The term 'Life Coach' is something that is thrust upon one through life experience, sound decision making and wisdom. It is not something a title that can be earned through attending a few weekend workshops.
'In Box' of Life Experience
My inbox is full of promotional emails asking me to attend various 'Life Coaching' events. I believe I can become a Life Coach in a weekend for as little as £520. Wow! With only 10 hours of tuition I can amass the knowledge of the guru's.
And by merely attending and receiving my certificate of attendance (which is the Life Coaching accreditation) all my problems disappear and suddenly I become the fount of all knowledge.
This means if I attend even more training and submit a portfolio I can run my own course and accredit others. And so the process continues.
Rigour of Coaching Accreditation
There are many worthwhile programmes and accredited programmes in the market place such as Ashridge's MSc in Coaching. But there are also many bogus organisations which have set themselves up to provide Coaching and Life Coaching without any formal assessment.
Evaluation of being able to follow 'best practise' in Coaching is critical. It is no accident that teachers attend a minimum of three years undergraduate study and formal assessment and examination with teaching practise, before they are allowed to teach.
Surely being a Coach means understanding 'Behaviour Change'
I wish the same were true for Life and other Executive Coaching models. A weekend, or even several weeks, is not enough to fully understand the intricacies of the mind, personal motivations, belief systems, learning theories, perception and attitude theories and models of personality, personal change, questioning, counselling and listening to name but few interpersonal skills.
Be warned - too many Life and Personal Coaching programmes overemphasise throughput of trainees. Evaluation of past learning and achievement is lax and more emphasis is on attendance on a programme rather than performance, real learning and skill acquisition. So be warned before you register. In the meantime, I am purchasing a more effective spam filter.