What is Life Coaching?
There are many definitions of coaching. And as you develop as a coach you will work out your own best way of explaining to others what it is to you.
But; most people love a definition, so one below.
“Coaching is an on-going partnership that helps clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Through the process of coaching, clients deepen their learning, improve their performance, and enhance their quality of life. Beginning with the clients’ desires, coaching uses reporting, exploring, and a consistent commitment to move the client forward. Coaching accelerates the clients’ progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where clients are today and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be tomorrow.” – International Coach Federation, ICF website.
My definition of coaching
The process creates:
- clear decisions with well thought outcomes
- leading to focused plans for committed action
Attained through; a safe, supporting and trusting relationship. (Between the coach and the coachee).
The process uses:
- specific questioning techniques
- emphatic listening skills
- intuitive thought
- leading to purposeful feedback
This definition does not describe the processes involved in coaching. Each approach varies depending on the psychological basis used by the coach. The processes used in Cognitive-Behavioural coaching will be different to those of a Transactional one. The different approaches use their own models to elicit changes in their coachees. Some of these will be mentioned later. The structure of the sessions will vary – some are rigid in format compared to others.
Being a Life Coach is all about helping people get from where they are to where they want to be in the future.
The core principle of coaching is that of: goal orientated future focused personalised intervention. This is to enable clients to move forward with their lives more effectively than they were before.
So What is Coaching really About?
If we are all honest with ourselves, we could all do with improving an area or so of our lives. But we don’t do anything about it. It is a coach’s role to help people do what they want in life. By helping them to remove the barriers that they have imposed upon themselves. When you attend one of my courses you will be coached to remove your barriers and free your own potential.
A good analogy is that of a Personal Fitness Trainer, (PFT).
If you were to hire a PFT they will first ask you what your goals are. Lose weight, lose fat, build muscle, build endurance, increase stamina, etc. Then they will see where you are with regards to your goals, e.g. weight. After establishing how much you need to lose the trainer will create a ‘plan of action’. What you must do to achieve your weight reduction goals.
Your PFT will encourage and motivate you, will ask questions about your motivations. And possible barriers that you may face. The goal of a PFT is to help you achieve your goals a lot faster and more efficiently than doing it on your own.
A coach does the same as a PFT but for other areas of life.
It is essential that a coach has a love of working with of people. Do you get satisfaction from helping others to achieve their potential life? Yes! Then coaching is a profession for you to be in.
A summary of life coaching is below:
Non-judgemental: a coach must always be non-judgemental. They must accept the decisions and actions of the coachee. Coaches must create an environment where the coachee can enter into self-scrutiny. And then start to ‘judge’ them self.
Equality of relationship: the coach and coachee must develop a mutual respect. With an unshakable common aim – the success of the coachee
Non-advisory: coaches do not give advice – it carries responsibility. The Coach allows the coachee to discover their solution to a problem
Goal-oriented: coaching elicits change and measurable results outside the sessions
Measurable: the results have to be measurable. So that the coachee can see how their goals and outcomes are achieved
Empowering: coaching should leave the coachee feeling empowered. And confident to face the future and any problems life throws at them