In this episode, we’re going to talk about a question I get all the time: “How do I become a coach?” After I start that discussion, I often hear, “How do I become an intuitive coach?”
There are three parts to this answer:
- What does it mean to be intuitive?
- How do I become a coach?
- What does it mean to combine the two and become an intuitive coach?
So let’s get started.
What Does It Mean to Be Intuitive?
(1:10) I’m not focusing too much on this answer today because I’ve talked at length about intuition in past episodes. You can listen to those episodes and get show notes here:
- Episode 3: The Art and Science of Intuition
- Episode 17: The Four Fs of Fear-Based Action (Here, I talk all about how fear and intuition relate to one another).
- Episode 23: The D.E.C.I.D.E. Framework, where I talk about my method for making intuitively-based decisions.
These episodes will give you a clear definition of what intuition is, what it is not, and how you can learn to recognize it and use it in your business and your life.
How Can I Become a Coach?
(2:30) I want to spend the bulk of time today talking about what it means to be a coach and how you can become one.
The short answer? You call yourself a coach. That's it. Anyone can be a coach. That’s both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because there aren’t many obstacles to entering the coaching profession. If you want to show up and serve people powerfully, you can do that through coaching without many obstacles.
However, that’s also what makes it a problem. There aren’t federal or state regulations for coaching, and because it’s a self-regulating industry, it is entirely up to the coach to determine what education and training they need, and what rules and policies they follow. If you are choosing to work with a coach, do your homework because truly anyone can call themselves a coach.
There are a lot of people out there calling themselves “coaches” who are salespeople. Being a salesperson can be a fulfilling profession, but being really good at sales or selling someone a powdered drink mix does not make you a coach.
What does make you a good coach is your ability to create a transformation for your client through partnership, goal setting, support and encouragement, and helping your client optimize their performance. I get concerned when I see people who are not coaches adopting that moniker to describe what they do.
Becoming a Credentialed Coach
(5:15) When I started coaching, I decided I wanted to pursue credentialing through the International Coach Federation (ICF), one of the main regulating bodies in the United States and internationally. I started with my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential, and I now hold the PCC, or the Professional Certified Coach, credential. The next step is the Master Certified Coach, but that’s still several years away for me.
It was crucial for me to obtain my PCC because that is a signal to other coaches and potential clients that I am a certified coach who takes her profession very seriously. I received the training and education, and I do the continuing education. I commit to follow the ICF code of ethics.
There are other credentialing bodies out there. There's the International Association of Coaching (IAC), the Center for Credentialing and Education, an affiliate of the National Board of Certified Counselors. Though I didn’t use these resources, I know they are reputable and certainly ones to consider if you're called to do so.
The Definition of Coaching
(7:00) For me, I use the ICF standards, and I want to share their definition of coaching with you:
“Coaching is the act of partnering with clients in a
thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them
to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Let’s break that down a bit:
Coaching is a relationship and a partnership. It’s about two people who are on equal levels. The coach doesn't come in and tell the client what to do, and the client doesn't order the coach around either. An equal relationship promotes co-creation. I devoted an entire episode of my podcast, Episode Seven, to talking about co-creating with the spirit (you can find that episode HERE), but in coaching we are co-creating with our clients.
We are gently challenging our clients, doing so in a way that's inspirational and honors our client’s agenda and desires. The result is to help them optimize their performance, or as ICF puts it, “to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Because that's really what we're about.
Our clients are generally functioning well. They're doing fine, but they want to be great. They know that they are not currently living up to their potential and they feel stuck. Our clients come to us because they don't want fine; they want fantastic. And as coaches, that's what we're able to help them do.
Do I Need to Be Certified to Be a Coach?
(9:10) Many clients ask me if they need to be certified, so here's my stance: I believe that every single coach out there needs coach training. Even if you are a certified coach, you still need continuing education. We should always strive to increase our knowledge base and refine our practices.
If you’re a coach with limited or minimal experience in the field of human services (you’re not a therapist, you don’t work in HR, and your work thus far didn’t revolve around building interpersonal relationships or guiding people through problems), I suggest you complete an accredited coach training program.
For those of you who have a great deal experience in human services (and many of my clients fall into this category), my approach is a little different. You might find this surprising and maybe even controversial, but I don't necessarily believe that every mental health or human service professional needs a formal coach training program.
Let me explain.
I am so glad I chose iPEC as my training program. I have zero regrets. However, I will say that many of the skills and tools that they taught were not necessarily new to me as a licensed clinical social worker. The ways in which they teach you to work with your clients were familiar to me. I don’t necessarily think you need a coach training program to learn the skills necessary to be a coach.
As I mentioned before, every coach absolutely needs coach training. For you, it may look like creating your own coach training program. Maybe it’s self-study. Maybe it’s attending some coaching continuing education classes, a one-hour lunch-and-learn or workshop, or even a weekend retreat.
