A life coach is someone who aims to help their clients make changes to reach specific, personal or professional goals. This can include achieving promotion in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled in your relationships, or exploring your potential and achieving other ambitions.
A life coach does not spend much time examining the past, but rather looks at how making certain changes today can result in desired outcomes in the future.
Life coaching is a client-driven process. Your life coach is there to help you realize the goals that you set for yourself, the whole process is tailored to you.
How Does Life Coaching Work?
Life coaches typically charge by the session and sessions typically range from 45 minutes to an hour in duration. Clients will generally meet with their coach, or converse over the telephone, once a week, and may exchange additional emails on top of that once weekly phone call.
The relationship with a life coach is fluid and will change depending on what stage of coaching you’re at. Coaches will adapt sessions to their client as they make progress. It is 100% tailored to you.
Some of the stages of a typical life coaching relationship include:
- A life coach listens to their client’s current problems, ideas and hopes for the future
- Making goals - Many of us know that we’re unhappy or dissatisfied in some area of life, whether at work, in relationships or with our habits – what we don’t yet know is how to make the changes necessary to improve the situation, and often even what it is exactly what we seek as a solution or a goal to work towards! A life coach helps through focused listening and pointed questions - challenging the client to come to an understanding of the current situation and helps the client to make a clear and realistic goal for the future.
- Helping to identify roadblocks to success and helping to devise strategies to overcome these challenges – and then holding the client accountable for following through on planned actions.
Do People Get Qualifications to Become Life Coaches?
Life coaching is an unregulated profession. At the moment, any person, with any amount of training or none at all, can call themselves a life coach.
Because there are very little standardization and no formal educational benchmark to rely on, finding an effective life coach may be challenging and you should carefully consider any prospective life coach’s background, education and relative experience before deciding to commit to a coach.
It is essential you do your research. Search online directories to find coaches that have memberships with a professional body and have the appropriate insurance cover and qualifications.
Although life coaching is not therapy, as a therapeutic relationship, it’s very important that you feel that you can trust and relate to your life coach. If you don’t feel comfortable with your coach, it is unlikely you’ll gain much from the session. It’s a good idea to get in touch with a coach before you book a session. This way you can get a feel for what the coach is like before you commit your time and money.
Most life coaches will offer a trial session or two for no charge, and since coaching can be expensive, you should be sure to try out several life coaching coaches on a trial basis before selecting anyone for a continuing relationship.
What Areas Can a Life Coach Help With?
Almost everyone can benefit from working with a life coach at some point in time. That’s because life coaching features several niches you might not have known about, which means you can get coaching with just about any problem that comes up in life.
Having said that, life coaches are not medically qualified, so it isn’t advised that people with mental health issues seek out a life coach for help. Anyone with serious mental or emotional health challenges should contact a qualified and certified mental health professional for assistance.
If you do think you could benefit from a life coach here are some of the areas that a coach can help you with:
Health and Fitness
Many people want help managing their health and fitness. If you have a health condition that requires you to make some life changes in order to treat it, a life coach focused on health can guide you. And of course, if you want to lose weight and need help sticking to a healthy diet and fitness plan, this type of life coach will there to help keep you on track to reach your goals.
If you’re in a relationship and feel that it could be improved, you can work with a life coach who specialises in relationship guidance. Maybe you find that you keep sabotaging relationships and need advice on how to stop, or perhaps you just need to learn some strategies for improving communication with your partner. A life coach can help in these cases. The same goes if you’re single and need both guidance and motivation when it comes to finding someone to date.
It’s not unusual to feel stuck in a dead-end job at some point in life. When this happens, don’t just assume that you’re supposed to feel unsatisfied at work or even dread going in every day. You don’t have to settle for this when you have access to a career coach. Whether you need the motivation to go for that big promotion or want to finally get up the courage to start your own business, a career coach can advise you along the way.
Another niche that life coaches may specialise in is the financial area of your life. If you’re always struggling with money and want to find a way to change this routine, a life coach who is great with finances can help guide you to financial success.
If you’re not where you’d like to be spiritually, a life coach is a good person to talk to. If you follow a particular religion, you probably know of a few people at church you can talk to about your spiritual journey, but not everyone has time to devote to helping you. A life coach focusing on spirituality can help you find where you want to be.
If you have children at home, you probably struggle with whether you’re being the best parent you can be. Just about everyone does, but not everyone decides to get help for it. If you’re ready to address any parenting issues you’re experiencing, it’s time to talk to a family life coach. This type of coach can help you whether you are worried about how effective your discipline habits are or want to get on the same page as your spouse when it comes to parenting choices. Either way, if you’re not confident in your parenting skills for any reason, it’s important to get advice that will put your mind at ease.
If you’re having trouble with any of these areas of life, look for a life coach with experience in the niche for which you need help. You’ll find that some life coaches specialise in one or two areas, while others have experience in several. You should choose the coach with whom you feel most comfortable handling your specific needs.
Even if you’re not dealing with a crisis in your life right now, life coaching is something we can all benefit from. It can help you find a different perspective on life and can help you improve many areas of your life. Speaking to someone who is dedicated to listening to you and your goals or problems could be the support you need. A life coach will equip you with the tools you need to tackle problems head-on or to put you on the path to achieving a personal goal. We think everyone could benefit from a push in the right direction that a life coach can provide.
Check for life coaching courses on Superprof.