Whether you're contemplating a career change, or perhaps thinking of ways to better manage your professional development within your company before  moving to another company,  many people use trendy professional personal coaching,  to help them reach their professional goals or to help the adapt to the ever changing business world

According to career management companies such as Careerjoy, one of the Canada's leading firms in this area, tens of thousands of professionals are soliciting such assistance in Canada every year, either to switch their career paths or to move higher in the hierarchy of their current company.

This Superprof article will focus on the ways to become a professional personal coach.

Get your very own coach who can design a program based on you and you alone
Professional coaches have similarities with sports coaches, only the goals and skills set required vary. (by RaphiD)

Professional coaches: What Do They Do?

A professional coach, a company coach or a career development coach, is a person whose  mission is dedicated to the professional assistance of an individual or a group seeking their services, in specialised and defined ways to help them achieve their professional and personal goals and objectives.

Professional life coaching is intended to help and assist individuals or groups in achieving these goals, to allow them to strive towards their professional goals. 

Professional coaching can be provided in individual sessions; to train someone for a new job, to give them personal support in adapting to a new managerial change or policy, or as a one-time session to help  with either a personal or professional issue that may have arisen.

Sometimes professional coaching often impacts positively both sides the personal and professional aspects of an individual's life, like stress management training or improved interpersonal skills training.

Sessions can also be tailored for executive coaching, for a senior company executive or senior official in order to manage stress or master interpersonal communication (voice, gestures, intonation) at interviews or press conferences, or for more effective negotiating skills and strategies.

Professional coaching can also be provided in team coaching sessions in order to foster skills knowledge, training and overall professional skills development for employees within a given company or department, and thereby facilitating growth, productivity and efficiencies of the company.

Professional coaching is  gaining popularity as one of the new trending professions, with the flexibility that can serve many purposes. Since everyone has individual needs and goals that differ, professional coaching can take many forms with coaches adapting their methods and sessions according to their clients.

In-company coaching is often provided by organisations and are often taken by professional managers and executives at one point in their careers, in order to; resolve a bothersome situation or critical issues that arise - stress management, self-confidence improvement, emotional management, conflict management, non-violent communication, change of career coaching, etc.

Furthermore, you can seek the help of a professional coach to assess your current skills set in order to help you optimise your training and update or enhance skills necessary for your profession and to remain competitive.

Tutors can coach to on how to tackle exam questions
There are a variety of different degrees that prepare you to become a professional coach. You need only pick the one that suits you best!  (by maura24)

Which Curriculum To Pick To Become A Professional Coach?

Similar to private tutoring,  there is no existing framework or official national or provincial body that regulates the profession or work as a "professional coach". Almost everybody can practice or have a career or can claim to be a professional coach. However, a certain number of skills, education, and training will obviously be expected by the clients.

Often coaches can enhance their resumes with all the training programs they have completed: GROW coaching model, systemic approach, transactional analysis, NLP training (neuro-linguistic programming), etc.

It is fundamental to know the professional environment that you are targeting and the type of clients you will be addressing (the company, its environment. its work culture, its problems and issues), so it is necessary that your resume reflects your relevant training, degrees, and additional certificates in line with the services you will be offering..

Coach Transformation Academy (CTA) is one of the market leaders in offering the International Coach Federation  (ICF) accredited courses for coaches, mentors and trainers in Canada. They offer a range of courses to suit every level of experience in coaching and mentoring. There is also the option to complete it fully on-line.

Whether you are an HR manager , executive, self-employed small business owner, an adviser looking to certify your practice or simply a parent in search of how to best guide your child, there are many online and  in-house organisations that offer ICF accredited courses for coaching and mentoring, that can be tailored to every stage in your career.

University of British Columbia (coaching@UBC) offers a Career Development and Postgraduate Coach Studies program.  It's one of several available to Canadians within a University housed program.

"The International Coaching Federation (ICF) Vancouver chapter has designated UBC as a CoachingWise     organisation, recognising the commitment to build and sustain a coaching culture through organisational and     leadership beliefs and practices that reflect coaching as a strategic business driver."

