To learn coaching, you actually need to coach

It’s great to learn the process, structure and fundamentals of coaching but your true brilliance as a coach will shine with practice. Practice will help you understand more deeply who you are as a coach, how you show up with your clients and it gives you confidence in what you do.


That’s why as part of the Coaching Diploma we provide our trainees with access to a Coaching Pool. The pool includes real clients who you can work with as an executive, career or life coach to help you develop your skills and grow.

Why do we believe that practicing coaching is so important for your coach development and what do you need to bear in mind when starting out?

1. Practising helps you harness your skills, but it also helps you identify how you coach. We regularly talk about coaching as being an art, and just like an artist, the more that you engage with your craft the more proficient you become at it. As an art form coaching can be quite subjective, there are many ways how you can work in service of your client, and there is generally not a right or wrong answer to some of the questions that you or the client poses. The more that you practice the more that you’ll understand your craft and tap into what makes your coaching you.

2. Being a bit nervous finding new clients is okay but you’ll become more confident at it with practice. We know that as part of joining a coaching training programme or certification sometimes people feel a bit apprehensive about finding new clients so like to give you a bit of a head start with this through the Coaching Pool. This way you know that as soon as you’re ready there will be people who you can contact and start working with.

3. Practice gives you feedback on how you’re applying Coaching Competencies. These competencies provide a solid framework in relation to how we partner with our clients. Reading and studying the competencies is useful, however true transfer of learning happens when you’re able to observe, reflect upon and get feedback on how you are applying these competencies to your practice. That’s also why as part of the Coaching Diploma you’ll get both written and verbal feedback on how you’re showing these competencies in your sessions.

4. Practice hours count towards your accreditation. Once you start an ICF Coach Training Programme you will be able to count your client sessions towards your accreditation (for example ACC, PCC or MCC credentials).The sooner that you start adding hours to your coaching log, the quicker you will get there.

5. Real coaching work helps you reflect on your ethical practice. There is a fine line between feel comfortable in your craft and actually being nervous but still doing it anyway. Part of that practice is to give you that confidence to jump in, to trust your gut, to learn from your experience. However, there is also an important element of ethics that you need to remember if you’re starting out in coaching. Coaching practice, particularly during your studies, should be accompanied by supervision or mentoring. Additionally, coaching family members or friends is not recommended as it can cause a conflict of interest. Additionally you should also have a chemistry or discovery meeting with your potential client to understand if coaching is right for them and if you’re the right coach to support them.

We regularly run ICF Coach Training programmes. You can find out more about them on our Diploma in Integrative Coaching.

You can also get in touch with us directly, pop us an email and one of the team will get back to you.

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