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How to Become a Life Coach

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A life coach is a person who develops a professional partnership with their clients and then uses evidence-based strategies and still to helps their client reach the goals they have in regard to their business, work or personal life. During the partnership, the client and coach will work with one another using the knowledge provided by the client to help and elevate them to their desired accomplishments or help them make the change they desire. The client of a life coach can be an individual, or they may be a group, such as a non-profit or company.

A client can hire a certified life coach to help them make a specific change in their professional or personal lives. These are changes that can revolve around certain themes of success, balance, health or any other goal that the client is dedicated to achieving. One of the aspects that make the career of a life coach so exciting is that you never know the dreams or goals that a client may have they need help with reaching.

What Life Coaching is Not

A life coach will spend quite a bit of their time describing what life coaching is not.

This is not psychotherapy. Most life coaches do not have professional training in the field of mental health. While the coaches may work with individuals who suffer from depression, anxiety and other issues from time to time, they spend time working on the present, rather than investigating and digging into the past.

The main difference between the role of a life coach and a psychotherapist is about helping people overcome their wounds. Live coaching is designed to help a person achieve the highest level of success, happiness or fulfillment that a person has set out – regardless of if they are wounded.

A life coach can work to help a person work to establish a better work and life balance, improve their relationships and even lose weight. The simple explanation is that it will help clients determine what they want out of life and what they need to do to get it by using weekly settings through e-mail or phone.

Who Makes a Good Life Coach?

Individuals who are good communicators make great life coaches. This is because they will be able to help their clients work through their problems and develop a plan of action to reach certain goals. There is no set requirement or academic training for a person to become a life coach; however, with training in the field of communication, teaching and counseling, a person will find they can develop or harness their skills to work effectively in this career.

Work and Education Background

The role of a life coach is to encourage and motivate people to work to reach their maximum potential. While there is not a specific degree created for this career, acquiring advanced training in particular fields can help a person be better prepared for their role as a life coach. Some of these fields including human resource management, teaching, social work, business consulting and counseling. Experience or work history in these fields can be quite beneficial for a future life coach.

Special Training

Programs that provide training for a would-be life coach will typically focus on teaching various communication techniques, developing the coach-client relationship and goal setting. Regardless of if you choose to attend a workshop on the weekend, or to enroll in a full-time life coach training school, you will be able to receive skills that are invaluable to help with your future career. An experienced life coach will also be able to provide advice in other areas that may need to be strengthened.

Basic Requirements

In addition to having a desire to help others, a life coach needs to have superior communication and listening skis, as well as a large amount of knowledge in areas that they have selected to cover. For example, someone who has a prior history in social services or health care may decide to provide coaching for stress management.

Certification Requirements

While there are no official requirements for becoming a life coach, there are some agencies that offer this certification. One is IAC, International Association of Coaching, and the other is ICF, International Coach Federation. The certification from IAC will be based on oral and written exams. The oral exam will require you to submit a recorded coaching session that demonstrates your ability to apply the knowledge you have. ICF certification will take longer to achieve since you have to complete several paid coaching hours. The credential types will be based on the total number of coaching hours that you successfully complete.

Increase in Demand and Awareness

The fact is, the demand for certification is only going to increase as more and more people become aware of the field and the education about certification spreads. There are more and more clients who are seeking a certified life coach who has a solid background, as well as relevant experience to help them work through their biggest challenges. If certification is not had, then a person may run the risk of losing a potential client to a coach who has become certified, before you even get the opportunity to show what you can do.

Credibility of Certification

Earning certification to become a life coach will provide a number of tangible benefits that go much further than just what is on a piece of paper, or even a title. Consider other professionals that may be used – chiropractors, business consultants, massage therapists, etc. Chances are you would not use these professionals if they did not have some type of certification or credential in their field. You want the assurance and peace of mind that goes along with knowing you are getting the most for your money. If you think about it, it makes sense that a client is not going to want to spend their money on a life coach who is not certified.

