You have been for an interview, and you are still exploring your options. Starting the course is in the distance, you still have water to navigate. The next obvious step is to get experience of being coached. And there is sense in waiting until after the interview to take this step.
At the most basic level, if your first experience is in the first few weeks of the masters, and you discover that it is not for you, this will be an expensive way of discovering that this path is not for you. Better to find this out sooner, rather than later.
You will want to experience those Aha! Moments so common in coaching. In addition, the sense of freedom that comes from setting goals that come from you, and the satisfaction that comes from working towards them.
The first step is think of what type of coach you would like to be in a year’s time, and then google that. Note the search words you use. What do you find? When you read their websites, do you see a pathway to becoming such a coach? What attracts you to particular profiles and their websites?
Out of interest try searching Positive Psychology Coach. You may none, or very few, and this could alert you to a coaching niche you might be interested in developing later.
In a year’s time, if you wanted people to find you, and given the searches you have completed, how would you make sure they would find you?
The next step is to search the listing of professional bodies. Now you need to ask yourself how important is such membership to your decision making. Most bodies have a membership level, and then various accredited levels.
Many people ask is the masters accredited. A complete version of this question is do graduates become accredited masters. Yes is the answer. This masters is one of many ways to fulfil the education component of accreditation. Other components are accruing coaching hours (a combination of pro-bono and paid hours), and independent supervision. These latter two components occur post graduation.
As you browse the professional bodies listings, note the coaches’ accreditation levels, and what importance you place on it. And are you drawn to membership of any of these bodies? Most have student memberships.
Association for Coaching
International Coach Federation
European Mentoring and Coaching Council
Association for Business Psychology
PSI Special Interest Group in Coaching Psychology
BPS Special Group in Coaching Psychology
International Society for Coaching Psychology
See if you can locate graduates of the masters in the listings. Explain to them the path you are on, and you may negotiate a preferential rate. In addition, I have a list of graduates who will give you a preferential them. Email me if you want a copy.
By now have pinpointed a handful of coaches you might like to work with. How do you make that choice. That’s where the chemistry session comes in.
Have at chemistry sessions with at least three coaches. It’s 10-15 mins, and often done on the phone. Coaches would expect this, and they do not charge. However, be mindful of not taking up their time. These are professionals who are making a living.
Part of this conversation is about fees going forward, do they have a sliding scale, or would they would provide pro-bono coaching. Have a look at the advice about the chemistry session in the section “Choosing a Coach” in this HSE document.
We would suggest that you could base the coaching conversation on how to leverage your top VIA strengths for the academic component of the course, and the development of coaching skills component. This is just a suggestion. However, we would ask you to have at least two sessions so you have an experience of goal setting and accountability for those goals.
A usual coaching encounter would be about six sessions, more or less. You can get the form signed after the second session. We would encourage you to continue, as we want to ensure that you have a thorough experience of coaching, and can thereby make an informed decision on this masters.
Whether you do the coaching face to face or online is up to you.
Because of this experience you may decide that this masters is not for you. If so, we hope you have discovered how much of a resource coaching is, and how it can help you as you travel on a different path.
If you want to stay on this path, the next step is to get a coaching reference. You can get this signed after two sessions. The reference sheet is in the application form in PAC. (You can always email me for it).
Forward it to me. Email is fine. Once we receive the coach reference we will forward our recommendation to admissions, they will do the checks they need to do, and you should see a change in the status of your online application.