Concordia University and the well known  University of Toronto Rotman's Business School also provide ICF and Executive Coaching accreditations.  These universities draw on a wide range of expertise across their professional networks to teach programs designed to help you provide creative and effective career support. The programs informed by a range of international and national benchmarks with distinctive focus on the integration of theory and practical experience.

It is also recommended that coaches receive regular training to specialise or to update on current professional practices and methodologies. Coaching conferences are frequently held and should be attended to remain current.

The certification process be relatively lengthy, even though there is not really a specific diploma or accreditation recognised by the government that would make you a certified professional coach. It is however,  recommended to choose a school that has been certified by a federation or an association. 

In addition to these Degrees and Certificates or Accreditations, you must also prove that you have a certain number of hours of training and actual hands on experience as a coach,  to verify your core competencies  as a coach; to review and analyse professional practices for corporations given unique client cases.

More than half of the professional coaches are graduates from a business, management or engineering schools.  They are also likely to be specialists in human resource management working within a company. Professional coaches are often graduates in social sciences, human sciences, psychology or neuroscience, can also have a master's degree or doctorate: profiles can really vary.

Check out this personality development course Toronto on Superprof!!

What can personal development help you with
Life coaches need to be very attentive to what their clients confide in them, as well as nonverbal cues.  (by Geralt)

Specific Skills Required To Be A Professional Coach

In addition to degrees and any specialised training necessary to become a professional coach, an individual also needs to possess a certain number of coaching tools.

According to the accreditation process of the ICF - the International Coach Federation - these skills are required or would be beneficial to further develop:

  • Possess good ethics,
  • Establish trust relationships,
  • Possess a self-knowledge of thought process,
  • Develop your self-awareness,
  • Perform consistent task,
  • Monitor and evaluate signs of progress.

Certain attributes as well as mental and emotional maturity are needed to exercise this profession: for example an impulsive person or one easily overwhelmed by emotions, lacks assertiveness or fails to manage their stress, could not profess to teach or make effective coaches if they fail to themselves handle these difficult situations.

Professional coaches often practice as self-employed consultants: besides practising the profession, they will need to  know how to find clients and promote their services, manage their finances and tax reporting.

Also to consider, a coach's skills will depend heavily on the area of experience  (multinational conglomerate, start-up, small businesses, NGO, public administration) and their target audience (executives, managers, teams, or individuals).

An excellent and effective coach must follow the way companies operate, understand their culture and strategies, the nature of the market (products, services, customers, competition) and the structure of the market.

Strong leadership and management skills guarantees a level of professionalism: it's essential to creating a business, developing interpersonal communications within, for collaborating with other coaches and all stakeholders, as well as developing entrepreneurial capabilities.

Another key factor for effective coaching is : mutual respect. It is important to know how to adapt your approach depending on the ethnic and cultural differences that may exist, that is to say never to judge your interlocutor or discriminate according to their ethnic or social origin.

It is also necessary to know how to position yourself as an expert, to convert your prospects into clients, to mobilise commercial resources: in other words, to know how to sell yourself.

Being A Professional Coach

Sometimes it's difficult to take a step back and manage stress appropriately but one of the main roles of a professional coach along with: to support, guide, accompany and ensure the well-being of all the people they oversee.

Let's put it out there, there are very few professional coaches that can live entirely of their practice: the vast majority of them work as self-employed.  It takes an average of at least three years of practice to establish a network of contacts or clientele and earn steady income. So realistically it can take up to 5 years before being able to earn steady in a professional coaching career.

When it comes to earnings, your earnings  will depend on your skills and competencies and experience. Working on a per session basis,  coaches can charge on average from 120$  and up for a one-to-one hour-long session or somewhere around $350 or more for a days in-house work if hired by a company.

Like private tutors, the rate a professional coach charges will depend on their experience, network and demand.

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Yvette

Yvette is a freelance Canadian writer living in Paris. She spends her time between Toronto and Paris and likes to travel and learn. She's the proud mom of two strong minded women and enjoys her free time giving back to her communities.