The Networking Advantage

When certification is achieved, you will not only have the necessary credentials to support your future business, but you will also have the knowledge, skills and a whole network of professionals who you can work with to build your own business. Coaches can work together, share skills and develop relationships that are mutually beneficial.

Life Coaching without Official Certification

Even though there are quite a few benefits of certification, there are some situations where you may want to get started with coaching prior to completing the process. If you are presently in a profession where it makes sense to offer coaching services, you may be able to offer these services to some of your existing clients. Some of the profession’s that may be in this category include:

  • Manages
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Business Consultants
  • HR professionals
  • Counselors or therapists

If this is the route you have selected, then your services need to be marketed to your current clients, as a type of add-on or even standalone service. If your customers already have a relationship with you, and trust you, then they will be much more likely to take a chance on your coaching offerings. If you do not currently have a customer base to use, then you will likely have to compete with the certified coaches that are available. This can be increasingly difficult because you will not have the experience or credentials to use when attempting to sign up a new client.
If you are ready to become a life coach without first gaining certification, then you can use special discounts or promotions that may help spark some interest. Once a client base has been built and you have a reputation in the community, you can use that for creating testimonials or for recommendations.

Certification with ICF (International Coach Federation)

ICF is one of the primary organizations providing certifications for those who want to become a life coach. With members in over 100 countries, the highest goal for ICF is to provide and facilitate an expansion, around the world, of the coaching profession. This is able to be achieved by setting higher standards, providing certification and building an entire global network of life coaches who have earned their certification.

These are the life coach members who will benefit by being connected to one another and who have a code of ethics they will follow.

One of the main roles of ICF is the accreditation process that is used for schools and program that provide training for coaches or potential coaches. There is a rigorous process in place of requirements and standards that the schools have to meet. This is determined by an application process that will allow them to be designated as an ACTP – Accredited Coach Training Program. This emphasis that ICF creates is related to ethics, collaboration, and integrity, which make it the gold standard for life coach certification.

Finding the Right Accreditation for Your Needs

The current status in your career, as well as your prior experience, will help to guide you in finding the right accreditation for your needs. The accreditation offerings from ICF include:

  • ICF Credentialing: this is when individual members of ICF can apply for the credentialing through ICF. There are three levels – Associate Certified Coach; Professional Certified Coach; and Master Certified Coach.
  • ICF Accreditation – Accredited Coach Training Program (ACTP): The graduates of this program receive a number of core competencies in regard to coaching standards.
  • Approved Coach Specific Training Hours (ACSTH): This is not a full training program, but rather hours that are able to be used for an ICF Credential.
  • Continuing Coach Education (CCE): This is continuing education for a life coach that has been approved through ICF.

The experience you have, as well as your existing status in your current career, will help to guide you when choosing the proper accreditation. In most cases, ACTP will be the right choice because you may be starting out in the coaching field. Even for those that have a knowledge base that is in line with coaching, such as teaching or therapy, when you complete the ACTP course, you will have a better understanding of the actual process used by a successful life coach.

If you have already begun your life coaching career or have prior paid experience, then ICF Credentialing may be better suited for your needs. Since the portfolio you have will be mainly based on the previous experience you have, you should have no problem with the ICF Credentialing course.

For those who have prior coaching experience, but still need training hours to complete the credentialing portfolio, then they may decide to pursue courses that offer the Approved Coach Specific Training Hours, versus the full ACTP. This is going to be more affordable than ACTP while allowing you to apply for credentialing with the portfolio route.

The CCE’s have been designed for an existing coach who desires to continue their education or to renew their ICF Credentials. In many cases, the CCEs can be integrated into various coach meetings or into a conference so that the people in attendance can earn knowledge about the coaching industry while applying to learn their set credentials.

Obstacles to Overcome on Your Path to a Life Coaching Career

If you are ready to take the next step in regard to coaching certification, then you should assess yourself, as well as the personal needs you have when it comes to creating the actual certification experience that is best for you.

It is a good idea to speak with potential coaches prior to enrolling in any type of training since there are a number of fears or obstacles that people can face when making this important decision. Much like any other obstacle, they key is to know what they are and then come up with a solution to overcome them.

