Have you ever been in one of those conversations with friends or colleagues where they talk about something and just assume that the topic under discussion is common knowledge. You listen to the comments and you get the distinct impression that everyone knows what they are talking about so you feel a little silly asking the obvious question.
I had this happen to me some years ago – some colleagues where sitting together at lunch time and talking about life-coaching and they all seemed to know exactly what a life-coach was and the benefits and services a life-coach offers. I sat there listening to the conversation and felt decidedly out of the loop – I had never really heard abut this thing called Life-Coaching and I certainly didn’t know what the services on offer where or the benefits. If sounded a bit like a watered-down version of therapy and frankly I was unconvinced of its merits. It just sounded too fluffy and touchy-feely for my liking and just a little pie-in-the-sky for my hard-core technical brain. I was nonetheless intrigued and I started doing some cursory reading about this life-coaching stuff because really I wanted to be able to counter the opinions of my colleagues with some well documented counter arguments.
I soon discovered that my thinking on the matter was shifting dramatically and I found myself being progressively more convinced of the value of a coach. The more I read and researched the more I discovered a whole new world of opportunity and options available and was converted from an uninformed nay-sayer to becoming a Coach myself.
So when I read a comment that suggested people don’t really have a good understanding of what a coach really does, my mind was cast back to those early days when I too was not sure about who or what a coach is or does and I could so relate. I remember that feeling of being out-of-the-loop and not having the courage to ask that “so what is this coaching stuff about” question for fear of being embarrassed at being the only one who didn’t know.
So for those who have felt out of that loop and are not sure about what a Coach is or what it is we actually do – maybe this will help.
The definition of a life coach is a bit slippery. Though certification schemes exist—some respected and widely recognized, many not; there is no singular regulator, licensing body, or governing board.
Here is my definition. Does it resonate with your understanding? Life coaching is a interactive relationship between a coach and a client; designed to tap into your full potential. Someone who helps an individual focus on their present life, make necessary adjustments (big or small),to move forward and realize their goals in their personal and professional life.
Just as high performance athletes wouldn’t think of training without the added insight, objective perspective and enthusiastic support of a coach who will push them on those grumpy days, help them course correct as needed, encourage them and hold them accountable. Many of today’s most successful business leaders, professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and CEOs use the services of a coach to take their lives, careers, or businesses to the next level.
Newsweek describes a coach as “Part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend. Coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both.”
Many coaches take a “lead the way” approach. With social media platforms making accessibility so easy many coaches tend to share their lives on these platforms which allows a potential client to get to know them and so by the time they decide to work with a particular coach the client almost feels as though they are already friends with their coach and there is an energetic influence that happens.
It’s hard to estimate how many life coaches practice worldwide. But according to a 2016 study (pdf) by the International Coach Federation (ICF), which is one of the industry’s most recognized accreditation organizations, there are approximately 53,300 professional coach practitioners worldwide.
Do you want a life coach? Or do you want the well-lit and seemingly well-balanced life of a life coach? The more I followed and read and researched, the more I realised I wanted both.
For many people working with a coach is a transformative process which can sometimes be exhausting and is definitely time-consuming. One thing certain with a coach you do make incredible changes in your life.
There’s an ever-increasing demand today for life coaching services because so many people want more out of their lives, and they know that coaching can be a quick and substantial way to move in that direction. Coaching primarily works from the premise that you are the expert in your life. You are the only expert who can recognize what is absolutely best for you. We are simply experts in the coaching process. As your coach, we help you discover what your own personal “best” might be.
Every day we make choices to do or not do many things. These choices may range from profound to trivial and each one has an effect that makes our lives more fulfilling or less fulfilling, more balanced or less balanced, that make our process of living more effective or less effective. Life coaching helps you learn how to make choices that create an effective, balanced and fulfilling life. We help you connect your head and your heart in a way that transforms your passion for your dreams into action for your life.
What Does a Life Coach Do?
We Help You Identify Goals
We Help You Achieve Your Goals
We Guide You Through Changes and Obstacles
We Give You Permission to Follow Your Dreams
We Teach You How to Make the Right Decisions for Yourself
What does a Life Coach NOT Do?
Life coaches do not treat medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, or any other mental illnesses.
A life coach will focus mostly on looking toward your future, rather than dealing primarily with your past.
Many Life Coaches have niche areas so remember not all life coaches focus on every aspect of life all the time. While it is important to note that many Life Coaches can deal with many aspects of an individuals Life many have carved and have become highly specialised in niche areas.
This means that you will need to be selective about the coach you approach to work with. There are a range of questions you can ask to decide on the type of coach you need to work with and many coaches will do an initial pre-qualification or meet and greet session to determine a few crucial aspects – take full advantage of these as they will give you a good sense of whether the coach you have approached is the right fit for your unique needs.
So who hires a Life Coach?
Simply put, people who want more. People who desire growth in their personal or/and professional lives, and people who want that growth to come faster or easier. Anyone in any walk of life can hire a life coach for almost anything they want to improve in their lives.
In general, people who hire a life coach tend to be people that want the following:
- To achieve their goals and be successful
- To find happiness
- To find their life purpose
- To do what they love
- To decide on or change their career
- To be more confident
- To find love or improve their relationships
Why is Life Coaching becoming so Popular?
A simple reason for this is the mere fact that we all tend to get stuck in certain places in our lives whether it is due to comfort, fear, ignorance or something else. We all tend to need a push and some guidance to get us moving and heading in the right direction again, and this is exactly what life coaching does.
Life coaching is a very versatile field because there are coaches that can help people and businesses reach a wide variety of specific goals. Motivated and unmotivated people alike can benefit from the efficiency and expert direction that a life coach can bring to their lives. Life coaching has been proven to improve work performance by 70%. It is also shown to improve other important factors such as: self-confidence, relationships, communication skills, life/work balance, team effectiveness, time management and more.
Studies have been done on how effective life coaching is and some are based on ROI, some are based on the satisfaction of the client and their willingness to return. Both types of studies have proven the effectiveness of life coaching. Approximately 86% of the companies studied said that they made back what they invested in using life, career development and professional coaches. 99% of the companies and individuals who used life coaching were more than satisfied with the experience and 96% said that they would use a life coach again and recommend using a life coach to a friend.