Welcome to ICA's Niche Development Labs

Each lab has a corresponding topic, delivered across 4 key coaching specialties.  These are a great way to discover or explore a coaching niche.

What Happens in a Lab?

ICA's Coaching Labs are practice based classes that allow students to refine their coaching skills whilst exploring coaching within a niche specific context. We have 4 broad Specialist Streams and 1 Portfolio Stream in which students explore topics, practice coaching and develop their coaching portfolio.

Each Lab class has an assigned topic which provides a framework for the learning and discussion. Each topic ties back into one or more of the ICF competencies and is designed to provide authentic and relevant discussion and exploration of the coaching concept and related competencies.

A short 10 minute coaching session is also included in each Lab. This provides students with the opportunity to explore and experiment with their coaching  within a specific context. The coaching sessions are deliberately “role play’ style with the trainer asking for volunteers to be both the client and the coach.

Niche Development Lab Topics and Classes (FREE to attend)

Classes open for registration 30 days prior.  So, if you can't see your topic listed, keep checking back.

For ease of scheduling we have selected New York Eastern time to display events.  You can convert this to your location using a time conversion tool such as www.timeandate.com


March - Coaching Is Not The Goal

The overall goal of coaching (at least the way I do it and teach it) is to support the client and help them find the idea, thought, or belief that holds everything in the stuck place. The solution then is a by-product of having someone think differently, gain a new perspective, and take action on it automatically.


March - It’s all about the Question – Appreciative Inquiry

Coaching is a strengths-based way of bringing about change and growth. In this way, it has a strong alignment and connection to the field of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Appreciative Inquiry encourages us to notice and specifically identify what is working and what is strong in ourselves and in our organizations. It does not deny negative data or information, but chooses to notice it and move on.

April - How To Stay In Observation and Away From Judgement

Understanding the differences between judgement and observation is key to masterful coaching. Easier said than done as we often don’t realize we are in judgement. Letting go of our opinion and being more observant are practices that can greatly enhance your ability to effectively coach.

April - Bring Your Experience With You

With Blended Coaching you don’t have to disregard everything you did before you came to coaching. You can take that experience to help you understand what a particular niche wants. A Blended Coach has an unique value proposition. The coach bringing a combination of coaching and consulting, which can accelerate success for a client.

May - How to Give Effective Feedback

When it comes to effective feedback, most of us think it is more blessed to give than to receive. We have maybe a natural hesitancy about receiving feedback. However as a coaching competency it is a very powerful way of helping our clients move forward.

Coaches give feedback for one reason only - to help their client to move forward. So it is neither positive nor negative. In coaching we look for effective feedback.

May - Are all clients coachable?

Are all clients coachable?  Fact is not everyone is prepared for the often challenging process involved in making a change. Clients need to be open and self aware. They need to embrace New Perspectives and the need to commit to change in order to be engaged in the coaching process. If these factors are not present, it can be a challenge to achieve outcomes for the client.


June - Intent in Coaching

Imagine a world where you decided to create an intent that was always about honoring other people. How would an intent like this play out in your behaviors?

Having such an intent would drive your actions, your attitudes and your approach. It is clear to see why intent is a critical aspect of coaching. But we don’t always know what our intent is So how do we find out?


Self Awareness

Self-awareness is a powerful tool to help you live the life you’ve always wanted rather than settling for whatever comes your way. Self-awareness is the foundation of personal growth and success and is essential to leadership, self management and professional success which in turn helps you live a happier, more fulfilling and genuine life.

ACSTH or CCE Certification for Labs (optional)

These labs have been shared with you directly from our Accredited Coach Training Program and are free to attend.  Tuition is only applicable for those wanting certification (CCE or ACSTH) for the labs they attend - and this can be decided after you attend the lab.

  • Get CCE Certification

    ICA will issue you a certification for one ‘Core Competency’ Continuing Coach Education (CCE) Unit, for each lab you attend.  To be eligible you must attend the full hour class, submit your class log within 7 days of participation, and pay the required fee. Payment information will be sent with your registration confirmation.

    ICA Grad: $22 USD per lab
    Non ICA Grad: $45 USD per lab

  • Get ACSTH Certification

    ICA will issue you a certification for one Accredited Coach Specific Training hour (ACSTH) for each lab you attend.  To be eligible you must attend the full hour class, submit your class log within 7 days of participation, and pay the required fee. Payment information will be sent with your registration confirmation.

    ICA Grad: $22 USD per lab
    Non ICA Grad: $45 USD per lab

  • Sample our Training

    If you are wanting to join a lab to find out what it’s like to train with ICA, or to explore the possibilities and opportunities for coaching specialties, then there’s no charge to attend a class.  Actually, that is the main reason for these classes – it’s a great chance to meet our community (with real students, faculty ad learning in each lab)

    Cost: FREE

Previous topics

March - Why Ethics Matters!

As a coach I always cringe when I see a life coach represented on TV or in a movie. I know that the coach will probably be vacuous, lacking substance and full of sh*&t.  This stereo type stems from the fact that coaching is an unregulated profession. Even though there are many reputable peak bodies and professional associations (like the ICF) there is no government sanctioned accreditation for coaches, either globally or country specific. Lets explore further why ethics matter...


Creating Structure - Don't Fence Me In !

Structure is not the kind of structure that makes you feel confined or limited. It’s the kind of structure, like the walls in your house, that allow you to stay free of the elements. It’s your TO DO list which help you make your commitment a reality. Structures really help us in those areas where we find it difficult to stay on track.


How to be Confident, When You Are Not yet Competent

For new coaches, one of the biggest blocks to confidence is doubt in oneself. We might worry that we do not have enough experience or education. We might feel like a fraud. I mean, what if, at some point in the session, we don’t have an answer, or don’t know what to say?

Listen to the Coaching Tip


Gratitude Is A State Of Being

Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life. In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. and may also play a major role in overcoming challenging life events. Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the toughest times of your life – fosters resilience.

Listen to Coaching Tip


Fallacy vs Fairness

If you believe that the world is fair or unfair, then this is going to be like a frame or set of glasses that you are looking through and every experience you see will be interpreted by this framework.  But, it is possible to change those glasses and change the way you view the world.  This is where the coaching skill of being able to reframe a perspective is so valuable.

 Listen to Coaching Tip


Tips for the Mindful Coach

When clients come to a coaching session, they often start with lots of details about what happened, with who, what she said etc. Coaching helps clients dig deep to discover an awareness around what is underneath the story, the emotion that is holding the challenge in place or the reason the client brought this to the coaching session.

 Listen to Coaching Tip