There are many barriers that prevent people from becoming a successful coach. One of the biggest is getting clients. The other (I feel is equal in value) is that they aren’t professionally trained.
This lack of training often results in a one-dimensional approach to helping others based on their personal or professional experience. In other words, they don’t know what they don’t know and often lack the creativity and innovative thinking required to motivate change in others.
While their experience is important and certainly helpful, becoming a professionally trained holistic coach equips coaches with the knowledge, tools, and techniques to work with the whole person.
Successful clients make for successful coaches. The better results your clients achieve the more recognition and referrals you’ll receive. And, as an internal coach, this means more influence and impact for you and your organization.
But the reality is that not everyone can afford to get professionally trained and certified. Becoming an ICF Professional Certified Coach can cost up to 20k or more depending on where you receive your education.
That’s why it’s critical to be able to prove the value of coaching to your employer, so they’ll invest in you and your future as a coach.
Here’s how to get your employer to fund your coach training…
Step 1: Identify What’s In It For Them (WIIFT).
While it may be obvious to you on how becoming a coach could benefit your ability to do your job better… that’s rarely enough information for an employer to be inspired to pay your way…
Your goal is to showcase what’s in it for them (WIIFT) so they can say yes to funding your coach training certification program.
This requires that you step into your employer’s shoes and look at this opportunity from their point of view.
Don’t guess at what is most important to them. Instead seek to understand what your boss and the organization’s priorities are to determine how best to position the need for coaching (and coach training for you!)
Interview different people in your company. Include leadership and any key decision-makers, but don’t forget the people that would benefit from being developed. You want to draw upon multiple perspectives, so you hit all the angles when you ask for financial backing.
- Create a list of 3-5 people to interview. If possible, find someone in the company who has experienced coaching. They can tell you firsthand how valuable it was for them—and why it would be valuable for everyone else on their team too!
- Prepare your questions in advance. Your goal is to uncover the top of mind problems that persist in the company. You want to understand how these problems are impacting the company, its people and profitability.
Here are a few sample questions:
- What are the biggest challenges in the company that you feel are worth addressing?
- If you could change one thing within the company what would it be?
- What are the biggest barriers right now for the company to thrive in these economic times?
- Use a SWOT chart to ask questions about the company’s Strengths? Weaknesses? Opportunities? Threats?
Drill down into cost and impact of these problems on the company:
- How does this problem impact the company?
- What would happen if this wasn’t addressed?
- How could this opportunity be leveraged?
Step 2: Connect the dots: show coaching as a sustainable solution.
If you want to convince your employer that coach training is worth investing in, connect the dots on how your training to become a coach relates to the company’s priorities.
Don’t just say “coach training” can solve this. Speak about how specially you gaining coaching skills and tools will help them to solve these problems.
If you’ve done your research and interviewed people in the company this should be fairly easy.
Here’s an example:
From my understanding and experience, it appears that we never have a full sales team. We hire someone, train them and then they move on after about 6 months. This gets really expensive because of the costs of training. Plus, I imagine it’s also still really hard to find replacements?
As the training director, I’m wondering if I could share an idea that might help with this. As you probably already know, coaching is a powerful tool to help people to communicate, relate and solve problems together.
I’d like to create a coaching program to help my sales team to be able to figure out how to close sales in new ways. I believe if they felt more ownership over the sales process and were able to figure out the best way to close the sales they might be more inspired to stick around. And, to be honest they’d have better sales results by being more authentic and less scripted? Would you be open to discussing a new way of achieving more sales and spending less time and money training new sales professionals?
I’ve been looking at a few coach training options and wonder if I could share more about them with you…
Step 3: Prepare yourself with data and testimonials to show the value of coaching
But… before you go in, equip yourself with case studies, industry research, or testimonials.
Show your employer how coaching has ALREADY helped others, This can help them to see what is possible and get an idea of what you are talking about if they aren’t already familiar with the power of coaching.
You can find a lot of research and white papers on the International Coach Federation (ICF) website. You might even find people like myself who share their case studies as a way to get ideas.
Remember most people like being innovative and solving problems, especially when they see that others are using similar solutions. Show them what is possible (and) then sell them on you getting the training to make it happen…
Step 4: Choose your coaching method you want to learn beforehand.
You’ve made your pitch… And your employer is interested… Now what?
Avoid having to say “I’ll get back to you” which could leave time for other priorities to arise and funding to go elsewhere, come prepared with your desired training option.
Not all coaching schools are holistic in their approach and able to close the success gap. So it’s helpful to learn more about the method you wish to learn and how it specifically could really help you to coach and/or develop coaching programs in your organization.
The more familiar you are with a school’s coaching model (and its underlying principles), the better prepared you’ll be to defend it against those who might doubt its effectiveness or value.
