“Is there something you’ve been thinking about doing but have yet to start or complete?” asks Curly Martin in The Life Coach Handbook.
She then how to get people from thinking about doing it and actually doing it: “Life coaching is about gap analysis that closes the gap between life and dreams.” Curly Martin sees the job of the life coach is not to focus on a therapeutic relationship but to get results.
Life coaching is a powerful conversation based process. It helps you to move from where you are now to where you want or need to be. It creates clarity of purpose and direction.
Coaching releases your true potential. It empowers you to make changes in your life. It encourages you to achieve your dreams by a simple process of setting yourself goals.
How does life coaching work?
You have an initial meeting with a coach and work out a personalised program of goals and strategies for achieving them.
Once you are clear where you would like to be in life and where you are now the coach will help you make a plan to bridge the gap one step at a time. Your coach will help you to set goals, and to take steps towards achieving them.
You meet regularly (either face-to-face or over the telephone, video conferencing, etc.) and discuss your progress.
The life coach will empower you to fulfil that commitment by helping you to remove the obstacles in your way.
Your coach will help you to set priorities, stick to your goals, to overcome obstacles. They will be there to help you resolve your problems and to acknowledge your successes.
Achieving a goal may be the first step on a journey and the coach can then challenge you to achieve greater things.
The life coach will use a number of resources from their toolbox to achieve this. As they do you will begin to understand yourself better – your values, your strengths and weaknesses. For instance if you are spending too much time at work they will help you realise how your life is out of balance and help you to change this.
Coaching is non-directive
Your coach will act as a sounding board for your dreams and ambitions. They will help you to understand yourself so that you can see alternatives and re-prioritise issues in your life. They will help you find what you want to do but they will not tell you what to do.
Your coach will not provide the answers to your problems. They will not see their role as giving you advice or to recommend a course of action. You need to be true to your own set of values and find your unique may forward in your own context and situation.
Life coaching is not…
Counselling or therapy
Counselling or therapy
Coaching involves a non-judgemental conversation but it is not counselling or psychotherapy. Even though now many counsellors and therapists do now offer coaching it is actually something very different.
Rather than focusing on problems coaching focuses on dreams. Rather than delving into the past to understand the origin of your problems it looks to the future at how you can achieve your goals and dreams.
Life coaches may use some approaches that have been developed for therapy such as CBT or NLP but they will not include therapeutic interventions. Coaching is not psychiatry, therapy or counselling. It is not about diagnosing or treating mental illness.
If you come for coaching but do also need therapy or counselling then your coach will recommend that you see a qualified therapist or counsellor.
Mentoring or training
A life coach is not like a mentor or trainer. It is not that they are an expert in an area of life and so can explain what to do or showing you how to do it. Remember they will not act as a consultant by recommending their solutions to your problems.
Even though they might not be experts on every issue that come up against but they can guide you through them be helping you set your goals and achieve them.
How can a life coach help you?
The life coach works on all areas of life. Coaching can help people succeed at work, in personal life or in relationships with others – to help you prioritise and to overcome barriers such as fear or shyness.
• You might want to overcome areas of stress, to get a better work-life balance, maybe even to downshift to spend more time with their family.
• You might want to improve your health by for instance by dieting
• You might need help with developing your career or looking for a job
• You might want be that you want to succeed at parenting
• You might want help with your dating or with your relationship with your partner
• You might want be that you want to develop spiritually
• You might just feel that there is something missing in your life. A coach can help you to find it. You might need a new direction or to unravel your worries. A coach can help you find what it is that you need to change and help you to change it.
Life coaching is holistic taking into account every aspect of life. It keeps every area of life in balance.
Are you interested in getting some life coaching?