Episode 74: Why You Shouldn’t Become Certified

The Certified Clarity Coach training program is designed as a comprehensive training program that meets you wherever you are in your coaching journey. It’s a program that can change lives but I also understand that not everyone should pursue certification. Today I’m discussing the reasons a coaching certification may not be right for you.

74: Why You Shouldn't Become Certified

Today we're kicking off the priority enrollment period for the Certified Clarity Coach training program! I am so proud of this program and excited to begin the next cohort on August 23rd. The Certified Clarity Coach training program is designed as a comprehensive training program that meets you wherever you are in your coaching journey.

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Show Notes

Today we’re kicking off the priority enrollment period for the Certified Clarity Coach training program! I am so proud of this program and excited to begin the next cohort on August 23rd. 

The Certified Clarity Coach training program is designed as a comprehensive training program that meets you wherever you are in your coaching journey. The program will help you develop your mastery as a coach and understand how to build a coaching business, giving you everything you need to be a powerful and ethical coach.

I believe in the program wholeheartedly and I know it’s a program that can change lives but I also understand that not everyone should pursue certification. It’s really important to me that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision and find a program that meets your needs. So to help you figure that out, in this episode I’m discussing three main questions you should ask yourself to figure out if coaching certification is right for you.

Topics covered

  • How the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program can help you become a powerful coach
  • What the ICF accreditation of the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program means for you
  • Why certification might not be the right fit if you’re solely seeking professional development
  • What it means to prioritize service over sales
  • Getting honest with yourself about your goals
  • The importance of coach-specific education

Resources mentioned

Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Well, hello, my friend. Thank you for joining me today for another episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. My name is Lee Chaix McDonough, and my goodness, we are in the midst of something special. So when this episode drops today, we will have just wrapped up Coach with Clarity Summer Camp, and that kicked off the priority enrollment period for the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. Now, if you've been listening to the show, especially for the last few weeks, you have heard a lot about this program. I am so proud of it. And I am so very excited to begin the next cohort on August 23rd. The Certified Clarity Coach Training Program is designed as a comprehensive training program. So this means no matter where you are in your coaching journey, whether you're just starting out, whether you've got a few years under your belt, whether you've been doing this for decades, if you are looking for a comprehensive training program that will support you in developing your mastery as a coach, as well as your understanding of how to build a coaching business, if that's something you're interested in.