One of the main obstacles is that there is not enough time to complete the work. The bottom line here is that if you want it bad enough, you will find the time. Work in short spurts and put your mind to it. Another obstacle is not having the necessary support. However, with most of these classes, you can work with others, pursuing the same goal, which can serve as encouragement. Think about the career you want, that too should provide plenty of encouragement to meet your career goals.

The Bottom Line

While there are no hard set rules and requirements for becoming a life coach, being certified can go a long way. Think about your career and if you want to be taken seriously. If you do, then earning certification will put you on your way to becoming a successful life coach.

Life Coach Certification: Which Program is Right For You?

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The field of life coaching represents a huge opportunity for career development for those who are already in the wellness and fitness professions. At both the national and international level, coaching conferences are increasing, with more and more trainers and instructors expanding their existing careers by adding these invaluable coaching services.

When you are first starting out on this career path, you may find the options of schools, courses and training programs a bit overwhelming. However, with a bit of information, you can find the best option for your particular needs. Take the time to consider each factor here and do your own research to find the life coach training program that will allow you to meet your career goals. Doing this will pay off in the long run and help you be successful and effective in regard to the life coaching skills that you have and need.

What is the Role of a Life Coach?

A life coach develops professional relationships with clients to help them in harnessing their skills, strengths, and resources. This is all in an effort to help the client clarify, focus and then implement a goal-directed strategy. Effective coaches will empower their clients and help to nourish their insight, increase self-confidence, challenge limits, inspire excellence and generate commitment. The method of coaching is guided by the vision of the client and how ready they are to take action in reaching a particular goal.

For those who are interested in becoming a life coach, they must first acquire the proper training. Even the very best training program will not be enough to ensure a person is completely prepared for this career. It is also essential that the individual has prior professional experience in fields that are related to the life coaching career path. The fact is, a reputable and proven coach training program is truly invaluable. Some information that should be considered when searching for the right life coaching program can be found here.

A Foundation of Knowledge

ICF, International Coach Federation, has created a list of 11 foundational elements that are widely recognized in the professional life coaching realm. Anyone who has the intentions of becoming a coach needs to demonstrate a level of mastery in each of these core abilities.

  • Meet all the outlined professional standards and ethical guidelines.
  • Develop a detailed and concise coaching agreement.
  • Be flexible, open and always present when working with clients.
  • Be sure to establish a sense of intimacy and trust with each client.
  • Always practice active listening.
  • Ask thought provoking and powerful questions.
  • Be direct in all communication.
  • Foster client awareness.
  • Design results-oriented actions and various learning opportunities for clients.
  • Plan and set goals that the client wants to reach.
  • Manage and track accountability and progress.

With this information in mind, it is important to determine the knowledge and skills areas that the various training offerings provide. When you understand this you will be able to easily choose the program that best works for your needs and your goals as a future life coach.

Types of Training Programs and Options

There are several different types of training programs and options to consider. Each one has its pros and cons but it will be up to you to determine what type/style of coaching best suits you and your career aspirations.

Targeted vs. General Coaching

There are some training programs that will prepare you for virtually any agenda that a client may have in mind. Others will only deal with a certain issue – for example, career transitions, divorce, etc.

Nonexpert vs. Expert Coaching

Any type of coaching – regardless of if it is directive or expert, requires you to direct your client toward a specific action. A nonexpert or a nondirective approach to coaching is when you “walk with” the client as they make important decisions and coaches.

As an expert coach, you may be quite prescriptive while a nonexpert coaching is thought of as extremely collaborative. For virtually any type of coaching, a nonexpert style will be required. Since a fitness professionally is usually trained in regard to expert guidance, learning to work with clients in a manner that is nondirective can be quite a journey. When selecting a coaching program, be sure to pay attention to if the school is going to rely on formulas or a type of “cookbook” approach, instead of building the main competencies that will allow you to work in a flexible manner in regard to a particular client’s needs.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Focus

In a number of situations, especially when the coaching is going to be targeted for a particular transition or change in a person’s life, the coaching may be brief. However, there are other situations where it will be wider and longer in scope. It is a good idea to take short courses after you have completed a lengthier training process. The fact is, there is no way you can master the practice of being a life coach in just a few days – this is unrealistic.

