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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.

How do I know if coaching is right for me?

A.

Many people have made coaching their path because it’s a wide-open field with a lot of interesting and unique possibilities. Often people are drawn to coaching because they want to make a good living by helping others achieve personal growth and success in business and relationships. They love helping people define and achieve their goals. They want to work independently and set their own hours. Maybe they want to travel internationally to help executives in new markets develop more successful management styles.

Coaching is an excellent choice for many people including: career changers, business managers or therapists who want to add coaching to their existing career, individuals interested in personal growth, independent types who want to work on their own, or entrepreneurs.

There are so many niches in the coaching profession and more are being created every day. From executive, leadership, business and career coaching to personal growth coaching in the areas of relationship, health and wellness, and parent coaching, you can develop your specialty based on your interests, work experience, and life experience. At ALCN, we provide you with the broad training and experience to help you identify and build a practice around your unique body of expertise. We can also assist you with developing a network around the clients you already have.

Q.

What will I learn in ALCN’s training courses?

A.

The Academy of Leadership Coaching and NLP’s training courses center on the core coaching competencies required for credentialing from the International Coaching Federation or ICF. We combine coaching with an exciting breakthrough coaching modality called neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. Neuro-linguistic programming refers to the neurological processes (‘neuro’), language (‘linguistic’), and behavioral patterns that have been learned through experience (‘programming’) and can be organized to support you and your clients achieving specific goals in life.

Q.

What is the ICF and why is it helpful to become an ICF Credentialed Coach?

A.

ICF stands for the International Coach Federation. Its core purpose is “to advance the art, science, and practice of professional coaching.” ICF offers the only independent credentialing program recognized worldwide.

At ALCN, we believe that credentialing is vital to your success as a coach, and to the coaching profession as a whole. An ICF credential gives clients important information they can use when choosing a coach. It helps them understand the coach’s level of training and experience and gives them confidence.

Credentialing also ensures that there are professional standards for coaches to follow, which strengthens our credibility and effectiveness as a profession.

Q.

What are the levels of ICF credentialing?

A.

Associate Certified Coach (ACC): Requirements include: completion of a set amount of coach-specific training; 100 coaching experience hours; at least eight clients, as well as other requirements.

Professional Certified Coach (PCC): Completion of a set amount of coach-specific training; 750 coaching experience hours; at least 25 clients, as well as other requirements.

Master Certified Coach (MCC): Completion of a set amount of coach-specific training; 2,500 coaching hours; at least 35 clients, as well as other requirements.

Q.

What is the process of becoming credentialed?

A.

The ICF recognizes two pathways to credentialing. At ALCN, we offer the shorter and quicker of the two. Students in ALCN’s Intensive program can get the training they need to pass the ICF exams, and get the supervised hours they need to complete their credential through our mentor coaches.

The second way to become ICF credentialed is more lengthy; the so-called portfolio process for applicants who are not affiliated with an ICF-credentialed school. They complete training, then take exams directly from ICF. These applicants also need to find clients on their own and obtain supervision, then submit a portfolio showing they have met the number of supervised hours. There is a waiting period at each step, which lengthens the time for completion.

Q.

Why is mentoring part of learning to become a coach?

A.

Mentoring is essential in many ways. First, being mentored helps you learn from experienced coaches the best techniques and practices to use when coaching your clients. Only an experiential process of learning from the inside out will give you a full understanding of what coaching really is. At ALCN, we provide mentoring to guide you every step of the way.

Mentoring is also important as you apply for the ICF credential. The ICF requires a certain number of supervised coaching hours for each level of the credential. Having a mentor to supervise you will streamline your process through the ICF. Finally, mentoring helps you build your coaching business. Being guided by coaches who have successfully built their own coaching practices will help you build yours.

Q.

Do I need to be certified to practice as a professional coach?

A.

The short answer is no. Currently there are no national or international regulatory requirements for coaches. However, several countries and states have attempted to introduce regulations similar to that required for psychologists or accountants. The International Coach Federation has been around since 1995 and has established a code of ethics and core competencies to protect the profession should regulation be put in place. Here in the U.S., ICF Credentialing is widely recognized as the goId standard.

Until formal regulation is in place, the client or customer chooses their criteria for hiring a particular coach. Normally that includes qualification and experience or a combination of both. We believe that solid training from an internationally accredited school gives you credibility as a coach, and should regulation be put in place, your investment in your training is still valid.

Q.

I don’t want to get certified right now, I want to start coaching. Is that ok?

A.

That’s perfectly fine and a lot of our coaches take this path. Our one recommendation is to train with an ACTP program so that when you do want to apply for credentialing you can. Our coaches don’t wait until they finish training before they get clients; we encourage them to do that right away. Even if you’re not yet credentialed with the ICF, just being able to tell your clients that you are enrolled in an ICF-accredited program gives you more credibility.

Q.

I’m from a different country, do I need a different credential?

A.

Coaching is a global profession in the sense that your clients can come from all over the world. Since most coaching is conducted over the phone there’s no need to meet face-to-face. The only exception to this is executive or corporate coaching, where the company or the executive may require initial coaching to be face-to-face. Typically even that can be moved to phone coaching once all parties see the benefit. For this reason, it’s far more important to obtain an international qualification and credential than a local one.

Q.

What if clients ask for credentials from my own country?

A.

In our experience people in most countries, including most government departments, have heard of the ICF. And once you explain the rigorous evaluation involved with an ICF credential, we find most clients are satisfied. However, if you only plan to work face-to-face and you only plan to work in your local region, you may wish to find a local qualification. Our only other word of warning about this route is that local qualifications are often lower quality. They cover basic coaching competencies only and are more suited to basic beginner coaches. Whereas most of our students already have one or two qualifications in a related field. Rarely entry level, they tend to operate at the post-graduate level.

Q.

What does NLP mean?

A.

NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming. “Neuro” means brain. “Linguistic” means speech or communication. And “programming” is a deliberate process of organizing information to get the results you want. Think of NLP as a way of programming your brain to communicate information both to yourself and others in order to achieve your desired goals.

Many of us know how to program the machines around us to get the results we need, such as using the GPS in our car to navigate or programming the recording devices on our TV to enjoy our favorite shows. But few of us understand how to make deliberate choices in what we say to ourselves and others to get the success and enjoyment we want from our lives. NLP is a structured process that helps us do just that.

Clients who receive coaching along with NLP report experiencing breakthroughs in their lives to reach goals they never believed were possible. NLP was developed more than 30 years ago and is now a widely practiced technique used in conjunction with coaching.

Q.

How do coaching and NLP work together?

A.

Many of us want to change outdated beliefs and destructive patterns so we can reach our goals. But we get stuck in old habits. In the process of being coached, people find they need a breakthrough technique or tool to help them get unstuck. At ALCN, we train coaches to help clients identify and overcome the obstacles standing in the way of clients’ dream paths. One of the most effective ways coaches can accomplish this is by using NLP processes.

At ALCN, we emphasize NLP-based coaching because it allows us identify those often unacknowledged, unconscious beliefs that are sabotaging or holding clients back. Through NLP, we can give clients the powerful tools they need to reprogram these beliefs and create their individual pathway to success.

Still have unanswered questions? Call us on 866-383-4333 or email us.