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Academies Certified Strengths Coach Course

If you’re like many coaches, you already know about the power of strengths. Chances are you’ve taken the CliftonStrengths somewhere along the way. And yet, far too many coaches aren’t actively introducing, implementing, and leveraging strengths with clients or teams.

Strengths never fail us. They are an ever-present “go-to,” equipping people to find both a workable game plan and the confidence to achieve their dreams.


ICF Approval: This 31-hour course of Core Competency Training is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a part of The Academies’ Level 1 and Level 2 Programs.

The Research Behind Strengths

For decades, the Gallup organization and others have documented the power of strengths.

A comprehensive Gallup study showed that strength-based development leads to:

10% to 19% increased sales
14% to 29% increased profit
3% to 7% higher customer engagement
9% to 15% increase in engaged employees

The Academies Brain-Friendly Approach to Strengths

What comes naturally to you has lots of neural connections in your brain.

More Neural Connections =
More Routinization/Habit/Ease

Lots of neural connections mean highly myelinated “muscle memory,” with split-second access to ways of thinking and doing.
The problem, however, is that we:

1. Don’t realize we’re using our strengths, which leads to taking them for granted
2. Overuse and distort them to the point that they shift from advantage to weakness
3. Don’t use them in a focused manner, which leads to a stagnant, stuck-in-a-rut life

Using our Red Zone | Blue Zone model, we help coaches guide their clients out of the limiting mindset of the Red Zone where strengths are unfocused and overused and into the safe, strong mindset of the Blue Zone where strengths are equipping and advantageous.

The Magic in Strengths

When people—both our clients and ourselves as coaches—believe, internalize, and leverage their strengths, magical things happen:

  • We let go of Saboteur-laden language that discourages and defeats us.
  • We operate from our higher self—the ever-flowing fount of wisdom, creativity, and ease.
  • We more easily connect and co-create with others—psychological safety and collective intelligence are the norm.
  • We take action on things that are important and meaningful—and have maybe been putting off.
  • We learn, grow, and evolve—life is no longer framed as duality where everything is right-wrong or good-bad, but mutuality where everything is a playground of potentiality and exploration.

So, in returning to our question: “How do we support clients to behold, indeed, that they are ‘naturally creative, resourceful, and whole’?”, we can point to what is naturally there. Their strengths.

Read a recent Forbes article on strengths, with contributions from Founder Susan Britton, MCC

Our Holistic Strengths Model

Most strengths work focuses on a one-dimensional look at tactical/HOW-TO strengths. Yet, with a multidimensional look at strengths, people can figure out not just HOW to move forward, but better choose WHAT they want and WHY they want it. Our holistic approach honors the humanity within us and the people we coach, and epitomizes the coaching maxim that clients are creative, resourceful, and whole.


Your “What” Strengths:
Guides you in what to choose, prioritize, focus on


Your “How To” Strengths:
Guides you in Doing; helps you get things done with ease


Your “Why” Strengths:
Guides you in Being, purpose, meaning-making, values

Course Details

Why the Academies

Neuroscience: We’ve been training coaches for 20+ years, and we’ve spent the better part of our last 10 years gobbling up the latest research on neuroscience. Translating neuroscience findings into easy-to-implement coaching techniques is our passion. When you marry coaching techniques with mind-body biology, you’ll have a holistic approach that supports the people you coach to make lasting change (they’ll thank you for it)!

Mission: We’re on a mission to blend neuroscience and coaching to “Change Minds, For Good” (starting with our own)! We believe respectful relationships and authentic conversations are the incubator for insight, action, and lasting change. We believe that every brain is wired for growth and capable of choosing well. We stand for growing our individual and collective capacity to feel good, think good, encounter good, and create good. If this resonates with you, you’re in the right place.

More on the brain: Our coaching programs are intentionally structured to extend over several months’ time. That’s because new skills cannot be mastered in a weekend format (have you ever come back to your office after being at a great conference, only to forget half of what you’ve learned or be too busy to implement the other half?) Nor can coaching be mastered entirely by embarking on self-directed study or reading books (much the same as taking a course on music appreciation does not equip one to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata).

To learn effectively, the brain needs good “P.R.”—Positivity and Routinization:

  • We make learning enjoyable (you’ll remember more),
  • We pride ourselves on creating psychologically safe learning environments (you’ll feel confident to take more risks), and
  • We create opportunities to practice coaching over time (you’ll build “muscle memory” that lasts).

Strengths Coach Course

Learn coaching techniques to implement these strengths tools:

  1. CliftonStrengths* 34 themes—these are your “HOW” strengths. They help you execute and get things done with ease. *formerly Clifton StrengthsFinder of the popular book StrengthsFinder 2.0
  2. VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS)—these are your motivational “WHY” strengths. They help inspire, bringing meaning and purpose to your work and life.
  3. Soul Strengths—unique to The Academies approach, we also weave in what we refer to as “Soul Strengths.” This is your “WHAT” strength—it’s that still, small voice within that guides, nudges, and clarifies what you really want!

