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Executive coaching is a fulfilling and challenging career that will never bring you boredom or stagnation. If you love the idea of helping others become the best versions of themselves in an organizational setting but are considering becoming a life coach, take it to the next level as an executive coach.

Executive coaching uses the traditional skills taught in life coaching while applying specific techniques to an entire team or with a career performance goal in mind. This is useful both on an individual and team-wide level. You may benefit from executive coaching beyond traditional life coaching if you already help organizations achieve success and have a strong network ready for your guidance.

The right executive coaching certification program will provide you with evidence-based life coaching techniques along with methods to create a long-term coaching culture within organizations you serve. Ideally, your course will be taught in a flexible environment, especially if you are already working in a corporate setting. You can also look for programs that allow you opportunities to work with practice clients and mock teams to build skills in real time. Lastly, affordable programs accredited by the International Coach Federation will give you the highest quality certification.

Coach Training Alliance: Organizational Coaching Program

The one program that has distinguished itself when it comes to executive coaching certification is the Organizational Coaching program by Coach Training Alliance (CTA).

When it comes to executive coach training, this is the program we recommend more than any other.

CTA offers three incredible organizational leadership coaching program tracks designed to help companies build high performing teams that remain aligned with personal and professional goals. These programs are online and delivered through small teleclasses with a maximum class size of 12 students. Students are expected to engage in 90 minutes of self-study each week to apply techniques and learnings into their coaching philosophy.

For coaches responsible for growing talent and ensuring employee success, you can earn your Organizational Coaching certification as a Human Capital Coach. If you are passionate about helping entire teams develop synergy and management skills for success and employee retention, the Co-Creative Leadership Coaching certification is a great fit. Lastly, if you are new to coaching and would like to explore its foundations before choosing a specialty, you can begin with the Self-Study 5-hour fundamentals online course.

Through each of these CTA executive certification tracks, you can expect to present and receive feedback on your coaching techniques from peers while learning how to conduct coaching in intimate and scalable ways.

Learn more about the Organizational Coaching program by clicking here.

The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

iPEC offers foundational life coaching certifications with the advancement into a specialty such as spiritual, life, business, career, or executive coaching. Choosing the executive coaching option will provide you with the skills you need to succeed as a life coach while also building on techniques unique to organizational coaching. iPEC focuses on an experiential teaching style, with an online course followed by interactive live conferences. Completing an iPEC coaching certification requires over 350 training hours and includes a coaching community access.

Highlights of iPEC include mentorship as well as trademarked Core Energy Coaching techniques designed to help you develop your voice as a coach. The benefit of choosing a specialty through iPEC is your ability to build from your foundations of life coaching and apply them into your niche, which will help you coach teams effectively. This combination of programs is ideal for someone who is new to both life coaching and the idea of organizational coaching. You can expect a tuition of $9895 for this all-inclusive program.

Coach Training Institute (CTI)

CTI is one of the oldest training programs offering online coaching and leadership certifications. The trademarked Co-Active Leadership Experience offers professional training through 3 day courses, intensive retreats, or development books for self-study. The CTI coaching philosophy emphasizes a person-first approach, understanding personal motivations and desires in order to create lasting change. Their full life coaching certification program takes one year and costs between $10,000-$12,000 to complete, with techniques that will prepare you to create organizational change.

Highlights of CTI include its reputation as one of the oldest and most well-regarded programs as well as its mentors who are made up of CEOs and high performing professionals. Because so many parts of this program are done over the phone or in person, you will experience intimate feedback based on your coaching style. CTI also offers business and marketing support if you are looking to coach organizations on a consulting basis.

Although each of these are incredible resources to equip you for success as an organizational coach, CTA boasts the most comprehensive approach to combining the foundations of life coaching with your specialty. Its program takes the essential life coaching methods required to facilitate real habit change and builds on them with experiential exercises and learnings specific to organizations. The online resources combined with live classes will provide you the right balance of self-study and feedback you need to feel confident as a new coach.

Lastly, the three month flexible program allows you to complete your certification while still employed if you are looking to gain a promotion through your coaching techniques. As a CTA graduate, you can feel fully prepared to change organizations and cultures of management with your coaching philosophy.

