Life Coaching Defined
Life coaching is a professional service designed to help guide clients in reaching their goals whether it be in their life purpose, career, personal, family, overcoming fears and obstacles, relationships, and pretty much anything else. Life coaching is about asking the right questions and seeking the answers that sets you on a personal path for growth in any area of your life. The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them [clients] to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Coaching helps individuals and organizations focus on what matters most in life and business by taking an appreciative approach.
Appreciative Approach Defined
Life coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, which focuses on what is working in your life, your strengths, what you want, and what resources may be needed to obtain desired results. The key with this type of gift-based strategy is to focus on what is working instead of focusing on fixing a problem. The appreciative approach is a great way to promote change that focuses on the best qualities of individuals and the organization while building commitment for the change at the same time. With this strategy, I incorporate a proactive approach to managing personal opportunities and challenges. I also help reframe observations and feedback in a way that focuses on positive responses from others.
The Link Between Coaching and Teaching
One of the most rewarding things about coaching is the opportunity to help create new paradigms in thinking in my client’s world. A coach never tells or lectures. However, a skilled coach exposes their clients to new ways of thinking, which is the greatest form of teaching possible. A coach, just like a great professor, has the privilege, and responsibility, to help their clients/students see the world from the biggest perspective possible. Great teachers, like great coaches, use a variety of techniques to expand their student’s/client’s knowledge of themselves and the world. Some of the tools that we may use might include questions, theories, tools, models, instruments, assessments, quizzes, surveys, and anything else that might provoke you to think!
Purpose of a Life Coach
I will honor you as the expert in your life as I believe all the answers we will ever need are inside of us, ready to be tapped. According to the ICF, a coach’s responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
- Encourage client self-discovery
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
- Hold the client responsible and accountable
I will assist you in overcoming fears and obstacles; finding a balance in your personal, work, and family lives; and discovering who you are and who you want to be by focusing on solutions.
What You can Expect
Our sessions will begin with a personal interview and inventory of what is working and what you would like to see work differently in your life. In our first session, current opportunities and challenges, the scope of our relationship, specific desired outcomes, and priorities for action will be established. In subsequent sessions, progress towards goals and actions will be reviewed, new actions will be established, and further alignment of goals, values, and your life will be explored. As your coach, I will ask thought-provoking questions that will allow you to discover truths about yourself. I act as a sounding board helping you understand how your actions align or do not align with your values, goals, and any aspect of your life. I will also ask how I am meeting your expectations as a life coach.
What I Expect of You
I expect you to challenge your existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and develop new ones that serve your goals in the most beneficial way. I also expect you to show compassion for yourself while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks. Be mindful of your intuition, assumptions, and judgments. Be honest with yourself and allow yourself to go within to find the answers. Follow through on agreed upon actions. Most importantly, be willing to be coached. Working with a coach requires a personal commitment of time and energy, and it is worth it!
Benefits of Life Coaching
The process of life coaching may help you dramatically improve your outlook on work and life, while improving your life and leadership skills and unlocking your potential. By modeling constructive communication skills and methods, personal communication effectiveness may be enhanced. Life coaching is essentially designed to improve self-awareness and awareness of others, aid in the shift in thinking to create more effective actions, and help shift your emotional state to empower transformation in your life.