When I first started my coaching business I hired a coach to help mentor me and learn about coaching. At the time, I was not aware of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) or that there was such thing as ICF certification. My coach was certified by the John Maxwell Team but held no ICF credentials. This coach was very helpful and I am very grateful to this day for their guidance. However, this coach advised me that I could coach without any type of certification and still be effective. I could coach because the industry was not a regulated field like that of psychotherapy, law, or accounting, amongst others. I would come to learn that this advice was misguided.
I launched my business and began taking on clients here and there. I continued to read books and study about the business and practice of coaching, but I wasn’t undergoing any formal training. One day I encountered the Professional Christian Coaching Today podcast. I began listening to the episodes and I found an instant connection with the material. The podcast taught me about what professional coaching was, the importance of ICF certification, and effective ways to build a coaching business. I started to come around to the idea of ICF coaching certification. Still, I was hesitant to undergo the cost of certification when my business was making a profit without me being certified.
My mind changed gradually over time as I started to take on more clients and I felt like I was in over my head. I needed more guidance and education to help my clients reach their potential. I realized that in order most effectively serve my clients I would need to expand my knowledge and skill level. My coaching business is only as good as the ability of my coaching. I also began to realize that I was making mistakes that were eroding trust and intimacy with my clients.
Once I realized this, I signed up for The Essentials of Life Coaching class with the Professional Christian Coaching Institute and have continued my education there on the way towards ICF certification. I wish now that I hadn’t waited to start my classes towards coaching certification. The classes are very helpful and the ability to ask questions of more experienced coaches is invaluable. If you are a professional coach or considering coaching I urge you to not wait like I did. Make the decision to begin your coaching certification classes. Also, please make sure that do your research to ensure the training you receive is in alignment with the ICF. You can learn more about accreditation and approved coach training programs on the ICF’s website at www.coachfederation.org.
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