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Is Coach Training for Me? 5 Questions to Help You Make a Decision

So you want to feel more confident about your decision to pursue coach training?

A few years ago, I was downsized, scared, and wondering where my next paycheck was going to come from. Every week, I'd complete my unemployment paperwork and wonder what my next step would be.

I spent a lot of time researching, and finally decided to make an investment in iPEC's coach training program. But I was still so nervous. 

Was I making the right decision?

If these anxious, uncertain thoughts have also been going through your head, it makes complete sense! Of course you want to feel confident in your choice to invest in coach training, and choose the right school to get you closer to your dream. 

Below are a few questions I invite you to ask yourself, to guide your decision-making process.

Answering these will help you feel more confident about your decision to pursue coach training and, more particularly, choose a school that gives you the strongest possible return on your investment:

1. Why am I drawn to coach training? How and where would I like to apply those skills?

Before we even get to the different types of programs out there and what to look for, I’d recommend you search within yourself for clarity on what you want to do AFTER you’ve completed the program. You don’t have to know exactly who you want to work with or the type of coaching you want to provide, but it's important to envision what you want your future life as a certified coach to look like.

  • Do you have an inner entrepreneur who wants to work from anywhere in the world? 
  • Are you passionate about self-growth and personal development? 
  • Do you want to climb the corporate ladder or create a coaching environment in your existing workplace?

Coach training can be used to reach ALL of these goals, but everyone has their own version of success and fulfillment. Your answers to this question can be helpful in determining what you want to learn, and what you need to get out of a coach training program for it to feel successful for you.

2. What, and how, would I be learning in this coach training program?

Once you’ve moved more into the research phase, this question can help you start to zero in on the right coach training school for you and your goals. There are actually three parts to this question:

First, what will you learn in the program? In other words, does the school stick to teaching the traditional coaching tools and nothing else? Traditional methods are foundational, but they garner limited results in actual practice. You’ll want to look for a program that offers more than just the basics. 

An acclaimed coaching program should also teach transformative coaching skills. These are the skills that will give you the ability to inspire your clients to make lasting changes. If you’re hoping to open your own practice, you’ll also want to look for a program that offers business development training.

Once you determine that the program can take you from where you are to where you want to be, you’ll want to ask: how will you learn in the program? Is there a mix of in-person and webinars? Is the training conducted entirely online or entirely on-location? Will there be hands-on exercises and actual coaching sessions so you can learn by doing? Don’t enroll in a program that doesn’t speak your language (or, in this case, learning style).

Lastly, is the school’s mission one that you can get behind? There are over 200 coach training programs in the U.S. alone, and each one has life-changing testimonials, but do they “walk the talk?” Can you get behind their philosophy? Is it one you’d adopt in your own practice or coaching style?

3. What kind of support would I like to receive after completing coach training? How well does this school meet those needs?

Having the resources to succeed as a certified coach is as important as having the knowledge of specific coaching tools and techniques. When your active learning time with the school has finished, will you be left with a lot of knowledge and no know-how? Are you able to return to your training materials over and over again and use the templates provided with your own clients? How does the school set you up for success?

For me, it was invaluable that iPEC gave me a mentor coach, because if I had to choose my own, I’d worry that I was getting feedback from someone who didn’t know what they were doing! 

The fact that I received business development training was also important for me and my goals—it gave me the ability to easily explain (to strangers!) what coaching is and what I do as a professional coach, and it was available to me after the program ended, so I could turn to it exactly when I needed it.

Because I graduated with a strong foundation, I was able to confidently create my path. And, because iPEC continued to provide me with resources after I completed the program, I am continually able to grow my practice.

4. What am I getting for my investment?

So you’ve found a few programs that interest you enough to take the next step, but you’re caught up in the pricing. How can one program be $2,000 and another $15,000?

The overwhelm is real, and it’s completely understandable. There’s a lot to sort through!

Here’s my checklist for evaluating what’s included (and not included) in your tuition for any coach training program. If anyone uses the term “all inclusive” you’ll want to be sure it contains:

  • International Coaching Federation (ICF) accredited courses
  • Business development lessons
  • Mentor coaching
  • Practice coaching
  • Success coaching
  • Books and resources at no additional charge
  • Lifetime access to materials
  • Fee-free final exam and certification

5. How reassured and inspired do I feel as I learn more about this school?

It’s natural that researching coach training schools involves a lot of thinking with your head. But as you learn more about a coach training school, their reputation, their philosophy, and stories about what their graduates have gone on to create and accomplish, notice what comes up for you on a more intuitive level.

What are you learning about who this school is, what they believe in, and what their graduates have to say about their experiences? And as you learn more, how connected, reassured, and/or inspired do you feel?

(Want to hear from iPEC’s own graduates? Each month we sit down to hear what our impressive, inspiring graduates are doing with their own coach training during the Energy Explorer Live Series!)

Once you’ve taken time to thoughtfully reflect on these questions, it could be helpful to discuss your ideas, vision, and questions with a certified coach. 

Download the guide and learn the 9 things to look for in any coach training program