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Do I Need Certification to Be a Coach?

SUMMARY

Do you ask your doctor for his or her credentials before you allow them to treat you, or do you focus on why you went to the doctor in the first place and look for the results of getting well?

Stick with me in this episode, I'm going to show you how to use exactly the same logic when you're deciding whether or not you need to be certified to be a coach. Hey, this is Grant Herbert, Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year and Master Coach Trainer, and this week, I want to continue our conversation around becoming a coach by answering a question that I get a lot of times, and that is, "Do I need to be certified to be a coach?”

Now, the first thing we need to understand when we have a look at this question is that it's not a cut and dry yes or no answer for everybody. And the other thing is it's more about why you get certified than it is whether you should or not. It's also about when to get certified and what to focus on. First, in my own experience, I've been a coach for many years now, and I have not once ever had anybody ask me about my certification. Now, I need to let you know I do have a number of certifications around coaching, training, et cetera. So, it's not saying that certification is not a good thing at all. It's saying that it's not what we need to focus on, and it's definitely not something that should hold me back from becoming a coach because I'm confused about certification. So, what I want to do is I want to help you to understand the pros and cons of certification and give you three things to consider when you're making your decision about being certified.

Number one is clients want results.

Number two thing to consider is certification requires investment.

Number three is Just-in-time learning.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT

Do you ask your doctor for his or her credentials before you allow them to treat you, or do you focus on why you went to the doctor in the first place and look for the results of getting well?

Stick with me in this episode, I'm going to show you how to use exactly the same logic when you're deciding whether or not you need to be certified to be a coach. Hey, this is Grant Herbert, Emotional Intelligence Speaker and Trainer of the Year and Master Coach Trainer, and this week, I want to continue our conversation around becoming a coach by answering a question that I get a lot of times, and that is, "Do I need to be certified to be a coach?”

Now, the first thing we need to understand when we have a look at this question is that it's not a cut and dry yes or no answer for everybody. And the other thing is it's more about why you get certified than it is whether you should or not. It's also about when to get certified and what to focus on. First, in my own experience, I've been a coach for many years now, and I have not once ever had anybody ask me about my certification. Now, I need to let you know I do have a number of certifications around coaching, training, et cetera. So, it's not saying that certification is not a good thing at all. It's saying that it's not what we need to focus on, and it's definitely not something that should hold me back from becoming a coach because I'm confused about certification. So, what I want to do is I want to help you to understand the pros and cons of certification and give you three things to consider when you're making your decision about being certified.

Number one is clients want results. Whilst certification can be a great thing, clients aren't interested in your certification. It's like going to the doctor. I'm not going to ask you where you went to university. I'm not going to ask you to show me your certificate, your credentials. I'm not well. I need you to give me a plan to get better again. And that's exactly what your coaching clients will want. They want outcomes, not certification. Focusing on getting skilled in the area of giving outcomes to your clients is, in my opinion, way more important than the certification itself.

The number two thing to consider is certification requires investment; investment in finances, investment in time. It takes a committed effort to get that certification so therefore we need to make sure that we make the best decision possible when we decide which certification to get. There are so many options for certification. At People Builders, in our institute, we offer certification programs, whether that be to get certified in the area of social and emotional intelligence coaching or in behavioural profiling or applied neuroscience. There are many different places that you can get certified. The key to remember here is that there are different levels of investment, different levels of commitment, and therefore we can allocate money that could be used to grow our practice and get certified or invest all our money in the certification itself. So, it's really important to us understand that it's going to take an investment to get certified so therefore we need to weigh it up in the entire journey rather than just look at it as a start point or something that I need to get done first and therefore hold you back from making the impact that you want to make.

We talked about last week that one of the things you need to do is actually design your own journey. There's not "one size fits all". However, unfortunately, coach training companies and other organisations might tell you something different because they've got a path that they want you to go down based on the products that they have. One of the things that I love to do with my clients is make sure that People Builders does not provide a "one shoe fits all" approach. And I come to you with what I've got and I give you that as the only thing that you can get from me, no, I want it to make sure that what we have is structured in a way that it meets your needs. And that's what you need to look for when investing in certification.

And number three, and this is a big one for me, I'm a total believer in just-in-time learning. Now, the opposite of just-in-time learning is just-in-case. It's where we go and get heaps of information, do heaps of courses and certification programs and all of these things, and hopefully one day I'll know enough so that I can be a coach. I'll know enough so that people take me seriously and they pay me money and listen to my advice and let me speak into their lives. The challenge that I've found over many years of doing this is all that creates is overwhelm for you and for your potential clients. When we look at it from the other perspective and go, "Okay, what could I learn now? What is something that I need to upskill in right now?", and then look at certification around that.

An example of that for me was when I was a few years into my journey, I decided that I needed to become more knowledgeable and lift my skills in the area of social and emotional intelligence and therefore what I needed to do was look for a program that allowed me to get certified or, more importantly, upskilled in those areas. Now, I'd already done a previous certification in coaching and how to coach, however, this was a specialist's need that I saw in the corporate market that I was working in so therefore I added that into my toolkit. Now, once again, the certification was not the first thing I looked for. It was the knowledge and a process that allowed me to implement that knowledge with my clients. The certification was important and it came as a secondary or a byproduct to that upskilling. What the certification did is it gave me more credibility because it was backed by the Institute for Social and Emotional Intelligence so therefore I could use that credibility in my marketing. However, it's a secondary issue. What I focused on was the fact that developing your social and emotional intelligence competencies allowed you to build your personal power, to become more resilient, to reduce and manage your stress, to control your behaviour and your response to your emotions, and that and many more things was a great fit for what I was doing in that market. So, the third thing to consider when you're looking at certification, whether it's yes or no, or when and why, is to look for just-in-time learning.

Getting certified as a coach can be very valuable, but it's not the main thing and it definitely doesn't need to be the first thing that you do to become a coach. If you'd like some help with certification or answering more questions around this, then I'd be happy for you to reach out and I will look at your particular situation. We could even set up a call and I can help you with that, if that's something that you need. However, the main point I want to get across to you here is that certification is not good or bad. It's not yes or no. It's more, "why do I feel I need to be certified?" And if that is because I won't have any credibility, unless I'm certified, let me challenge you on that and help you to understand that you can get well-paying clients in your coaching practice, you can make a huge amount of difference in people's lives before your certification is even finished. How do I know that? Because that's exactly what I did. Well, that's it from me for another week. Join me again next week as we continue this conversation around becoming a coach by looking at how to be successful as a coach by being imperfect. I'll see you then.