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How to improve your coaching skills


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Consider this a red flag for life coaches and career coaches…

Here at Kajabi, we work with thousands of coaches who are dedicated to helping others grow beyond their wildest expectations. But they all struggle with one thing. And that’s prioritizing themselves.

As a coach, what do you do to continually improve your coaching skills?

This isn’t a random question. It’s a reminder — a warning even — that success hinges on your willingness to invest in yourself and your business. 

Luckily, there are plenty of resources available, from coaching software to certifications designed to help you grow and expand your life coaching business.

Keep reading for our list of go-to resources for doing just that. So whether you’re looking for professional development for life coaches, guidance for career coaches, or courses that can improve your coaching skills, we’ve got you covered! 

For a quick watch, here are tips from three coaches using Kajabi to run their business:

Why it’s so challenging to grow your coaching business

Growing a knowledge business isn’t just about sharing your knowledge. It’s about building systems, workflows, and efficiencies into everything you do. It’s also about staying on top of your industry, so you’re always teaching cutting-edge materials. And it’s about technology, using the best tools on the market for connecting with teaching your students.

You may have already guessed the biggest challenge to getting all that done. It’s two-fold: time and money.

First, that’s a lot of stuff to manage while running a business. And there’s so little time to get everything done.

For example, new technology, tools, and methods continue to change on a daily basis. But who has time to constantly research and test new tech?

You also need to set yourself apart from the competition by creating unique methods and systems. Then you need to promote them in social media, so it’s clear that you do something no one else is doing.  

But again, you may not have time to update your systems or spend hours on social media. Just taking care of your clients may take all the time you’ve got.

But time isn’t the only issue. It costs a lot of money to invest in technology (that may or may not end up working for you), coaches, courses, and events. They all cost money. 

And we get that. But for just a minute, let’s look at the opportunity cost of not building your own skills and staying on top of the trends. For example:

  • How many more clients could you take on if you found a better way to run your practice?
  • Could you attract better clients or create a new line of business if you upleveled your knowledge in a certain area?
  • How many clients could you lose if you’re no longer seen as a leader in your space?

Too often, self-development is seen as an expense rather than an investment. But as a coach, the future of your business depends on your ability to grow, not only as a professional, but also as a business owner and human. 

That’s why we’ve picked a variety of excellent resources that are designed specifically for career coaches and life coaches. Keep reading for our top picks for improving your coaching skills and leveling up your game — even if you don’t have a lot of time or money.

Let’s jump in! 

How to continue growing your practical counselling skills

Our favorite resources for coaches include everything from traditional books and conferences to more modern certifications and courses. Mix and match the resources below to suit your unique learning style, your schedule, and your coaching specialization.  

The best coaching books

Good coaching books do more than just tell you how to be a coach. They lay out the exact steps you need to follow to improve your coaching skills. Your coaching practice. Your strategies and habits.

The best books also include examples and exercises that help you start using your new knowledge. Here are a few of our picks:

Co-Active Coaching
by Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandhal and Laura Whitworth. This has long been considered the “coaching bible” by fellow authors and coaches, including Stephen Covey. 

Brimming with advice and an exemplary framework from which to launch (or improve) your effective coaching business, it’s considered among the must-haves from career and life coaches alike. 

The HeART of Laser-Focused Coaching
by Marion Franklin. This book was written with one goal in mind: to make you a better coach. It achieves this through specific questions, each designed to elicit a certain outcome. That, coupled with its practical ideas and framework, make it a must-have on your coaching bookshelf. 

Check out this article by Coaching Tools Company for more lists of coaching books, exercises, templates, and tools (some of them free) that you can use to improve your coaching skills. 

So whether you’re looking for professional development for life coaches or you’re interested in professional development for career coaches, you’ll find tons of helpful resources to build upon your existing knowledge. 

Courses from your peers

Here’s a sneaky way to stay on top of the trends while improving your coaching skills - invest in courses by your peers in the industry. 

Take courses created by other coaches who are teaching similar information, or offering a similar outcome. In particular, sign up under coaches who you believe are more experienced or skilled than you. But also, coaches coming up behind you who catch your eye because they’re doing something unique.

You’ll get to see first-hand how other coaches are building their business, what they’re teaching, how, and whether it gives students a good customer experience. 

You may learn some new information. But the real value here is the insight you’ll get on different ways to run a coaching business. You’ll walk away with loads of ideas for presenting your material, marketing your business, offers you can create, and more.  

But before you start shopping around, let’s make sure you get the most from this type of training and research. First, focus on courses that align with your values and beliefs as a coach. You want to invest in courses that help you augment and refine those values. 

Second, look for courses that will help you expand your skills as a coach.  Perhaps the coach was a professional performer or vocalist in a former life. Working with them, you’ll see how they use those skills in their own coaching. 

Or perhaps you’ve found a course on time management or stress management. These types of courses are great for refining your work habits and growing as an individual.

