How To Talk About Your Coaching Aspirations
“If I had listened to the myriad voices that told me that I should not proceed on this path, we would have never built this company.” - Noelle Cordeaux, Lumia Coaching CEO
If you’re thinking about a career in life coaching, there are going to be people in your life who have strong opinions about it! Odds are, you’re likely to encounter a few naysayers and skeptics along the way.
The good news is that the professional landscape for coaches has been changing rapidly over the last few years. According to a recent report published by the Global Wellness Summit, the perception of coaching has shifted from a “feel-good” luxury service to a wellness essential.
The reality is that this is a viable profession, but not everyone in your life may see it that way. At least not initially!
Let’s face it: anything new can be hard for the people around us to accept. It’s hard wired into human nature to play it safe and resist change. Oftentimes, objections from the people we care about come down to the listener not having enough information.
So let’s talk about the concerns you’re most likely to hear, and how to meet them with confidence.
If you’ve tried broaching the subject and aren’t getting much support in response, know that you’re not the first aspiring life coach to encounter this. Consider it an occupational hazard of breaking free from the mold that society has set out for you!
Take the time to think through the potential concerns people may have, and how you’d like to address them.
The “No B.S.” questions posed by loved ones often include:
- Is coaching a realistic career path?
- How much will training cost, and can you/we afford it?
- Will you/we be able to cover basic living expenses while you transition careers?
- How much of your time will this take? How will our family be impacted?
- But what about… (your existing career, other things you’ve tried in the past, etc.)?
These are valid and practical questions that any stakeholder is likely to ask. Not only are these questions familiar to aspiring coaches, but they are the same fears and objections that can arise any time we want to make a major change in life.
That’s because any big decision you make in life is bound to have ripple effects. And when it comes to what you do for a living, those ripples can touch your partner, family, or other members of your household.
If you haven’t done the homework to answer these questions for yourself, you may not be providing your friends and family with the information they need to understand and support your aspirations.
Need more tools on this topic? Check out our companion article to this podcast episode: How To Talk To Your Family About Becoming A Life Coach. In it, we include more reflection questions, resources, and tools!
Having “The Talk”
When talking to your partner or loved ones, consider the following approach.
1. Share your dream.
- Explain your vision, and why it’s important to you.
- Address the positive impact you believe it can make for you, and for them.
- Show how a career in coaching is aligned with your strengths, experiences, and accomplishments to date.
2. If you need their support to move forward, state the request clearly.
Examples might include:
- I’d like to do a coach training program, and will need you to take some extra responsibilities around the house/with the kids/etc while I’m in school. Are you willing to do that?
- I’d like to shift to working part time while I develop my coaching business. Can we take a look at ways to adjust our family finances to make this happen?
3. Ask what questions or concerns they have, and really listen to the response.
It’s in your best interest to hear and acknowledge their point of view, even if you don’t share it.
Empathy mapping is a coaching technique you can use for doing this. Some questions to consider:
- How is this person impacted by my decision to become a coach?
- What obligations do we share?
- What concerns might they reasonably have?
- What is my responsibility to meet those concerns (or not)?
4. Find out what additional information is needed
- If concerns or questions came up during the conversation, how do you plan to address them? Do you need to?
- What’s the next step?
5. Final analysis
If the person you’re talking to doesn’t support you, are you able to move forward anyway?
- If so, how?
- If not, what’s getting in the way?
Want Some Extra Support?
Our admissions team has conversations with aspiring coaches just like you every day. We’re here to answer your questions, provide additional resources, and to walk through strategies for productively engaging your family in the process! Schedule a call for a no-obligation conversation to learn more about our Life Coach Training Program, and whether becoming a coach is the right path for you.