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So the four modules really walk you through everything you need to be a powerful, ethical coach who shows up and serves your clients powerfully time after time. Module One walks you through the coaching fundamentals, including my approach to coaching, which I call Keyhole coaching. And then in Module Two, we take a deeper dive into the three M's: Meaning, Mindset, and Mindfulness, and how each M can inform your coaching practice and help your clients create the change they most want to see in their lives. Then Module Three is devoted to more advanced topics and coaching. This is where we are exploring Relationship coaching, Group coaching, and how to support our clients when they hit a sticking point. This is also the module where I invite a guest trainer in to provide a deeper look at diversity, equity, and inclusion in the coaching profession at large, and also in our own coaching practice. I want to take one minute to explain why I invite someone in to do this work. As a coach, I recognize the importance of having an anti-racist lens when we are examining our coaching practice, coaching theory, models of working with our clients, and so forth. And I've done my own work and continue to do my work in this area. But the fact is, I am a straight white cisgendered woman. And because I hold a certain level of privilege in our society, I view my role as amplifying and augmenting voices that maybe don't get as much attention as mine might. And when it comes to talking about DEI specifically, I think this is where we need to be listening to black, indigenous, and other people of color on these matters. Which is why I'm committed to bringing in and compensating a trainer who comes from one of those backgrounds. I did it in my first cohort, and I will be doing it with every cohort from here on out, because that matters. And as this program grows, my vision is that the training staff and the mentoring staff will grow as well. But for now, we're still in the early stages. And so I view my role as welcoming in experts in the field of DEI and coaching, who are people of color, who can share their own experiences professionally as a coach, and also their own lived experience too, because that lived experience is important and has a role to play in coach training and education. So that happens during Module Three. And then finally, we wrap up the program in Module Four, with a look at continuing education and continuing development for coaches. So now that you've been through this training program, you're gaining experience as a coach, you're applying the tools that you've learned. What next? How can you continue to commit to your personal and professional development as a coach? Throughout all four modules, I'm weaving in information about the business side of coaching as well. So I want to be clear that the focus of the Certified Clarity Coach Program is on the development of coaching skills. And that is by design, and it's also a requirement of the International Coaching Federation. The majority of content must be about the ICF Core Competencies, and must be aimed at helping students develop their coaching mastery. That being said, we do have a little bit of wiggle room where we can talk about other issues related to coaching, and that includes business growth and development. So if you are interested in starting, or growing, or scaling your coaching practice, we will be talking about some critical business fundamentals within the program as well. So as you can see, this is really a comprehensive program. It is designed to take you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Which is a powerful masterful coach, who is able to support their clients through any issue, any situation, and who has a robust evidence-based coaching approach to back them up. Graduates of the Certified Clarity Coach Program are certified by me as a Certified Clarity Coach. And they will also be eligible to apply for an ICF credential. The Certified Clarity Coach Program is a 125 hour training program. And all 125 of those hours are eligible for your Associate Certified Coach, or your Professional Certified Coach credential application. So if you are looking at the ACC or the PCC, you can rest assured, because the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program has been accredited as an Approved Coach Specific Training Hours program, or an ACSTH program. So you know, without a doubt, that your hours will count towards your application. This is a big deal if you are even considering pursuing a coaching credential through ICF. And so I am absolutely thrilled to let my graduates and my future students know that this is one less thing they have to worry about. You can participate and graduate from the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program and know that your training hours will count for your ACC and PCC applications. So if all of the sounds like, “Yes, I'm in. I want to learn more!”, head on over to CoachwithClarity.com/certification. That's where you'll find all of the details about the program, and you will be able to apply. Now, I want to encourage you to apply before August 2nd, that is the end of the priority application period. And what makes this a priority application period? Well, this is huge. So when you apply for your ICF credential, you also need to have 10 hours of mentor coaching. Seven of those hours can be group, three of those hours can be individual. Typically, I provide mentor coaching as a registered ICF mentor coach at an additional fee. But, if you submit your application by August 2nd, I am including the 10 hours of mentor coaching as part of your training tuition. So, you will not pay the additional fee for mentor coaching when you submit your application by August 2nd. This is a big deal. This is a savings of about $1,000. So, if you are considering the Certified Clarity Coach Program, and you're ready to get started on August 23rd, then I highly encourage you to get your application in by August 2nd. When you apply, you can expect to hear directly from me within a couple days. We will get an appointment on the calendar to meet virtually face to face. And that way you have an opportunity to ask me any questions you have about the program. And I can get to know you a little better, and ensure that this program is the right fit for your coaching goals and your preferences. So, head on over to CoachwithClarity.com/certification to learn more and to apply before August 2nd. 