It is essential that you be willing to dedicate time and effort to your training in order to become an effective and successful life coach.

Self-Study vs. Face-to-Face vs. Teleclass Delivery

Most coach training is done over the phone, through the use of teleconference classes. There are also in-person residential programs available, but typically at a higher cost. The third option for course delivery is self-study. This is where a student is given a text and will likely use CDs and DVDs to assist with comprehension of the materials. There are some life coaching schools that advocate for phone coaching for clients. However, this does not mean that this is the best way to receive training. For example, while a lecture may work in this manner, discussions can be quite difficult unless the class is quite small – no more than five or six students.

You should think about how you will learn best. If you learn by listening to lectures and using limited discussions, then a teleclass would likely work best for you. If you want to see the other people you will be learning with, then a live seminar may be the best educational option.

Self-Monitoring vs. Supervision

When personal supervision is used, it is often referred to as mentor coaching. Self-monitoring is when you progress on your own in regard to practical applications. It is essential that you determine how the school will evaluate your overall ability to be a life coach. Consider the following to determine this:

  • What opportunities are present for role playing activities?
  • Are there any opportunities for mentoring sessions?
  • Is there a senior individual who will review the work you do or listen to live coaching conversations you have?

In many cases, one-on-one supervision will be the best way to ensure the necessary skills are gained; however, this will cost more. All humans have blind spots, which means it is essential to take action to ensure these are compensated for. In many cases, you may miss something you need to know and understand.

Accredited vs. Nonaccredited School

A professional coach organization, which includes the ICF, will have set standards for and also evaluate various schools that offer any type of life coaching program. When a company is hiring a life coach, they are going to seek out certifications from some type of professional coaching organization. They will also look at where the person attended school or received their training. This is a good indication of their level of understanding and ability when it comes to life coaching.

Creating a List and Making Contact

It is a good idea to make a list of potential training programs that will work for your training needs. Once this list is created, be sure to make personal contact with the school representatives. While you may be able to find out quite a bit online about the school or program, there is no substitute for one-on-one contact with the school. This can happen through the use of group information sessions, phone conversations and more. It is a good idea to take advantage of any resource possible.

When you are preparing to meet with a representative from one of the schools or training programs being considered, the following questions may help you learn everything you need to know about the program. The questions to consider asking include:

  • What features of components of the program can help make your decision easier?
  • What is considered the high point of the training?
  • Are there program-specific challenges that many students encounter?
  • How can the certification be used after graduation or completion?
  • What is the level of support given to students while the program is going on in regard to beginning their own business? How is this structured?
  • What portion of the program is focused on helping you learn business development and marketing?
  • What level of interaction is present between the coaches and those in training during the actual coaching program?
  • Will the program provide specific training for niche markets? If so, what markets are these and how is training delivered?
  • How is the program able to fulfill the coach/mentor component? Is this included or will the person in training expect to hire someone?
  • What support options are offered to students?
  • Is there any support provided after the program is complete?
  • Is there an active community of graduates? Do they have a way to connect?
  • Is there any continuing support or educational programs offered to the graduates?

Once you have found the program that suits your needs, it is important to find out other specifics including how long it lasts, the cost and other fundamentals. There are no “wrong” courses but you should try to find one that is highly respected. This will help ensure that once you complete the course, you will be able to find a job that suits your career goals. This will pay off in the long run and help you find the job you want, regardless of if it is a life coach for individual clients, or working for a larger company.

The Bottom Line

There are more than a few factors that must be considered when searching for a life coaching program. Take some time to make sure the program, training or school selected is going to be able to match your goals and aspirations for a future career. In most cases, speaking with others who have already completed a program can be beneficial. Take some time to research and really consider what you want your career path to look for. When it comes to being a life coach, there are a number of factors that must be considered carefully. Failure to do this may not allow you to be fully prepared for the career that you have chosen.

