So how come I’m telling you about what is involved in becoming a professional life coach rather than promoting myself as your coach?
Well, after a 25 year career in coaching and helping people plan and achieve their goals and mentoring new coaches, it was time for a new game.
My background is in journalism, feature writing, teaching and small business and I've always loved to simplify information and educate others in a user friendly way.
So, now that I am only taking private life coaching clients, I have combined my writing and coaching experiences to create an independent platform of info and experience that supports new and established life coaches who want to further their skills and build their practice.
One of the biggest motivators for creating this independent coaching resource is that everywhere I look there are "schools" offering services that were, at least, questionable.
Of course there are plenty of excellent life coaching schools as well. However, many people are being caught in a web of over promises and under delivering and as a result are either performing poorly or failing at a career they probably loved.
The problem is that they didn't know the questions to ask and so would go into training and support services without knowing what they don't know and needed to know. For example, as a result I have extensive sections dedicated to checking out Life Coaching Schools as well as building a practice with authentic marketing advice.
My major coach training and certification was with Coach U between 1998 to 2000.
This was the original life coaching school in America, founded by Thomas Leonard who created and developed the concept of life coaching as a profession.
The best part of the CoachU training was that we had to experience these processes as part of our training, rather than just learn about them, which was invaluable for our own growth.
Subsequently, I also became a Teleclass Leader with CoachU which was invaluable experience for subsequent distance learning events I ran within my own coaching practice. Mentoring new coaches, building their confidence and helping them through the challenges of working with their first clients was and still is one of my favourite things.
The CoachU training included:
This last point is a vital skill to develop as you grow as a coach. It means to not get flustered and stuck if your client bursts into tears, gets angry, acts like a baby, wants to give it all away, or comes to the session a total mess.
And yes, this can happen even in business and corporate situations!
Even though I had a lot of personal growth education in my background, what impressed me was the Coach U's personal foundation training which taught me some fantastic processes that I had not come across before. These have been magic to use with my clients.
My training taught me how to gently take the client deeper and life coach them through whatever issue, work related or personal, that was causing the challenge. We also learned when coaching was not the right path for the client and when to recommend them to a therapist.
My other training was with Results Coaching Systems whose founder David Rock has become an authority on the workings of the brain in coaching.
The Results coach training I took with David was focused mainly on goal achievement and had a format of the client committing to a fixed number of sessions - usually 12 - with an introductory free session.
I also took several courses covering team and group coaching which have been really valuable in allowing me to broaden my client base.
Results Coaching was far more linear and process focused than CoachU in its approach. However, I found the combination of the two formats really useful in enabling me to coach with personal depth and, at the same time, present a very marketable structure to prospective clients.
The International Coach Foundation (ICF) is the worlds premier governing body for coaches, setting standards and offering credentialing. It is an excellent learning resource and I encourage you to belong to it.
As one of the earliest members of the ICF chapter in Australia, in 1999, I held the then advisory position of Coach Credentialing Leader and I am still a member of the ICF.
Now, I am still coaching a few clients (hard to give up what I love completely) and you can contact me privately if you would like to enquire about the service.
My own career background includes:
I believe that our highest purpose and challenge is simply to discover the wonder of who we really are and be the best we can be at whatever we choose to do.
Life has been my greatest teacher in coming to realise that it is better to run and stumble and hurt yourself, than to regret never having tried to run at all.
My stumbling has included “learning” marriages until I met Paul and we married in 1990 Between us we have four terrific daughters.
Highlights in my personal life (apart from marriages, divorces
and births) include:
I’m looking forward to more adventures in my work and my life. The best is yet to come!
Enough already! This isn't meant to be all about Wendy Buckingham so take some
time to look around this site and discover all you can about life
I find an excellent place to start is at Becoming a Life Coach, so good hunting!
All the best