I love that we dedicate a week every year to celebrate the results-orientated coaching industry: coaching is such a powerful way to help people change their personal and professional lives. And you never know the impact one conversation can have in terms of a ripple effect.

So, when choosing a topic for this year’s International Coaching Week, I thought I’d be a bit controversial! There are many people out there calling themselves coaches, and I believe that if you want to coach, you should qualify as one. Just because you ask good coaching questions doesn’t mean you’re a coach.

Here are three steps to becoming the coach you dream of being.

  1. Get Professional Coach Training

Stop being afraid of being found out as a fraud by becoming a better coach with professional training.

I’ve worked with many clients who want to call themselves coaches but haven’t done the training or served their apprenticeship to back it up. This can lead to a serious lack of confidence and that dreadful nagging self-doubt, otherwise known as imposter syndrome (the fear of being found out to be a fraud).

The simple fix is to go do the work, take the training, and put in the hours of practice. It will be a life-changing experience for you. And when you reach out to offer your services to clients, you’ll feel qualified to do so, confident in your marketing messages, and excited about offering your services because you know the transformation you can bring to your client.

You’ll no longer have to fly by the seat of your pants; you’ll have the skills to dig deeper, so your client is empowered to create actual change, rather than keep working on a superficial level. Skimming the surface is no longer good enough! To create lasting change, you need to be willing to go deeper with your questions, challenge your clients, and call them out when needed.

Coach training starts you on this professional journey. You’ll feel empowered as you watch your clients make connections during your sessions. It’s so much better being a qualified coach than winging it and worrying about being found out and having complaints to deal with.

You’ll also be keeping your clients safe. Working with a client is partly about knowing the right coaching questions to ask. But it’s also about knowing when you’re out of your depth and your client needs more support than coaching can give.

Action: If you’re not a qualified coach yet, check out some training providers and sign up for a training program.

You may find this complimentary PDF helpful when making your choice.

  1. Get Accredited

When you’ve successfully completed your coaching qualifications, consider challenging yourself to step up to the next level by adding accreditation to your list of credentials.

When you prepare for accreditation, you learn so much about yourself, your coaching style and how you can improve your skills to go deeper and help clients get better results.

Being an accredited coach also sets you apart from other coaches. It’s a key differentiator and another benefit for a client working with you. It’s a powerful marketing tool.

Recently, I went for my Master Coach accreditation with the IAPC&M. I was dreading it. I’ve suffered from imposter syndrome around my coaching for years, and thanks to some amazing coaches and mentors, I have worked my way through it (mostly).

I knew I needed to get over the fear and do it no matter how scary it felt. First, I needed to reframe the potential failure in the event I didn’t pass. I explored my potential biases and areas for improvement with my supervisor and received valuable feedback in the process. I passed.

Action: Consider getting accredited. Do your research. Check out approved accreditation bodies. Speak to them to work out the right accreditation body for you.

TIP: Remember, it isn’t just the actual accreditation process you are considering, but the level of assistance and support they offer once you’ve achieved your professional accreditation status.

  1. Get Support to Improve

As a coach, you’ll constantly be developing your professional skills. And this personal and professional development can include time attending webinars, watching videos, online courses and reading to name just a few activities.

All these things can only teach you so much, though. Real confidence comes when you actively practise and develop your coaching skills. If you find yourself going round in circles, or your clients are not producing results, or you find yourself getting stuck in their story, get the support of a master coach, mentor, or supervisor.

Check out The Heart of Laser Coaching, Marion Franklin, as she shares some great examples of surface coaching vs. deep, transformational coaching.

This is your invitation to master your coaching, and it’s a lifelong journey. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement—there are always new things to learn!

Action: Consider the areas where you believe your coaching skills are weakest. Then research coaches, mentors or supervisors that can help you to develop your coaching skills.


Coaching is amazing. It has the power to create so much change.

Let’s do all we can to make coaching a professional profession we are proud of.

This article was first used on the Coaching Tools Company blog and has been posted with express permission. Check out the Coaching Tools Company, they have brilliant resources to support you on your coaching journey. Check out Emma-Louise’s webinar on What Does It Really Take To Grow a Coaching Practice here.

To meet Ruby McGuireBusiness & Mindset Queen| Master Coach | Master Mentor |Trainer | Speaker | Author – MCIPD, AMC, NLP Coach & Practitioner, EFT Practitioner, Time Line Therapist and Mind Your Mind Practitioner, see here