Flight Attendant Requirements: What You’ll Need in 2016

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Every airline company’s top priority is the health and comfort of its passengers. As a flight attendant, it will be your responsibility to keep customers safe and at ease throughout the duration of their flight. Airline companies have fairly strict mental, physical and psychological requirements that candidates must meet before they are even considered for entry into a flight attendant training program.

Age and Citizenship Requirements

In order to become a flight attendant, you must be at least 18 years old. Certain companies require candidates to be up to age 21 before applying. Applicants must meet these age minimums primarily due to safety reasons. Flight attendants must be mature enough to handle high pressure situations calmly and competently. Many airlines also serve alcohol, which their flight attendants must be able to legally handle. There is no age cutoff for flight attendants, provided that the individual in question is fit and healthy enough to meet the physical requirements for the job.

In the U.S., flight attendants must be citizens with valid passports or be authorized to work within the United States, and must pass a background check. Airlines in other countries have similarly strict requirements. Flight attendants must also apply for a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security clearance pass, which involves a thorough background check. Airlines will not hire a candidate that fails his or her background check.

Physical Requirements

Flight attendants must meet certain physical criteria for their own safety and the safety of their passengers while on board. The job calls for daily feats of strength and endurance, such as lifting a heavy bag into an overhead bin or keeping your balance during heavy turbulence. Applicants must meet the following minimum physical requirements in order to become a flight attendant:

Height and reach: Applicants must be tall enough to reach the overhead lockers, but not so tall that they can’t walk comfortably through the cabin. Although height and reach requirements vary from airline to airline, the requisite height range is often around between 4’11”, or 150 cm, to 6’3”, or 190 cm.

Weight: Most airlines don’t have set weight restrictions. Companies simply require that a flight attendant’s weight be proportional to their height. Applicants that are either overweight or underweight may not be able to safely perform the physical tasks required of them. The easiest way to figure out if you are within the normal weight range for your height is to calculate your Body Mass Index, or BMI.

Vision: Applicants need to have at least 20/30 vision instead of the traditional 20/20. This means that you can wear corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts while on the job if they help you to see clearly.

All flight attendants have to pass a medical examination before they can be allowed in the air. This is a simple physical that consists of a battery of tests, including heart, ear and eye exams along with urine and blood analysis.

Appearance and Grooming Standards

Most airlines have incredibly strict grooming standards. Flight attendants represent the company brand, and as such, are expected to maintain a clean and professional appearance. Airline companies expect flight attendants to meet the following basic grooming guidelines:

Hair: For women, stick with a conservative and professional style that doesn’t reach past your shoulders. If you dye your hair, use only to natural colors. Men should keep their hair short and clean cut.

Makeup: Go for the “nude” look, with minimal coverage and natural tones. Try to avoid anything too bold.

Jewelry and Watches: Personal accessories are usually fine, but they should be small and tasteful.

Piercings and Tattoos: Most airlines will allow women to wear small ear studs, but will not tolerate other visible piercings. Tattoos should be fully covered by your uniform.

Facial Hair: Many airlines allow male flight attendants to sport facial hair, provided that they stay clean shaven. Mustaches should be well maintained and trimmed above the corners of the mouth, while sideburns should be no lower than halfway down the ear.

Personal and Interpersonal Skills

In the airline industry, looks aren’t everything. A large part of a flight attendant’s job is dealing with customers, so it’s important to have strong interpersonal and communication skills. A good flight attendant is expected to engage the customer, make them feel at ease, and relay important information with patience and compassion.

Communication skills are particularly important in emergency situations. Flight attendants must have a strong grasp of both written and verbal language in order to communicate quickly and clearly with passengers and other cabin members. Airlines that operate within the U.S. require flight attendants to be fluent in English, but airlines based out of other countries have different language requirements.

The path to becoming a flight attendant is not easy, but it is a rewarding experience that comes with unique perks and benefits. Simply meeting the minimum requirements for becoming a flight attendant is the first step towards an exciting career in the field of air travel.