In addition, here are just some of the resources you will receive:

  • Robust toolkit for sharing strengths with your clients, giving you the flexibility to simply incorporate strengths in your coaching conversations or go deep with clients who would benefit from an in-depth exploration of strengths
  • More than 30 exercises and forms to choose from
  • A collection of powerful coaching questions to expand and reinforce your client’s strengths

Throughout the program, you’ll get to zero in on Strengths for the types of clients you work with most. For example:

  • Career: If you’re working with career clients, strengths can be incorporated in career choice, career brand, job search, resumes/LinkedIn profiles, networking, interviewing, career promotion.
  • Leadership: If you’re working with leaders, we’ll address strengths-based leadership to support one’s leadership philosophy, personal brand, managing up, team performance, conflict transformation, and more.
  • Uncertainty & Stress: You’ll gain insights on how stress and the Red Zone can contort or warp your strengths. Then, learn how to use Strengths to navigate uncertainty, stress, disappointments, delays, overwhelm, resistance, and conflict.
  • Mindfulness & Consciousness: Learn how Strengths can ease life transitions and deepen your levels of mindfulness and consciousness. Gain insightful techniques on compassionately turning strengths inward. Doing so can be key to letting go of limiting beliefs and self-defeating behaviors!

Logistics and Registration

Materials Fee

Two assessment results are required for this program that will need to be purchased separately:

CliftonStrengths Full Report ($59.99)

Values in Action Full Report ($49)

Pre-Enrollment Requirements

To enroll in this advanced program, you will need to meet one of the following qualifications:

  • The Academies CCMC or CELDC Program
  • An ICF ACC Credential or above
  • Prior coach training with focus on the ICF core competencies

Please contact us if you have experience not listed above that you believe prepares you for this course.

Pricing and Registration

One Payment  $3,497
Four Payments  4 payments of $909.22 = $3,636.88 total

Open Cohort Format: Consists of a group of 4-12* classmates.  To register, click HERE.

*Please note that all of our cohorts require at least 4 participants to run. If enrollment is below 4 participants 2 weeks before the course is scheduled to begin, we may need to postpone or cancel the course. In this event, you will be contacted immediately, and your registration will automatically be moved to the next scheduled cohort.

Private Cohort: For pricing and registration details please contact us HERE.

Note: Book a call with us HERE for more information and additional payment options if you are registering three or more participants.

We make every attempt to treat others with respectful, open-minded, and courteous service. We reserve the right to not accept and/or dis-enroll a student from programs should the student be creating an unsafe or hostile environment with instructors, internal team members, or The Academies’ community, such as, but not limited to: demanding communications, disrespectful encounters, or argumentative behavior.


We use Zoom technology for all of our classes.  We highly recommend that you have access to a laptop or computer in order to download files and to download the Zoom app and test it 48 hours prior to your first class.

The learning platform provides access to modules, forums, class recordings, coaching demo recordings, featured resources, and class announcements.


We “meet” from the comfort of home/office via Zoom for 10 weeks, for 1.5 hours each time (15 live class hours); the remaining learning time is via mentor coaching and our online learning environment where you’ll interact with fellow classmates to deepen your learning (see “Outside of Class” paragraph below). Total credit hours approved by the ICF are 33.5.

Outside of Class: How much time will you spend in addition to class-time hours? Coaches have reported spending about one to two hours of time outside of class for buddy coaching and classroom tasks, and some report additional time implementing new coaching and marketing concepts learned in class (e.g., revising their website to include coaching services; writing value statements to articulate the return-on-investment that coaching clients receive; setting aside “think” time to envision the direction they’d like to take their business, etc.).

See our calendar or schedule a time with us to discuss registration and upcoming classes.

If you wish to participate in 1-on-1 training, please reach out to Brittany for more details.

Certification Requirements

Attendance: Attend 9 of the 10 live class sessions

Virtual Classroom: At the conclusion of the course, participants will be required to finish online classroom tasks with an 85% completion rate or more.  If 85% completion is not met, the coach will be issued a Certificate of Completion for the course in place of the credential.

Buddy Coaching and Homework: Your classroom tasks will include one hour of buddy coaching on the even weeks of class along with short daily tasks or coaching recordings each odd week for a total of approximately one hour of tasks per week.  The hours that you are coaching can be used on your ICF client coaching log (2.5 hours).

Mentor Coaching: 2 group mentor coaching sessions with an Academies PCC-Certified coach are included in the price of the course.

  • All 2 mentor coaching sessions are mandatory.
  • Group sessions are locked into a schedule at the beginning of each course and typically take place the 2 weeks following live sessions at the same day and starting time as your course.
  • Missed sessions require an individual make up session at the current price.

Upon completion of the above requirements, coaches will receive a display certificate suitable for framing and rights to use the course logos.

Withdrawal Policy

Should you need to withdraw, the following options are available:

Transfer Option: If you need to transfer to another cohort for scheduling purposes prior to the start of your originally scheduled course, a $350 administrative fee applies along with an additional charge equal to the difference in price if the program has increased in investment. If you need to transfer after the cohort has already begun, please see our withdrawal policy.

Withdrawal Option: Receive a full refund less a $350 administrative fee if withdrawing at least 48 hours before class begins. No refund available after class begins – the full amount of the program is owed.