Courses that help scale your coaching business

Now, let’s look at some ideas for growing your business skills. This is every bit as important as growing your coaching skills. We’re talking marketing, blogging, or website design — skills that can help you accelerate and scale your business.

Of course, in our digital world, all of these skills are necessary to some degree. Fortunately, there are plenty of fantastic courses that can help you learn what you need to know to help build and scale your coaching business.

You may be surprised at how easy it is to find them! For example, Google offers a Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course that’s very beginner-friendly. 

Here are some other courses you may want to look into: 

Conferences and trade shows

Conferences and trade shows give you an opportunity to connect with other professionals in your industry, learn from experts, and get caught up on the trends.

Many coaching conferences and trade shows are now held virtually. In many cases, virtual tickets are cheaper, and you don’t have to afford travel and hotels. On other words, they’re more accessible now than ever before.

For career coaches, Gallup At Work is a must, and life coaches will definitely want to check out the NLP Conference

Major coaching groups, institutions, and organizations also regularly host events worth checking out. Don’t forget to look for seminars and events being offered in your area by local coaching groups. 

Accredited coaching training

You don’t need to be accredited to run a successful coaching business. But

If you feel it could attract better students, or you like the added credibility it gives you, here’s where you can get accredited coaching training.

The College of Executive Coaching offers accreditation and online training for executive coaches and life coaches. 

Coach Training Alliance
offers U.S.-based certification for life coaches, professional coaches and personal coaches. They’ve helped over 10,000 coaches receive their nationally recognized accreditation. 

Coach U
offers in-person programs to become an Associate Certified Coach, a Professional Certified Coach, or a Master Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Do your research before signing up. Find out if you’ll need to maintain your certification. You may be required to take ongoing classes or pay high membership fees to keep your certification.

Certifications to grow your skill set

Like accreditation, certifications may or may not be necessary for you to grow your business. But, they may help you improve your coaching skills. 

A few certifications worth checking out: 

iPEC’s Coach Certification Program
. This focuses on life coaching and executive coaching. 

The Institute for Life Coach Training
. Another top contender, they offer courses that take students around 18-24 months to complete. 

Positive Psychology
. Here, you’ll find an extensive list of coaching training institutions that offer specialized certifications, including training options for therapists, recovery coaching, management and business coaching, and more. 

Keep in mind that coaching is an unregulated industry. Although you don’t need certification to work as a coach, it’s absolutely worth considering if you’re looking for personal development or ways to improve your coaching business. 

Here’s what you need to look at when choosing a coaching certification: 

  • Your budget
  • Your professional goals
  • Your specific timeframe for completion

Some coaching certifications take over a year to complete, while others offer a fast-track option that takes only a few months. It’s worth doing your research to see which programs meet your specific needs.

Higher education degrees

Here again, because coaching is an unregulated industry, there are no mandatory prerequisites. That said, some colleges and universities do offer degrees in fields where coaching is an option. 

For example, Regent University offers a Master of Arts in Human Services Life Coaching and SMU offers a concentration in executive and leadership coaching. There are also nearly two dozen masters programs in career and executive coaching from colleges and universities around the world. 

Beyond coaching-specific degrees, it may also be worth expanding your skill set by attending an accredited university for a certificate or concentration in a related field. Think health and wellness, psychology, communications, or education. 

Get your own coach

Coaches need coaching too! Many coaches hire their own coach or career counselors to help support them in areas where they feel weak. 

For example, an executive coach that spends the majority of her waking day navigating the boardroom may find that working with a relationship coach helps her relax in the bedroom. 

Often, coaches from different disciplines augment and strengthen each other by bringing to the table something that the other one lacks. 

It’s worth noting that a coach working with a coach isn’t a sign of weakness or a sign that you’re not good enough. If anything, it’s a sign of strength. It demonstrates your commitment to be the best you can be, in every area of your life.

Improving your coaching skills

As you can see, you have a lot of options for how to improve your coaching skills. Regardless of the resource you choose, having practical counselling skills boils down to you becoming a lifelong learner. 

Times change. Your student’s needs will change. Only by staying on top of the trends  and refining your skills — as a coach, as a business owner, and as a human — will you continue to grow and scale your business.

And when you need to tap into the right tools to grow your business, there’s Kajabi. Built from the ground up to simplify the business of learning, growing and scaling, Kajabi includes a built-in drag and drop website designer, email marketing platform, blog, shopping cart, podcast studio and marketing automation. 

With so many easy-to-use tools at your fingertips, you never again have to worry about hiring expensive designers, dealing with technical errors, plugin conflicts, and incompatibilities across systems. With Kajabi, everything is designed to work together seamlessly, letting you concentrate on doing what you do best — coaching.

If you’re ready to take your coaching business to the next level, it’s time to work with a platform that’s engineered for your success. Join us for live Q&A webinars every day, Monday through Friday. Register today to learn everything you need to know to succeed as a knowledge entrepreneur, including selling products, Kajabi themes, pipelines, webinars, and the Kajabi Partner Program.

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How to improve your coaching skills
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