Finally, I recommend that everyone interested in coaching has the experience of working with your own coach. I have always had a coach since I started my coach training program. I continue to have a coach. I become a better coach because I learned from the coaches that I work with. I have a real problem with people who are putting themselves forward as a coach who had never actually had the experience of true coaching themselves.
What Does It Mean to Be an Intuitive Coach?
(14:40) Building on the foundation we’ve built about intuition in other episodes, I want to share with you how I use my own intuition in my coaching approach.
Hone Your Intuitive Skills
First and foremost, to be an intuitive coach, you need to hone your own intuitive skills. Get to know your intuition and understand how it shows up for you. In earlier episodes, we've talked about how intuition shows up as a physical sensation for some. For others, it’s a fleeting thought. Whatever it is for you, I strongly encourage you to take time to get to know your intuition, honor it, and pay attention to how it shows up in your life.My D.E.C.I.D.E. Framework can help with that, but I want you to get to know your intuition because to be an intuitive coach, you need to be comfortable recognizing your intuition and allowing it to play a role in the work that you do.
Do Your Own Work
Intuitive coaches are willing to do their own work before, during, and after sessions with clients. That means being aware of your thought processes and beliefs. It means bringing those unconscious beliefs forward to your conscious awareness. It means questioning beliefs or thoughts that are not serving you. It means being aware of your inner emotional life and understanding the effects that your feelings have, and being willing to adapt and change how you view yourself, the people in the world, and the world around you. Doing your own work requires flexibility and openness.
Approach Your Work From an Intuitive Perspective
(18:25) I describe this process as keeping one eye on the client and one eye on yourself. Balance being fully present and engaged with the client, tuned in to what your client is saying or what they're not saying, their body language, all of the nonverbal cues, you need to be 100% aware of them. At the same time, you need to hold an awareness of what's going on in your mind, in your heart, and your soul. That’s a skill we can develop over time, and it does take practice.
Our intuition is often an internal process. We need to be sure that as we're working with clients, we keep that channel open so that our intuition can come through. That’s why it's so important to know how your intuition shows up for you, because when that happens in a session, you can take note of it and decide if and how you want to take action on it.
Often in session my clients will say something or share something and intuition gives me a little nudge. I just know that what transpired is important, and I need to go back to it with the client. How do we do that?
When my intuition notifies me that something is important, it is now serving me as the coach, but also my client. But I don’t want to interrupt the conversation. So when I get that little intuitive hit that we've stumbled on something important, I will take a breath, pause, and I will ask permission before I share my thought.
When the client has a pause in their story, I'll say, “you know, I just had something come up. Would it be okay if I shared that with you?” I'm asking permission, and I'm tying it back to what the client said. Asking permission is really important because it respects the partnership that you and your client have and it signals that the client is still in control.
I have never had a client say no when I've asked permission to share something with them. But this is a technique that I use often, especially with new clients when I'm still building the relationship. When you share your intuitive hit with them, it may resonate with them, or it might not.
If it resonates with them, that’s an indicator to them that they need to follow that suggestion. If it doesn’t resonate, it may be a clue that you need to do some internal work surrounding that subject or topic.
When you are practicing as an intuitive coach, you're doing a lot of observing and reflecting, so you're noticing what's going on both for your client but also for yourself and then with permission. Everything unfolds as it should when we show up and when we honor our intuition, provided that we're sharing it in a way that promotes connection and conversation with the client.
The Make It Work Moment
(28:00) At the top of this week’s Make It Work Moment, I told you all about my new membership program, Coach With Clarity®. I’m so thrilled to offer this aligned approach to the art of coaching, specifically designed for intuitive coaches and healers who want to elevate their practice. Registration is open now, so follow the link and sign up!
This week, I’m challenging my listeners to take what you learned in this episode and participate in a reflection exercise.
Think back to a time when you received an intuitive hit while talking with someone. It could be a family member, a coworker, or a friend. How did you know your intuition was speaking to you? Did you share that information with the other person? How did they respond?
We’ll dive deeper into this exercise in this week’s Deeper Dive (which you can get delivered directly to your mailbox each week by signing up HERE). I want to hear about your reaction to this exercise and this episode!
As always, thank you for listening and sharing this episode with other intuitive entrepreneurs.
Until then, my wise ones, remember to let your inner wisdom lead the way…
Mentioned in this episode:
- Coach With Clarity® Membership Program
- Work Your Inner Wisdom website
- Episode 3: The Art and Science of Intuition
- Episode 17: The Four Fs of Fear-Based Action
- Episode 23: The D.E.C.I.D.E. Framework
- The International Coach Federation
- Work Your Inner Wisdom Facebook Community
- Follow Lee on Instagram!