Life coaching is a collaborative process of helping individuals achieve their personal and professional goals by establishing an agreed-on action plan. A life coach acts as a guide, mentor, and partner, asking questions that help clients explore what they want for themselves and how to achieve it.
Life coaching typically focuses more on the achievement of specific, measurable results. The term “life coach” implies a focus on performance or achieving goals in all areas of life. Chris Cook, life coach Manchester, describes the coaching process as being ‘the best way to achieve the lasting change you are looking for.’
Why Might I Need A Life Coach?
Life coaching may be a good fit for you if you are seeking answers to how to find yourself, or if you would like to explore new directions in life, make changes or overcome barriers. Life coaches help clients identify their goals and create action plans to achieve them. They can provide motivation, encouragement, and feedback while also acting as an accountability partner in pursuing personal development.
Life coaching provides a structure that helps keep you focused on your goals. In addition, it can assist with time management.
Types Of Life Coaching
Executive coaching focuses on senior professionals and their advancement within an organization. It’s a career-related service that can help with time management, stress reduction, and more effective decision making.
Career change coaching assists individuals who want to explore career alternatives or need guidance in making a transition to a new role. Coaching can include goal setting, networking, and exploring new career options.
Redundancy coaching helps people deal with the emotional and practical aspects of job loss. It can include advice on how to improve personal presentation, brand oneself, conduct successful interviews, and network effectively.
Life stage coaching can help people cope with major life changes, such as starting a family, ’empty nest syndrome’, and retiring.
Possible Outcomes From Life Coaching
In general, and depending on the type of life coaching, clients can expect to:
- Gather information and insights about themselves and their actions
- Determine realistic goals and strategies that support them
- Achieve desired outcomes
- Network more effectively
- Understand how they affect others Identify personal strengths
- Accomplish more in less time Improve their career options
- Learn how to make difficult decisions Increase their job satisfaction
- Develop better work-life balance
- Increase their productivity and efficiency
- Reduce stress and anxiety
What Does A Life Coaching Session Include?
All sessions will vary depending on the stage of the process that the client is at, but a first session could include:
- A discussion of the client’s goals for the future.
- An exploration of what is getting in the way of achieving those goals.
- Agreement on specific actions to help move forward.
- The development of a system for accountability and follow-up.
Finding A Life Coach
There are many reputable life coaches to choose from. Look for someone who is experienced, qualified, and has a good reputation in the field. It’s important to find out whether they have specific skills or expertise relevant to your needs.
People usually work with life coaches because they want to make changes in their lives, but it’s up to them to do the actual work of taking action and achieving their goals. The coach is there to provide guidance and encouragement. The client initiates action, and the coach responds with support and feedback.
It’s important to recognize that a coach isn’t a friend. The coach and client aren’t there to share stories or be entertained. They’re focused on the goals, strategies, and desired outcomes that the client needs to accomplish. A life coaching relationship should be based on mutual trust and respect, a desire to support each other in becoming more successful, and a professional working relationship.
What Are The Skills Of A Great Life Coach?
People who make good life coaches tend to be empathetic listeners, while also being supportive, non-judgmental, and encouraging. They also need strong problem-solving skills to be able to help others with identifying solutions to their life issues.
A life coach should also have high emotional intelligence (EQ) which includes self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and the ability to connect with others.
Coaching vs. Counselling
Life coaching is not the same as counselling. Life coaches do not deal with mental health, addiction, abuse, or other issues that require therapy. Their focus is on people who want to make positive changes now rather than years down the road.
Times when counselling may be more appropriate, include:
- When someone just needs the opportunity to talk which may not lead to goal setting
- When people are experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues that require therapy.
- When someone is dealing with addiction or abuse issues that require intensive therapy over a period of time.
- When your actions are driven by deep emotional pain or dysfunction.
How To Get The Most Out Of Life Coaching Sessions?
Make sure you prepare for your session by clearly stating exactly what it is you want to achieve and any specific questions you may have. You could write down these goals beforehand if this helps clarify them in your own mind; perhaps also consider how you’ll feel when achieving them (see also “positive thinking”).
During the session, listen carefully to what the coach says, ask them to explain or clarify anything you don’t understand. The coach should also encourage you to ask questions at any time.
Remember that the coach is there to help and support you so take advantage of their experience and wisdom; however, they are not there to make decisions for you or give advice unless this has been agreed upon beforehand.
Life coaching sessions should be productive but relaxed as a good relationship between coach and client is key to successful coaching.
Life coaching is a collaborative process that involves commitment from both the life coach and the individual being coached. Effective life coaches work to ensure they have a clear understanding of their client’s goals, needs, and desires.
From the life coach’s perspective, they commit to staying informed about new opportunities and developments in their clients’ industry or field to help ensure they can provide support when needed. They also engage in continuing professional development to ensure that they remain knowledgeable and up to date on the latest thinking and approaches in coaching and related fields.