Life coaches utilise techniques to help their clients (coachees) in all aspects of life. If you've ever struggled with something - whether it be sticking to a diet, learning a language, moving out of your comfort zone, improving your confidence or self-esteem, then consulting a life coach could help you.
A life coach will approach things pragmatically. Through questions and exercises, he or she will try to get an idea of how you perceive the world. From this, they will be able to identify the most effective route to your goal. Some people feel intimidated by the idea of change and so need to take things slowly to fulfil their goals. In this situation, a life coach might divide ultimate goals into smaller bite-sized pieces. Other people may get impatient and lose interest. In this situation, a life coach might suggest introducing stronger reminders and incentives to keep the coachee on track.
However you approach life, your life coach will be able to tailor your sessions to fit.
A life coach is a trained professional who aims to help and guide individuals to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals. They support clients (coachees) on a journey to rediscover their own strength and abilities; this can include excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled at home, exploring your potential, managing health conditions and achieving life ambitions.
By harnessing techniques based on core psychological principles and intuition, life coaches empower clients and provide a toolkit of teachings to confidently face difficult challenges and overcome emotional barriers.
A life coach won’t tell you what to do (chances are you already know the answer!) but what they will do is provide an objective, unbiased and empowering environment, rather than instruction or indoctrination.
At the heart of it all lies the idea that clients must be given the power to help themselves. Offering advice, opinions and judgements would undermine some of the basic principles behind life coaching, which include: Subjectivity, Empowerment and Guidance.
Life coaching focuses more so on the client (coachee) in the here and now and conducts sessions with the future as the central point to encourage personal development and self-improvement. Counselling is a form of talking therapy associated with again assessing the individual in the here and now, but working to determine past events that have contributed to their client’s current struggles. A counsellor will develop coping mechanisms and strategies for the client to move forward with their life.
The main difference between counselling and life coaching is that counselling can investigate the underlying causes of mental health problems. Life coaches are not (unless specified) qualified to diagnose or treat any health-related problems, although if the situation arises they may suggest you see another qualified specialist (counsellor, therapist, GP etc.).
Life Coaching is currently an unregulated profession. It’s therefore always wise to do your research. On Life Coach Directory www.lifecoach-directory.org.uk ICR www.icr-coachregister.com and ACUK www.associationforcoaching.com you’ll only find life coaches who have provided evidence of membership with a recognised professional body and relevant qualification, certification and insurance cover. These are some of the main bodies which I am a fully accredited member of.
Qualifications, certifications, memberships and credentials are all essential when you look for the best coach for you. However, rapport is one of the most important parts of life coaching. If you feel uncomfortable with your coach, you are unlikely to gain much from the sessions. It’s advisable to get in contact before you book a session to speak with your coach so you can gauge how comfortable you are in their presence. Never feel obliged to continue if you don't want to - you should never feel like you are listening to a sales pitch.
Lots of coaches offer online and telephone coaching for individuals who are unable to meet them face to face or find these services easier and more convenient. Online and telephone coaching can be offered in addition to one-on-one meetings or as the primary method of coaching.
You can have as many or as few life coaching sessions as you like. Many life coaches may specialise in a certain field and therefore have specific programmes that include a number of sessions. Best is to speak with your coach once you have decided to work together so that you can decide on the most effective approach for you. Because many life coaches operate over the phone or via the Internet, the sessions can easily fit around your schedule. Some people hire a life coach once every few months, some people have a session once a week. Often, it is entirely up to you to decide.