and it can work - eventually. Problem is, you’re not really learning coaching, you’re just learning about coaching. (Big distinction.) School of Coaching Mastery has many classes you can listen to and we encourage you to do far more than that, as well. Read on…

2. Listen to masterful coaching demonstrations. Here, you’re getting much closer to learning to coach. You’re hearing what works. (However, sometimes hearing what doesn’t work is even more enlightening and actually practicing coaching is better still!) All our coaching skills classes include coaching demonstrations from some of the top instructors in the field.

3. Practice coaching other coaches. This is a fantastic way to learn, because it strengthens your coaching muscles and gives you a safe space to make mistakes. (To get full value, though, you need to be willing to screw up in front of your friends! ;-) SCM coaching skills Modules always include practice periods where everyone gets a chance to use what they just learned and we encourage you to practice outside classes and give you tools for finding practice partners, a.k.a. “coaching buddies”, easily. Join the SCHOOL OF COACHING MASTERY ON FACEBOOK to find coaching buddies now.

4. Get expert verbal feedback on your coaching. This is one of the best ways to learn. Get immediate feedback from an expert. Some coaches are afraid to experience this, but when done well, it’s inspiring, not painful. You learn what works, what doesn’t, why you got stuck, why you succeeded, and/or why the client resisted and how to do it even better next time. Great stuff! (Why struggle along, not knowing if you’re doing it right?) At SCM you’ll get frequent feedback on your coaching from your instructors in class and private email feedback after class. Without it, learning coaching skills can feel like target practice in a dark room! Click the link for upcoming coaching classes where you can get feedback are here.

5. Listen to recordings of yourself coaching. This is priceless! You’ll be surprised what you hear and what you learn. (Former President of the IAC, Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, says she still records her coaching sessions for her own learning.) Your SCM classes are all recorded and you’ll receive those recordings by email within 24 hours, so you can hear everything you may have missed.

6. Read expert written notes about your coaching. This is even more powerful when you follow up verbal feedback with reading written notes and listening to the recording of your coaching session. Big “Aha’s” happen here. (As one coach put it, “Now I’m not flying blind, anymore!”) You’ll get frequent written feedback on your coaching if you take our Coaching Groundwork Advanced or Master Coach Training series. We don’t know of another coaching school that does this for its students. Check out upcoming Coaching Groundwork Advanced and  Master Coach Training modules.

7. Listen to your peers coach and take detailed notes. This uses your brain in a whole different way. When you write down what you’re hearing, you’re imprinting what you’re learning. SCM classes use ICF and IAC scorecards to speed up your learning this way and you can use these scorecards to score yourself when you listen to recordings of your own coaching, too.

8. Give verbal feedback to your peers about their coaching. When you articulate specific feedback about what you heard (Not just “It was nice”), you take a stand for what you know and you find out quickly if you’re on the right track. You’ll learn how to deliver excellent feedback in our Masteries Classes. Learning to do this, while being in service to your colleagues' learning, is fun!

9. Meet in study groups with your peers. No “experts” allowed! Without the presence of a teacher or any other “expert”, coaches start to step up and take ownership of what they know. Often, this is a crucial final step to becoming masterful. (Peer-to-peer learning is powerful!) That’s why SCM has ongoing study groups, hosted by coach/students, like you, meeting every month and they’re free. Go here to find out more: Coaching Study Groups
10. Coaching real clients. (What a concept! ;-). This obviously is what you’re preparing for. Coach real people in real situations. Develop ongoing relationships with clients, because that relationship is about a lot more than one coaching session. If you can get feedback from your clients, that’s a hundred times better. This is one of the many reasons why the Coach 100 Revolution has been so successful. Coaches get written feedback from everyone they coach and find out what works from the client’s perspective. The Coach 100 Revolution is included in the SCM Full Coach Training program.

School of Coaching Mastery is the only coaching school that incorporates all of these methods into our coach training programs and that’s why our coaches learn so much, so fast. To get on the fast track to masterful coaching, join us here.

To talk to a real person and ask questions you may have about the school, call 877-244-2780
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Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2007 - 2015
All rights reserved worldwide.

Topics: coach training, School of Coaching Mastery, become a coach, coaching success, ICF, certified life coach, Julia Stewart, IAC, certified coach, Coaching Study Groups

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