A life coach—like other types of coaches such as a tennis coach or voice coach—works with clients to help them discover and develop their special talents, and to believe in their ability to accomplish things that most other people cannot. A life coach uses a combination of guidance, encouragement, and accountability to help clients produce fulfilling, positive results in their personal and professional lives. Life coaches help their clients discover and explore options in their lives and can challenge them to go beyond their comfort zone.
Life coaching is different from advising, counseling, consulting, mentoring, therapy, or training. Life coaches do not solve business, health, or relationship problems. Life coaches do not teach clients what the coach has lived or give instructions or detailed plans to assure success in some endeavor.
Life coaching typically assists in situations that require skill acquisition, decision making, motivation, reshaping habits, and making changes. A life coach is creative, inspiring, non-judgmental, and is a good listener whose purpose is to focus on his/her client’s best interest and help them manage and enjoy their life. Life coaching enables clients to connect to their inner wisdom to discover answers about who they are at their core, their values and desires, thei principles, their purpose, and what success looks like to the client.
A life coach also helps the client create a detailed action plan to accomplish exactly what he/she wants. That plan also identifies obstacles such as doubts, procrastination, perfectionism, and other barriers on the path to greater success. As the client works through the action plan, the coach monitors the client’s progress and celebrates milestones in a structured, supportive environment.
Can anyone benefit by working with a life coach? No. A successful relationship with a life coach requires a client who is eager to make changes to improve the quality of his/her life. The client must also be motivated to invest the necessary time, energy, and money in his/her future.
To help discover whether you might be a good candidate for life coaching, choose how well each of the following 16 statements apply to you. Total the points for your answers. If the total is at least 70 points, life coaching may be beneficial. Otherwise, life coaching would likely be of limited value and should probably be deferred for now.
The effectiveness of your coaching experience depends on the clarity of your objectives, the quality of the relationship with your coach, and how much of yourself you invest in the process.
"Just about everyone has a vision of his or her ideal life. Maybe you've always dreamed of being a successful writer, musician, or corporate executive. But you haven’t made it a reality yet. Then maybe what you need is a coach."