If you're thinking about becoming a coach, then you're probably wondering whether you should get online coach training or in-person business and life coach training.
It's an incredibly important issue for you, because it impacts your career, your passion and your ability to make a great living. So be sure to get this right.
I may be biased, but I've experienced coach training in virtually every possible format, so I have a useful perspective to share with you and I've concluded that online coach training is best for the following reasons...
REASON #1: MONEY. Most professional coaches-to-be are concerned about the money they spend on coach training and rightly so. However, ultimately you also need to be concerned with your Return On Investment (ROI), which refers to how much more money you'll make as a coach and how soon. Because depending on your training, your life coach salary could range from zero to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. That's huge.
In person coach training almost always involves travel and lodging costs in addition to the training itself. And because hotels and classrooms are expensive for coaching schools, in-person coach training almost always carries higher tuition costs, as well, sometimes as much as $20,000 or more.
Plus, in-person business and life coach training tends to be offered in short workshops and seminars, that last as little as a weekend or even one day. The event itself may be great, but if you've ever gone to a seminar, workshop or conference, learned fabulous new stuff and were certain that it would change your life - only to go home and find yourself living your same old life one week later, then you understand the 'extinction principle' which says that even great training wears off massively if not followed by systems and environments that support change. Which means your $20,000 coach training may leave you inspired, but with no viable coaching business. That's bad ROI.
By contrast, online coach training usually costs less, involves no travel, time off from work, lodging costs, traffic jams or other delays. Just show up for class from where ever you are. And since online coach training is usually ongoing, you'll have supportive systems and structures to help you succeed, built right into the process. You're likely to spend less on training, start making money as a coach sooner and make more money overall. That's great ROI.
REASON #2: TIME. I just touched on time, above, but here are some more time-related issues to think about: While it's important to optimize your training time, your brain will absorb what you learn better and you'll learn to apply what you learn more quickly if you spend a couple of hours per week in class and then apply your lessons to your own coaching business during the week.
It would be great if you could just go to a weekend seminar and walk out ready to be a successful coach, but as a smart savvy person, you know transforming your life means changing a myriad of old habits to new ones. That takes time.
A few dedicated learning hours per week, stretched out over a couple of months - or even a couple of years - will allow you to take what you've learned and begin applying it in your life and business, especially when your coaching school includes reinforcing structures, such as study groups, mentor coaching, online forums, and most of all, live online classes with homework. (By the way, that's exactly how effective business and life coaching works: you have a live conversation with a client, who experiences life-changing insights with you. Then they go out and apply those insights to their life or business and report the results to you. Rinse and repeat.)
As Aristotle said, “We are what we habitually do. Excellence then is a habit, not an act.”
REASON #3: LEARNING. I mentioned the learning issue above, but here's a deeper look at that. Most folks assume the they will learn more in in-person training, but that's usually because they haven't experienced high-quality distance learning. I'm not talking about turning in written papers online and I'm not talking about audio CDs and MP3s. While those can be helpful adjunct tools for training, nothing beats live, conversational classes for learning coaching. Let's face it: coaching is live in-the-moment conversations, followed by strategic action. That's what effective coach training is, as well.
I'm also not talking about teleclasses, which are still a popular training format in some of the older coaching schools. And I'm not talking about standard webinars, which usually involved little or no conversation in a class. Today's technology allows us to do everything in what I call a 'tele-webinar' that we can do in person, except shake hands (or get stuck in traffic).
Tele-webinar training is perfect for learning business and life coaching, because it allows you to join from anywhere, using your iPad, computer, and/or telephone; and have a highly interactive conversational class that allows you to learn in whatever learning style works best for you: audio learning, visual (in the form of slides, live demos, co-browsing, videos, etc.), questions and answers, live practice and feedback, downloading materials before, during or after class, move your body, take notes, take an instant test, go out and apply it along with class colleagues, whatever learning strategy works best for you. Little by little, you learn new habits of excellence and get inspired by your own, and your classmates' successes. Together, you succeed.