So clearly, I am very excited about this program. I believe in it wholeheartedly. I know it is a program that can change the lives of the people who go through it, as well as the clients they coach. And at the same time, I understand that not everyone is interested in certification, and not everyone should pursue certification. So in the interest of full transparency, I wanted to spend a little bit of time today discussing the reasons why perhaps you should not pursue a coaching certification. Now, I know this might seem a little odd because I am literally in the middle of launching the next round of my certification program. But it's really important to me that anyone who applies for my program knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that a coaching certification is the right choice for them. I am not interested in bringing people into my program who have any sort of concerns that, maybe they don't need a certification, maybe it's not right for them. And so, I want to be really clear about what I see as being a few reasons why certification may not be the right choice for you right now. So, the first reason is that you are only interested in professional development. You are primarily interested in getting that credential because it's going to open doors for you professionally, and that is your only motivation. So if your sole reason for pursuing certification is to grow your business, then I'm gonna say the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program is not for you. And probably most other training programs aren't going to be for you either. Because a certification program, like the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program, goes way beyond just learning and applying coaching skills to other people. You are starting a journey of profound personal transformation as well. And so as a coach training student, you have to be willing to do that level of work. Now, I get that a lot of people pursue certification as a business builder. And it is. I mean, having a certification and pursuing ICF credentialing sets you apart in a self regulated industry. Because as we discussed before, coaching does not fall under state or federal guidelines the way other professions do. For example, psychotherapy, architecture, law, those professions are licensed and supervised generally by some sort of state or regional authority. That's not the case with coaching. Anyone can call themselves a coach, and anyone can start a coaching business. So when you are in an industry like that, having a legitimate credential really does set you apart. And it demonstrates your commitment to ethical and responsible coaching practice. So pursuing a certification for that reason, to build your business, makes sense. But it cannot and should not be the only reason you are pursuing certification. Especially within the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program, because part of this program requires you to be a client. So you will be paired with someone who will be your peer coach, and you will be their peer client. Likewise, you will also have the opportunity to be a peer coach and coach someone else. But you will be serving in both roles. And as someone's peer client, you are expected to bring real life issues to coaching, and to co-create an authentic relationship with your peer coach. So while this is an opportunity to practice your skills, and apply them, this is not fake coaching. You are bringing real issues to the table and you are receiving real coaching around them. Now personally, I view this as an added benefit to the program. Because by the time all is said and done, you will have received a minimum of 20, and probably closer to 30, hours of personal coaching within the program. And that is huge. I mean, imagine the powerful changes you could create in your own life, when you've received 20 to 30 hours of personal coaching as part of a training program. So I think this is a huge benefit. But you have to be willing to do the work, you have to be willing to show up to every session with your peer coach ready to explore a real world issue. You will also be expected to reflect on your own values, your own vision for your life and your business, and your own personal mission. And you will be challenged to view your thoughts, your emotions, and your behaviors through a different lens. So I am asking each and every student in the program to really commit to doing not just the professional development, but the personal work. And so if you are not prepared to do some deep introspection, and to commit to that inner work, then a certification program is probably not going to be the right choice for you right now. And let me be clear, I say that with absolutely no judgment. There have been points in my life where I have not been at a point where I was ready to do that level of deep introspection. I had other challenges going on, other issues in my life that needed my attention. And so it's not that you are wrong, or making a mistake by not committing to that level of work, it simply means that perhaps now is not the right time. So that is one reason why perhaps you should not pursue a coaching certification program. If you are only in it for professional development, and you're not interested or willing to do the personal work that comes with it, i's probably not a good fit for you right now.