Flight Attendant Training: What to Know Before You Apply

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flight attandant gas mask
Flight Attendant teaching passengers how to fly safely

Becoming a flight attendant is a rigorous process. Even before training has officially begun, candidates are screened for their potential through extensive interviews and testing. Every detail of your performance throughout the training period will be scrutinized, from test scores down to how you wear your hair each day.

Airline companies want to hire flight attendants that are competent and courteous in order to make their passengers’ flights as comfortable as possible. Flight attendant training is designed to weed out candidates that don’t have the physical, mental or emotional fortitude to handle the daily responsibilities that they will face while on the job. Although training might be difficult, it is the gateway to a prestigious profession with unique perks that are not offered by any other industry.

Physical Requirements

Working as a flight attendant is a physically demanding job. Candidates must be able to lift, push and pull heavy loads on a daily basis. Flight attendants also need to have the physical endurance necessary to fight off fatigue, jet lag, hunger and thirst during long shifts. For the safety of both cabin crew members and passengers, airlines require flight attendant trainees to meet a strict set of physical requirements. These requirements vary slightly between different airline companies. All trainees must pass a medical evaluation that verifies if they are healthy enough to fly.

Flight attendants are required meet the legally mandated minimum age of 18 to work on an airplane, but some airline companies require applicants to be as old as 21. Trainees must also meet a company’s height requirements, which often range from between around 4’11”, or 150 cm, to 6’3”, or 190 cm. There are no set weight requirements, but trainees must be in within the normal weight range for their height. The easiest way to find out if you are in the overweight, underweight or normal weight range for your height is to calculate your BMI.

Appearance

When people think of a flight attendant, they typically think of crisp navy suits and clean cut professionalism. Your image will be a vital part of your job. Airlines expect their flight attendants to adhere to strict grooming standards, which means no purple hair streaks, no glitzy makeup, and absolutely no gaudy hoop earrings.

Your hairstyle should be professional and conservative, with no unnatural colors. Women are expected to wear their hair at or above shoulder length, while men should keep their hair relatively short and clean cut. Minimal facial hair is permitted by most airline companies, provided that men keep it neatly trimmed.

Each airline company has its own mandatory uniform, but flight attendants are allowed accessorize with their own jewelry, watches, or other accents. Just make sure to keep accessories small and tasteful. Tattoos and facial piercings should not be visible, with the exception of small ear studs. Failing to adhere to proper grooming standards can get you kicked out of training, so it’s important to research and follow the company’s guidelines.

Personality

The most important part of a flight attendant’s job is keeping passengers happy and healthy. Strong interpersonal skills are important for keeping anxious or frustrated customers at ease. Flight attendants need to be patient, compassionate, and possess strong communication skills. It’s important that you are able to communicate clearly with both passengers and crew members, especially in the event of an emergency. Your interpersonal skills will be tested throughout training, as will your ability to cope with stress. Airlines want flight attendants that can stay calm in the face of danger and create innovative solutions to problems as part of a team.

The Rigors of Training

Training programs can last anywhere from between 4 and 8 weeks, depending on how many aircraft systems and procedures a company covers during the course. Trainees spend most of that time around teachers, classmates and supervisors. During and even after this training period, it can be difficult for a flight attendant to juggle personal and professional responsibilities. Between the lectures, the practical training and the homework, you may not find many opportunities to see your friends or significant other.

During training, you will learn how to handle almost any emergency situation that you might encounter while in the air. Instructors will not only test your knowledge, but will also test your tolerance to stressors such as fatigue, hunger, and sudden schedule changes. Practical training on an out of service aircraft or an aircraft simulator will test how well you are able to handle pressure and adapt to changing situations.

Flight attendants must be able to cope with the stress they will face every day on the job, from unruly passengers to hijackings. As a flight attendant, you are responsible for the wellbeing of the customers on board your flight. Flight attendant training is designed to pick out the toughest and most competent candidates for the job.