“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.”
– Tony Robbins
From time to time everybody is a coach to someone. But do you have what it takes to make a career as one? Consider these five ‘Big Questions’…
Do you value being of value?
Are you the go-to person when someone needs advice? Do people regularly turn to you for your great listening skills? If so, these are strong indications that you may be cut out for a coaching career. Indeed, one of the most valuable skills a good coach can have is the ability to listen more deeply and to ask the right questions. A coaching course teaches students how to go beyond listening to helping others find their own answers. It assists those who already have an aptitude for drawing people out of their shells and who possess an empathetic ear to use these skills to help others become aware of latent possibilities, insights and motivators.
Do you seek progress over perfection?
Are you passionate about personal growth – both your own and that of those around you? Many coaches start out as clients themselves and find the lessons they learn through the experience to be ones that can be put to valuable use as a coach to others. It’s worth considering that many people who seek out the services of a coach – be it a life coach or a business coach – are usually in a state of transition in their lives. Usually, they are craving advice for taking the next big step – whether it’s progressing from one life stage to another, or from one job – or even career – to another. As a prospective coach, you should relish the opportunity to walk with them on their new journey, helping to provide clarity in their exciting – and often scary – time of change.
Do you see light in the dark?
Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Or experienced a major transition or a difficult period in your life? While it’s not essential, having worked your way through such experiences can make it easier to identify and empathise with those who are going through similar circumstances. Often, clients who hire coaches have already come to realisation that something needs “to give” in their lives, but they just can’t see their way clear to making the necessary changes. A good coach is able to help others get “unstuck” and find more purpose and happiness in their lives. By having found the same for yourself, you’ll be well equipped to offer a guiding light to others.
Do you get up, show up and never give up?
Are you self-motivated or do you wait for others to give the instructions? Essential to coaching is the ability to seek out the doors of opportunity instead of waiting for them to be opened for you. If you tend to be inquisitive and self-disciplined and if you prefer forward movement to stasis, you have the ingredients necessary to be a great coach. Most coaches are entrepreneurs at heart, and many start their own private practices and consultancies, working with individual clients and hosting workshops. As such, they are required to set their own schedules and choose what kinds of clients they work with, which means they need to keep themselves motivated, on schedule, and focused on their goals.
Do you live to learn?
If intuition offers awareness; science offers precision. As a professional coach you will need to commit to a journey of lifelong learning if you are to stay on top of your game – and at the top, it’s the little differences that make all the difference. Great coaches realise that success is a moving target and to stay relevant they must keep educating themselves. They also seek out regular honest personal and professional evaluation to ensure they are constantly improving, always moving forward.
Ready to become a coach? If any of the above descriptions fits you, you might be well suited to a career as a certified coach. The South African College of Applied Psychology offers a range of coaching courses, suitable for students who wish to make a profession of the skill (such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching), as well as for those who simply want to understand more about motivating others and unlocking their potential (such as the five-month Coach Practitioner Programme). To find out more about how you can enter this life-changing field, enquire now.