So the second reason a coach certification program may not be right for you, is if you are more interested in sales than service. So, let me explain what I mean by that. For better or for worse, there are a lot of sales people who use the title of “Coach” to describe their work. In fact, I just had this happen to me last week. I was interested in a health and fitness program and I got on a discovery call with someone who called themselves a “strategy coach”. But the fact is, there was absolutely no strategy discussed during that discovery call. And there was no coaching discussed during that call, either. That was, 100%, a sales call. And their goal was not to help me explore my external or internal blocks, or help me to understand my next steps for creating change. No, their goal was to sell me on this health and fitness program. There is nothing wrong with sales. Sales is a critical part of every business, including coaching. But I do take issue with framing a sales process as a strategic coaching, and calling yourself a strategy coach when really what you're doing is sales. So if you are approaching coaching as a way of improving your sales process, then a coaching certification program may not be the best fit for you right now. My role as a coach, and how I view your role as a coach, is to catalyze your client’s success. And so in order to do that, we have to center the client's agenda, and their priorities, and their needs. That always comes first. Our agenda, our priorities, our needs, that is secondary, if it shows up at all. The goal of coaching is not to sell someone, it's to help them transform, help them achieve their goals. The sales process, there is a time and a place for that. And we talk about that during the business building weeks of the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. But that is not what coaching is. Coaching and sales are not the same thing. And so if you are more into sales than service, and if you're looking for a program that is focused on helping you make more sales and find more clients, then that is not a coaching certification program. Again, we talk about that a bit within the program. But the emphasis will always be on the actual art of coaching, of how we partner with clients to co-create significant and sustainable change in their lives. So if you are looking for a program that is going to help you with sales, then a coaching certification program may not be for you. Now, there is a little bit of a caveat to that. Because here's what I have found. When you prioritize your client’s success, when you center their goals and their mission at every session, and as part of the coaching relationship as a whole, then you are going to create a loyal loving referral source. Because think about it, when you're showing up and serving your client powerfully and they are achieving everything they want and then some, then they are going to be one of your raving fans. And they're going to talk about you, and they're going to share you, and they become a referral source for you. And yes, that is part of a sales process. So I would suggest that by investing in your coach training and development, and by building your mastery as a coach, you are actually going to improve your sales process because you will be generating referral sources from your satisfied clients. So, it's kind of a secondary way of approaching sales. But really, we want to make sure that whatever we promised to our clients, we're delivering. And the best way to do that is to really ground down into your skills, into your approaches, and into your mastery as a coach. And that is what we focus on in the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. So, that is the second reason why you should not pursue a coaching certification. If you are more interested in sales, than in service, then this is not the program for you. Alright, I have one more reason I want to share with you as to why you may not want to pursue coaching certification. And that's because you don't want to. And that is a perfectly acceptable reason not to pursue a coaching certification. If you have no interest in investing the time, the energy, the money, and the other resources necessary to pursue a coaching certification, then you shouldn't enroll in a program. And that is absolutely okay. I understand that a full-on coach training program is not the right choice for every single coach. I think it is an excellent choice for many coaches, but I also understand that there are multiple paths when it comes to coaching education. And this is something I have been clear about, basically from Episode One of the podcast. I believe that every coach needs coach specific education. But what that education looks like will vary based on the needs of that coach. So while it may be a full on certification for some, it may look like continuing education programs for others. It may look like a self study course, where you're listening to podcasts like mine, where you're reading books, where you're working with a mentor coach, and you're creating your own self study program to help you become a more powerful coach. I'm not gonna sit here and tell you that one way is better than another. What I'm most interested in is knowing which path is going to be the right path for you. So if you know that you are not interested in getting an ICF credential, and you are not interested in becoming a certified coach, then it is absolutely okay to say, “Nope, I'm not interested. I don't want to”. And honestly, as the founder of a coach training and education company, I will fully support you in that. In part because I want to make sure that the people who are enrolled in the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program really want to be there. And they are not there out of a sense of fear, or obligation, but are there because it aligns with their vision, their mission, and their values. And they know this certification program is going to help them be the coach and be the person they want to be. And I recognize that my program is not going to be the right choice for every single coach out there. I'm okay with that. So, this is your permission slip. If you do not want to invest the time, the energy, the financial resources into a coach certification program, you don't have to. I am going to encourage you to focus on your coach specific education in another route. Because as coaches, I also believe we have an ethical obligation to continue to build and refine our coaching skills, so that we are showing up and serving our clients powerfully and ethically. So please, if you're not going to enroll in a certification program, whether it's mine or another one, I would encourage you to invest in your education through another path. Okay my friend, those are three reasons why you should not get certified as a coach. Number one, you are interested solely in professional development, and not interested or willing to do the personal work that comes with it. Number two, you are looking for a program that will help you build your sales skills versus your coaching skills. And number three, you're simply not interested. It's not something that you want to invest the time, money, or the energy in. Those are three perfectly valid, perfectly acceptable, reasons not to pursue a coaching certification. So if you identify with any one of those three, please know that is okay. And I encourage you to find a path that will work better for you. Alright, with that, why don't we head into this week's Clarity in Action moment. Surprise, surprise. This week's Clarity in Action moment is sponsored by the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. A 125 hour, ICF accredited program, designed to help you build your coaching mastery, and your business skills, all at the same time. Our next cohort starts on August 23rd. And I want to let you know that I am intentionally keeping this cohort on the smaller side. I am limiting the number of spaces available in this cohort, because I have seen firsthand just how powerful an experience it is when we have a smaller, more intimate group to do this type of learning and growth. So there are a limited number of spaces for this program, and they are filling up. So if you would like to become a Certified Clarity Coach, then I want to encourage you to apply for the training program, prior to August 2nd, so you can take advantage of that special mentor coaching benefit. To learn more and submit your application, head to 
CoachwithClarity.com/certification

