Match the Coach Education Program to Your Style
This last factor is more ephemeral. Styles can include the program’s approach, the values they espouse, even their mission. It’s important for you to feel you can really connect with the program’s style.
Different coach education programs have different approaches. They may be very business-oriented, or heavily internal-coaching focused, or have a spiritual basis. They may focus on ADHD clients, children or retirees. Some programs place emphasis on Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), or Somatics (mind-body connection) or Systems (how the client fits into their family or environmental systems). Find out what the ‘flavor’ of the program is, and determine if it is one that intrigues or repels you.
Another important style factor is the program’s mission and values. What is it they are trying to bring into the world? Is it something you agree with, that attracts you? Does it make you want to be a part of it, or does it leave you feeling blah?
Learning Styles should also be considered. Is the class set up be ‘talking heads in front of a full classroom of people, with lots of reading assignments? If so, consider whether that style works for you. Is it one on one, with a loose blending of learning and experience? Again, determine if that style works for you. Ask detailed questions about how the coach education is conducted. Also, ask about coaching practice. Is it only in class with fellow students, or does the program require the student to have actual clients with mentoring by the trainer? Again, determine what is important for you.
Ensure that the ICF Competencies are being well-taught. Without a firm grounding in the ICF Competencies, you will have a tough time attaining a credential. Ask the program how much time is spent on the competencies, and how they ensure their students get a thorough grasp on them.
Inquire about the coach education program’s faculty. The educators should have ICF Credentials, with at least one MCC on staff. They should also have extensive experience in both educating and coaching.