This is especially true if other people in your company have ideas of their own as to where you should get trained. For example, perhaps someone attended a program “back in the day” and since then you’ve discovered a more ground-breaking method that aligns with how you want to coach others that wasn’t available back then? While there is something to say about programs that have been around for decades, you want to also make sure that you are learning a method that works for you too!
Step 5: Prepare to invest in yourself
Lastly, there is nothing more comforting to an employer than a motivated employee who’s willing to do what it takes..Be willing to show that you’ve got skin in the game.
Are you willing to invest the time outside of work to do this? Are you willing to contribute some money toward the tuition? Split the costs of the program over two financial periods?
Assure your employer that training to become a coach is about you doing your job better and enjoying it more too. Some employers become concerned when their employees want to train to become a coach. The field of professional coaching is limitless in its potential and one of the fastest growing industries. It’s no secret that many people want to leave their jobs for more fulfilling and rewarding work as a coach.
Becoming a coach and starting your own business can certainly be one way of achieving that outcome. But you can create your dream come true job as an internal coach and plan for retiring into a side gig later helping others. That’s a win-win-win. Your employer, you and your future internal clients are about to benefit big time!
- Have specific ideas of how you will prove to your employer the Return on their Investment (ROI). Don’t just have one idea, think big!
- Give examples of how other companies have done this successfully.
- Make sure your boss understands what makes coaching unique compared to other leadership development types.
- Get him/her/them excited about all the possibilities available within his/her/their company if they were doing this right now.
Most employers want the best for their employees, especially if it means keeping them long-term, productive and happy. But they are likely going to have questions about the scope and timeframe. Consider having the below information available.
- The cost of the program. How much does it cost? What does that include? If there are additional costs associated with this program (such as travel expenses), how are those handled?
- How long will it take to complete? How many hours per week can you commit to working on your coach training? Are you able to do this outside of work hours if need be? Are you expecting to get paid while you are training?
- What will you “bring back” from the training for the company? It’s not uncommon for companies to ask if you’ll take what you’ve learned in coach training to create a mini-training to help other employees. For example, some of our graduates have used our TRUST model to help build teams, whereas others used our coaching plans to develop in-house coaching programs.
TRUTH: Companies pay for their employees to gain coaching skills
Shift your thinking about what you’ll get from the training to what your employer perceives the company needs and then show how coaching could help them with these needs. Remember it’s all about What Is In It For Them first, and then you!
You want your boss to understand that coaching is not just a nice-to-have but an essential component of delivering on their priorities.
Your Next Steps…
Whether training to become a holistic coach for just you or your entire department, coaching adds more value than any other developmental tool. Especially when you are able to work with the whole person.
Whole Person Coaching isn’t just about accomplishing goals, it’s about clients and employees growing their potential so they are more effective and able to bring their best to the company.
Adding coaching to your professional tool kit will level up your title within the company and allow you to be more influential as you help people in new and more rewarding ways.
So… Ask those powerful questions so you can connect the dots. Position yourself as the go-to-coach in your organization and make your greatest impact.
Wait… But what if you are self-employed… or want to be?
A coach isn’t a coach without clients. This chicken-and-egg thinking can leave you spinning, but wait, there’s a clue in here. How might you start getting clients who want to be part of your success and receive the benefits of your learning to be a coach?
Before you start coaching, tell others about your plan. Create a coaching package that allows you to start working with paid clients as soon as you start your training and earn – as – you go. At Coach Training World, we offer payment plans that let you do just that. Start charging and paying for your training along the way or shortly thereafter.
Here’s how I did exactly this 24 years ago.
I openly shared this within my various circles…
“As you know ____________, I love helping others, and perhaps I’ve helped you in some way?
I’m about to shift into greater alignment with my desire to help others by getting professionally trained and credentialed as a holistic coach. But I need your help.
I’m offering five 45 minute coaching sessions for $125, and that’s a steal. I’m only doing this until I complete the hours I need for my ICF certification, and that price will go up 500%.”
Here’s a little bit about me, so you can know if this is an investment you’d like to make…for yourself or if it’s something you might share with friends or peers.
As a coach, I champion my clients to become unshakably who they are and to shine their light such that they can step onto any stage with rock solid confidence.
If you or someone you know what’s to become a fearless speaker who profits from their presence…. I’m your go-to-gal. We’ll get you out of the shadow of doubt and into living the dream.
Here’s how to enroll in my “Unshakably You” coaching program.
Please note: 24 years ago, $25 a session was a steal, that would be robbery in today’s economic climate. Ask for what you are worth. If you helped 5 people a week for $50-$100/session… that would cover a hefty chunk of your tuition. It’s not only doable, but think of how confident you’d feel knowing that you’re getting paid to make your difference (SO YOU CAN) get professionally trained!
Part of providing value to others is letting them support you as you provide benefit for them. In the end, you prove to yourself and others that coaching is the right career for you.