Alright my friend, for this week's Clarity in Action moment, I have two questions that I invite you to reflect on. The first question is, do I feel called to pursue a coaching certification at this time? Now I realize that as a yes/no question, it is a closed ended question. It is not the ideal coaching question that I typically recommend. But it's also a very important question to ask yourself. Because if the answer is no, well then you have your answer. Pursuing a coach certification program is not the right choice for you at this time. But if your intuition, if that little voice inside, is encouraging you to pursue coach specific training. And if you have an inkling that you may be interested in a coaching certification, and an ICF credential down the road. You can do that through journaling, or through connecting with a coach, or mentor, or advisor. But I encourage you to give that voice some space. And question number two can help you do that. So my second question for you is, what would be possible for you with a coaching certification, versus where you are today? So let's say you enroll in a coach training program, hopefully it's the Certified Clarity Coach Program. But even if it's not, let's imagine that you have enrolled in this program, you have successfully completed it. What will you be able to do now that you have that certification? What doors might open up for you? What types of clients might you be working with? What type of business might you be creating? How would your life look and feel differently as a result of completing that coach training program? Really connect with your intuition on this one, allow yourself to imagine and explore, and start to paint the vision of what your life might look like after you've completed a comprehensive coach training program, such as the Certified Clarity Coach Program. Once you feel solid in your decision about whether a certification program is right for you, and what doors it might open up for you in the future, then it's time to do your homework. It's time to look into the certification options, the credentialing options, and to select a program that's going to work best for you. Clearly, I'm a little partial to the Certified Clarity Coach Training Program. And you can learn more about that at CoachwithClarity.com/certification. But you may want to start with researching coaching credentials in general, to really make sure you understand what it is you're looking for, and whether or not a program meets your needs. Now, way back in Episode 25, I did a deep dive into coaching certifications, what they are, whether you need one, and so feel free to head back. Again, that's Episode 25 to take a listen. But if you've reached that point in your research where you know you're ready for a coach training program, and the Certified Clarity Coach Program speaks to you, then I want to invite you to fill out the application. And you can do that again by going to CoachwithClarity.com/certification. There are “Apply Now” buttons all over the page. And once you submit your application, I will reach out to you personally to schedule a connection call. Again this time is for both of us to assess whether we are a good fit for each other, and whether the program will meet your needs right now. So if you have questions, if you want to learn more about the program, go ahead and apply and then we will get on a call. And let me be clear, the purpose of that call is not to sell you on the program. The purpose of that call is to assess whether it's a good fit for you, if now is the right time, and what your next steps would be. It's really important to me that you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision and that you don't feel pressured. I don't subscribe to those high pressure sales tactics, and I don't use them. This really is a connection call, and we are both going to be interviewing each other. Because you deserve to have an opportunity to get to know me and the program, and for you to get a sense of whether this is the right next step for you. And I want to make sure that you will be a good fit for the cohort as well. So that's what that call is all about. And the first step is to fill out the application at CoachwithClarity.com/certification. I cannot wait to read your application. I can't wait to connect with you over Zoom. And I really can't wait to get started with the program on August 23rd. Alright my friend, that's it for me. But don't worry, I will be right back in your feed next week with a brand new episode. So, if you are not already following the Coach with Clarity Podcast, be sure to do so now. You can find the podcast pretty much wherever you listen to your shows. We're on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Audible, IHeartRadio, you name it, we're probably there. So make sure that you are following the show, and that will ensure that the next episode is automatically downloaded into your feed so you can listen to it as soon as it drops. So until then, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.
 

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