Is the NeuroLeadership Institute a Great Certification Option? Coaches Share Their Review

If you’re looking for a leadership coach certification program with a science-based approach, the NeuroLeadership Institute may be a great option for you. Let’s review what this organization stands for, how their programs are built up, and what coaches say about their experience.

What Is the NeuroLeadership Institute?

The NeuroLeadership Institute is a global research and training center that applies neuroscience to leadership development. The coaching certification offered by the institute aims to help professionals and organizations understand the brain science behind effective behavior change.

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With coaching tools and skills rooted in scientific research, program participants can learn the practical application of neuroscience. This allows them to help clients optimize their performance, improve their decision-making skills, and design thriving work environments.

Who Is the Founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute?

The NeuroLeadership Institute was founded by David Rock in 2007. As a leadership coach and author, he became fascinated with the intersection of neuroscience and leadership development and how combining the two could make coaching more effective.

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In 2007, he founded the NeuroLeadership Institute to bridge the gap between these emerging fields. He wanted to arm coaches with practical tools and strategies rooted in science to empower leaders and drive positive change in organizations.

How the Coaching Certification is Built up?

The Brain-Based Coaching Certificate is an ICF-accredited coaching program held online and open to people around the world. The curriculum is designed for:

  • Business leaders and managers,
  • HR and L&D professionals,
  • And coaching professionals.

The first part of the training is called Brain-Based Conversation Skills and can be completed in four full days online. The second part is called Brain-Based Coaching Toolkit and it consists of twelve online workshops that last between 90-120 minutes.

Here’s a brief overview of what the workshops cover.

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Part One: Brain-Based Conversation Skills

This skills-based program prepares coaches to conduct impactful conversations in any situation. It’s suitable for all skill levels and covers the essential brain-based tools to coach clients with a result-oriented approach effectively.

Participants will learn a coaching approach that facilitates positive change through transforming individual thinking patterns. This way, they can move from identifying impasses to generating insights and taking actions that lead to positive and sustainable new habits.

Part Two: Brain-Based Coaching Toolkit

The second part goes deeper into the application of brain-based coaching methodologies, building on the foundational skills acquired in the first part of the training. Coaches learn how to apply these skills in real-world scenarios and deepen their experience.

Part two covers some cutting-edge neuroscience research and advanced coaching models to improve workplace performance. It helps participants master insight-driven coaching conversations that lead to better goal-setting and habit-building.

By completing the full program, you’ll be eligible for Level 1 ICF credentials, which means you can apply to be certified as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). You’ll also receive 33 ICF continuing education units that you can use to renew or upgrade your certification in the future.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

At the time of publishing this article, the Brain-Based Coaching Certificate costs:

  • $3,170 for part one,
  • And $5,995 for part two.

Note that prices may differ depending on your region, and additional fees may be incurred by ICF accreditation. To get the latest information on tuition fees, schedule a discovery session with the program faculty.

Real Reviews from Coaches

Here’s a round-up of online reviews about the NeuroLeadership Institute and its approach to coaching.

Please note that we haven’t taken this particular certification ourselves. If you’re looking for more detailed reviews from program participants, we suggest you contact the faculty to get referred to their graduates.

Anonymous Testimonials

Despite being around for almost two decades, reviews about the NeuroLeadership Institute are few and far between. However, they feature a few anonymous testimonials on their website from their Alumni.

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Some students highlighted the practical approach to coaching the training provided them with. Others appreciated their insights into their personal thinking patterns and how neuroscience showed them how to ask more meaningful questions.

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These reviews are positive. However, they are anonymous and quite scarce despite being curated by the institution.

Criticism of the Neuroscientific Approach

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Claudia Lorenzo Rubiera, culture editor at the academic journal The Conversation, points out how some training centers exploit the neuroscience trend to sell more programs. She brings up the approach of the NeuroLeadership Institute as an example of cargo-cult science; as she writes, something that has the appearance of science but is missing key elements.

She notes that the institute’s programs cost five times the ticket to an equivalent academic conference and seem to package old psychological models as new discoveries. She does argue, however, that this doesn’t mean the curriculum of the institute isn’t effective; rather the neuroscience label is used as a marketing tactic to increase the perceived value of these courses.

Some anonymous Reddit contributors have also expressed their doubts about the high fees the NeuroLeadership Institute charges. It’s important to note, though, that none of these reviewers have taken the course themselves, and their criticism is directed mainly toward the value for money the training may offer. Claudia Lorenzo Rubiera has also called NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) a pseudoscience, a methodology widely used by certified coaches.

Independent Reviews

Currently, the only source of independent reviews on the NeuroLeadership Institute is the Google Maps location of their New York office. It has only four reviews, albeit with a 4.8 average.

One of their program participants mentioned his concerns about the communication of the organizers, namely, not getting allocated to the trainer of his choice. On the other hand, he highlights that his training experience was positive.

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The NeuroLeadership Institute is a certification provider that equips leadership coaches with science-based frameworks and tools. Their “brain-based” courses train professionals to conduct impactful coaching conversations that enhance the performance of organizational leaders.

Though there are only a handful of reviews available online, they testify to the quality of the program and its effectiveness in leadership development. Concerns from the scientific community are mostly directed at the market value of neuroscience-based methodologies in general and not the curriculum and faculty of the NeuroLeadership Institute.

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By Annamaria Nagy
Annamaria Nagy is a Brand Identity Coach and Copywriter. She's been writing for over 10 years about topics like personal development, coaching, and business. She was previously the Head of SEO at the leading transformational education company, Mindvalley.
February 3, 2024

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