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Life Coach Certification | The Evolution to Online Certification

From a poorly understood role in the social and business sphere to an established and well-recognized profession, life coaching has come a long way. With the growing demand for personal development and self-improvement, the need for qualified and trained life coaches has increased exponentially. The evolution of life coach certification has played a significant role in this transformation.

9 out of 10 life coaches say they have active clients, which speaks to the effectiveness and relevance of this profession.

With the rise in popularity, training and certifying life coaches have also shifted significantly. Here, we look at the evolution of life coach certification and how you can become a certified coach now!

First Things First: What Makes You a Professional Couch? 

Comparing the past and present of the life coaching industry reveals a significant change in how people perceive coaches. Life coaches were once seen as motivational speakers or self-help gurus without formal training or qualifications.

But now, life coaching is an established profession that requires specific skills and knowledge to help clients achieve their goals. This includes active listening, problem-solving, communication skills, and a deep understanding of human psychology and behavior.

Speaking in a more technical sense, a professional life coach has completed specific training and obtained certification from a reputable organization or institution. Not any training or certification program can make you a professional life coach. However, verified programs like Expert Coach from Ed Smith

With a certification, you gain credibility and recognition and deepen your understanding of the coaching process and techniques. It’s a crucial step towards building a successful coaching career.

The Early Days of Life Coach Certification

In the early days of life coaching, around the 1980s and 1990s, there was no standardized certification process. Most life coaches were self-taught or learned through experience.

However, with the growing demand for professional coaches, various organizations started offering training programs and certifications. The International Coach Federation (ICF), established in 1995, became one of the leading organizations in setting standards for coaching education and practice.

The key thing ICF brought to the table was “advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals,” according to their statement.

Yes! That was when life coaching became a professionally recognized and regulated industry. The term was no longer used solely for personal development or guidance; it had become a legitimate career choice.

life coach certification why it matters

Why Certification Matters

From the beginning, a life coach would share his personal experience and techniques with his clients. That might have worked or not, and clients never knew if they were getting the best service. 

However, with time, life coaching has developed its own set of techniques that are proven to drive results based on testing and evaluation. Today, life coaches build clinical skills so they can gauge their clients’ strengths and weaknesses. Are you feeling the seriousness of it? They are not just there to motivate or inspire. Professional life coaches use an array of tools and techniques to help their clients.

Life coach certification has evolved due to the need to learn practical and tested techniques. Obtaining a certificate demonstrates to clients that you possess modern knowledge. Additionally, the community respects you for your competence.

The First Life Coach Training in History

We might never know who the first certified life coach was. However, we do know who introduced life coaching to the masses and who the first trainers and trainees were in the history of life coach certification.

You may be surprised to learn that the first life coaching was not related to business, personal life, or relationships. It was related to … can you guess? Sports!

The first person to discover that life coaching can work was not a successful speaker, a celebrity, or a spiritual guru. He was a successful tennis player who had just realized which methods motivated his team to win. 

In more detail, it was Timothy Gallwey – the author of The Inner Game of Tennis, published in 1974. He was a tennis instructor who first shouted instructions from the sidelines. Simultaneously, he practiced meditation techniques, trying to figure out how those could help athletes.

At some point, Gallwey realized that the team was playing better when they were confident about their abilities. On the contrary, when he criticized them, their game was not that good. This led to the eureka in the life coaching world—positive reinforcement and focusing on strengths can lead to better results and motivation. 

Who Was the First Trainee Willing to Pay for Life Coaching?

Again, we are not 100% sure. Based on widely discussed accounts, Sir John Whitmore, an ex-motorsport racer with an interest in psychology, traveled to America to receive training from a successful coach.

Soon, Whitemore brought his learnings to the UK and established his own tennis and ski schools in the Alps.

Here, he went a step further and began coaching business executives using the same methodology that was applied in sports.

What Were First Life Coach Certifications Like?

Thomas Leonard, an American financial planner, introduced the first life coaching certification after realizing that pure financial advice was not enough for clients. They also need support and guidance in other – emotional and mental – aspects of their lives.

In the early 1990s, Leonard created the first coach-training program. It was called a Coach University or Coach U, as it’s more commonly known nowadays.

Coach’s courses were conducted live or via conference calls, which were known as “teleclasses.” It’s worth noting that at that time, there were no Skypes and Zooms, and the internet was just emerging. 

Between 1998 and 2000, there were around 200 teleclasses held each month. Leonard’s company was the first to train and certify coaches in areas such as business, career, personal growth, financial coaching, etc.

At Some Point, It Went Digital

In the life coach certification, evolution was on the cards. Due to advancements in technology, education and training began to shift towards online platforms. 

It’s hard to count or give the exact numbers of online certification courses, but one thing is sure – there is no longer a need to travel and attend classes in person. If you’re eager to become a life coach nowadays, you don’t even need a person to talk to you directly.

Considering that life coaching techniques are pretty much standardized nowadays, focus on how those techniques are packaged and offered for your convenience, rather than who shares them with you.

And here – the simpler, the better, just like Ed Smith – the creator of the Expert Coach did in his free certification program.

life coach certification online learning

Life Coach Certification: The Evolution That Allows You to Learn Online and Quick

Ed Smith’s life coach certification course presents an easy-to-follow example. Though he had to spend over $536,000 on various certifications and courses, he doesn’t want you – a beginning life coach to go through the same.

Ed refined a very simple process so that it can work easily over Zoom in the online space, and you don’t have to learn complicated techniques. In his life coach certification program, you can get high-quality information, which includes practical know-how to become a great coach.

Try the life coach certification now!

Community Help Is Another Great Resource

Besides, Ed Smith has created a community for life coaches, where they can get advice and support from other coaches who have already gone through the certification process. This is a great way to connect with like-minded individuals, share experiences, and gain valuable insights.

Want to know more and join?

Explore more about Ed Smith’s community for life coaches and get connected with other professionals in the field.

Final Words About Life Coach Certification: The Evolution We Needed

The evolution of life coach certification has made it possible for anyone to learn and become a certified coach without compromising on the quality of education. No distance barriers, no need to spend a fortune on traveling and accommodations, and no more traditional classroom learning.

The online platform has opened up a world of opportunities for those who want to become life coaches. With the guidance of experienced coaches like Ed Smith, it is now easier than ever to learn the necessary skills and techniques to become successful in this field.

Of course, with the introduction of online certification, the cost-cutting is also a significant factor. Now, you can get certified as a life coach without breaking the bank and still receive quality education.

So why wait? Start your journey towards becoming a certified life coach today and make a positive impact on people’s lives. 

Start the training now!

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