When I tell people I’m a Life Coach the first question they nearly always ask is “What is Life Coaching?” That’s if they bother to ask in the first place…a lot of the time they’ll say “Oh that’s cool” and then change the subject. In this blog, which perhaps should have been one of the first blogs to write, I’m going to try and answer the question "What is life coaching?" Who knows, in doing that you may decide that Life Coaching is for you and that you want to book some!
What Life Coaching Isn’t!
Let me start this by explaining what Life Coaching isn’t and how it is different from various things.
While a Life Coach may sometimes give some advice as a general rule we try to give you a structure and way to move forward. Advice tends to be free. Life Coaching isn’t free, nor should it be! Price is only an issue when there is no value.
Being A Critic
A Life Coach will offer a solution. Very often it will involve some work (a lot of work) on the part of the client. A Life Coach shouldn’t criticise a client for doing something and if they do they need to offer a solution. A critic is very often someone giving an opinion on something.
Life Coaching isn’t consulting. A consultant has usually been in the profession they consult for. They are an expert in a specific area. A Life Coach may have a specialist area or a few (mine are positive thinking, the law of attraction and helping people discover and achieve their full potential) but they have the ability to help a wider range of people as a lot of the coaching ethos is about asking the right questions.
A counsellor or therapist needs to be fully trained and licensed to do it. A Life Coach doesn’t. While it is advisable for a Life Coach to participate in some official training, it is not a legal requirement. Counsellors and therapists will go deep into the reasons why a person feels the way they do…a Life Coach will help a person move forward and give them the power to do so.
Yes, a Life Coach will often guide a person but that’s different to offering guidance. Guidance is not proactive in so far as it’s very often a suggestion of something to do. Guiding a person to help them find and action a way forward is different.
While Life Coaching can be seen as a form of mentoring, you don’t need to be an expert in any field to be good Life Coach. Mentors are usually proficient in their field so that they can help their clients succeed in that area. A Life Coach asks the right questions, listens to the responses and formulates an action plan to help the client achieve what they set out to achieve.
While there are many crossovers with each of these areas and Life Coaching, the following is what Life Coaching is (in a small nutshell).
What Life Coaching Is!!
For me Life Coaching is the act of empowerment. I’m giving someone the ability to gain the capacity to move forward. I’m working with someone to bring out their best. I’m helping someone enhance their life. I’m working with someone to improve their life. I’m being there for them. It’s never about what I want, it’s always about what the client wants. The only thing I want is to provide a value for money service and to witness a client progress!
Every client is different and thus every need a client has is different. I don’t just have a “Life Coaching For Dummies” manual that I work through as being generic won’t work. My coaching can, should and does change with every client. After all if a client has humbled themselves enough to “ask for help” from a Coach then it is my duty to get them moving forward in the most efficient way for them. It’s not a quick process nor are there any quick fixes, but working together I can expand their awareness and encourage them to take the necessary steps to make their lives amazing.
While I’m not waving a magic wand or providing a skeleton key, I help my clients unlock their powers. I’m helping them develop themselves. I’m helping them find things they need. Everyone has a set of skills and talents. One of the exciting things about Life Coaching is that I get to leverage these! I work with a client to take what they have and do something with it. I encourage them to try new things and take new approaches.
Ultimately though Life Coaching is very goal oriented. It’s about finding structure and being organised. It’s about making plans, setting goals and working towards something the client doesn’t have. The other important thing is that Life Coaching is about is accountability. Helping the client be aware of where they are and what they need to change to get to where they want to be. In other words the client assumes responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof.
Of course this is just the tip of a very large iceberg. To go in to all the ins and outs of Life Coaching would take a book. There are so many factors involved but it makes for an exciting time for me as a Life Coach and the clients I’m fortunate to encounter. However, I do hope that this has given you some insight as to what Life Coaching is and perhaps whetted your appetite to book some sessions!