Executive coaching has been used in organizations for decades, but it continues to grow as coaching becomes an increasingly recognized field used by more than just top executives. Companies hire executive coaches to work with all ranks of employees from top executives to front line employees. Focus areas of executive coaches revolve around leading and managing people, communicating effectively, teamwork and innovation. If you are thinking of becoming certified as an executive coach, it could be a lucrative move as executive coaches earn more than general life coaches, at $300+ per hour with annual earnings topping six figures according to the latest Sherpa Coaching Survey . So what does it take to become a certified executive coach?

The first step to go achieving your executive coaching certification is determining your focus area. Of course it is an option to get certified as an executive coach without a specialization. However, the most effective and successful executive coaches have a specialty area. Examples of specialty areas include teamwork, change management, emotional intelligence, leadership development, business development and sales coaching. A good way to start thinking about this is to look at your past experience and determine what skills could help set you apart from the competition. What have you already done that will contribute to your credentials as a coach? Do you have a special talent or technique that you developed and want to share as a coach? What is your background? Management? Human Resources? Business Development? Use your knowledge and experience to help you create a niche for your coaching business.

The second step to getting certified is determining which program is right for you based on your focus area. It’s important to note that coaching schools do vary when it comes to life coaching versus executive coaching. Executive coaches describe some life coaching programs as too informal for the business world. The language is designed for individuals and general life topics versus executive coaching topics. For this reason, it is important to narrow down your choices for certification based on schools that focus on executive coaching and use business language. The following four schools are examples of programs that focus on executive coaching and will help you understand what criteria are important to examine as you begin your research. For purposes of this article, we focused on program curriculum, length, cost and mode of delivery (face to face or distance learning).

Center for Executive Coaching
The Center for Executive Coaching Executive Coach Training Program can be completed entirely by distance learning. The program specializes in executive, leadership, business/organizations, career/transition, coaching other coaches, internal, and small business coaching. The focus of the program is on practical results for leaders with the goals of delivering value and outstanding results for coaching clients and establishing yourself as a top level coaching professional in your market. The program includes marketing support to coach trainees to assist in attracting clients, pricing services and building solutions to help grow your business. It is structured for busy working adults, allowing a self-paced learning environment with you setting the pace for your progression and completion. There is no time limit imposed. The cost for the program is $4950.

Envision Global Leadership
The Executive Coach Training Program at Envision Global Leadership is a face to face learning experience based in Los Angeles, California. None of the program may be completed through distance learning. Envision’s focus areas include change leadership, assessments, leadership development and executive coaching. Envision’s mission is to create significant change in clients through their specifically designed approaches to coaching. The philosophy is based on helping clients use successful beliefs and behaviors to create a strategy for success based on research based behaviors and techniques for leadership. The program is comprised of six four-day modules costing $1190-$1490 each. The program takes approximately six months to complete.

Duquesne University School of Leadership and Professional Advancement
The Professional Coaching Certification Program (PCCP) at Duquesne University is a combined face to face and distance learning program. The program specialties include leadership, executive, business/organizations, small business career/transition, life vision and enhancement, personal/organizational and relationship coaching. The program is geared toward professionals who want to start or build an external coaching practice as well as internal coaches focused on organizational development within their company. The program is completed in eight modules, each building upon the last. The program takes approximately seven months to complete and costs $6,599 plus books and external professional coaching required by the program.

Corporate Coach U International
Corporate Coach U’s Advanced Corporate Coaching Program is a virtual program aimed at providing advanced level coaching skills to professionals. The program takes a coach approach, but uses business language targeted for corporate situations with professionals, teams or organizations. This program specializes in corporate coaching and is for internal and external coaches, trainers, managers and professionals who want to use advanced coaching skills. The program is self paced and costs between $6090-$7690 based upon training route chosen.

These are a small sample of the executive coaching programs available. You can find more ICF accredited programs at Programs can be searched based on various criteria including distance learning options, location and specialty area.

Once you have completed your research, the final step is to enroll and complete the program. Most program can be completed in less than one year. As you are in training, it is important to start building your portfolio of experience. Like any new business, potential clients will base their decision to hire you on your credentials, skills and past experience. This is especially true of companies investing in executive coaching. If you have a focus area based on your experience, your past experience can help get you in the door. Even if you are a newly certified coach, your track record of success as a sales executive, for example, could help land you a sales coaching contract. Many executive coaches transition to coaching from a corporate or small business role. When marketing to and securing executive coaching clients…experience counts.

Once you have finished your certification, it is time to take your next steps. Will you work for yourself or seek employment with a coaching practice or large company?

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