A life coach is a professional who is duly trained and certified in developing synergetic relationships with their clients in order to help them realize their full potential. The same way an athlete needs a coach to guide their training and give input, anyone can also benefit immensely by using the services of a professional life coach.
The life coach uses various tools and skills to tap into their client’s internal wisdom in order to realize the desired goal. A typical client will hire a life coach because they desire to attain greater success and fulfillment while achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Experts believe that life coaching increases productivity by at least 88 percent. To put this into perspective, training without coaching increases productivity by only 22.4 percent. There are many reasons why life coaching is immensely beneficial. Here are some of the main reasons.
A life coach has a one-on-one relationship with the client. Apart from their one-on-one meetings, they typically schedule frequent calls throughout the month. This helps to create a pattern of accountability. There was an interesting study completed by Douglas McGregor in the 1950s.
His book, The Human Side of Enterprise, published in 1960, notes that McGregor’s “theory X” shows the effects of productivity on most people. According to the theory, people are intrinsically lazy and would do anything to avoid any form of work. This means that very little would be achieved if people are left to work without any form of accountability. For the client, having a life coach who will regularly follow-up will help that client to stay on course.
A life coach goes through professional training that equips them with unique tools and expertise for helping their clients to evolve on a personal and/or professional level. Many of the failures people go through in life boil down to lack of proper knowledge, insight, and/or wisdom.
When a client understands how to achieve a particular goal, they will save a lot of time and effort and increase their chances of success. Certified life coaches know how and when to ask powerful and insightful questions, and how to listen attentively and actively as they interact with their clients. They also know which tools they should use for different clients in order to achieve the desired goal.
No one wants to work with a coach who is nagging, annoying, or abusive. Hollywood might create the impression that those qualities make great sports coaches, but when it comes to making life-changing decisions, everyone would prefer working with someone who is respectful and understanding.
A trained life coach knows how to build a relationship with their clients, based on honesty, integrity, trust, and respect. They know how best to communicate vital information, and they do not try to impose their opinions on their clients.
People are more productive when they work with a personal trainer at the gym than when they do workouts on their own. When working alone, it takes longer to achieve personal goals, but working with a personal trainer brings quicker and more lasting results. The same is true when working with a life coach. A life coach will helps their clients move towards their chosen goals faster than if the client were working alone.
Some Common Misconceptions About Life Coaching
Anyone can be a life coach
Becoming a skillful and professional life coach takes proper training. Life coach training is meant to equip the coach with the prerequisite skills that are necessary to be successful. It is true that life coaching is a career path that has few barriers to entry. Almost anyone can start marketing themselves as a life coach and take on clients.
However, hiring a coach who is not qualified and certified can be risky because the coach has the potential to spin their clients’ lives in the wrong direction. A well-trained life coach works with their client to skillfully pull out their hidden potential. The best way to know if a coach is qualified is to see if they are ICF certified. The ICF, International Coach Federation, is the gold standard in life coaching, and coaches who go through an ICF certified program are considered to be among the most qualified coaches in the coaching industry.
Coaching is for people who have problems
Unlike counseling, life coaching is not only meant for people who are going through a rough patch. Even though it is true that life coaching can help a client move past their personal struggles and dilemmas, those who are not going through a difficult time can benefit immensely from coaching. Even the most talented and skilled professionals would benefit from life coaching.
In fact, high-performing professionals often hire the services of a life coach to help improve their output. Life coaching is also very relevant for people who are looking to make more meaningful connections. In other words, life coaching will help an individual to become better professionally and/or achieve a richer and more satisfying social experience.
A coach will advise you on what to do
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about life coaching. The work of a life coach is not to advise, direct, counsel, or mentor. A good life coach will work with their clients in a manner that allows each client to realize their own workable solutions. A life coach does not tell their clients what to do, but seeks to partner with each client to help the client determine their best path or course of action.
Before hiring a life coach, a potential client must be clear about this misconception because it can adversely affect the coaching relationship. Therefore, a potential client must not go into a life coaching relationship expecting the coach to provide answers. This notwithstanding, a good life coach will help their clients find the solutions that best suit their situations.
A Christian life coach is only knowledgeable in theology
Even though a theological education is beneficial for the Christian life coach, this is not a prerequisite to becoming a skilled life coach. Christian life coaches go through a training curriculum that incorporates the same training that any other life coach would take.
All life coaching, no matter the niche, has required skills that must be learned and recommended certification that should be achieved. The main difference between the Christian life coach and other life coaches is the use of a biblical Christian worldview in their coaching.
The Difference between Consulting, Therapy, and Life Coaching
Consulting is largely based on the information an expert gives. For instance, you might hire a business development consultant to help you with a specific area in your business. The consultant will analyze your business model and other relevant factors, then offer their expert opinion and advice on the best way to go about achieving your desired objectives. The consultant must, therefore, have some experience on top of the knowledge they have in the field in which they are consulting.
A life coach, however, doesn’t necessarily need to have prior experience in a particular field. Life coaches are specialists in helping their clients achieve their desired goals in all spheres of life. Unlike the consultant, the life coach will not make recommendations and leave you to implement them. On the contrary, they will work with you until you realize your desired objectives. This is the main reasons why life coaching has an impressive success rate.
A therapist typically works with their clients on traumas and issues that are based on the client’s past. In fact, it is not recommended to work with a life coach if you strongly feel that you need to resolve these types of issues. The life coach focuses on the present and the future. They will help to develop a roadmap from the current state to the desired destination for each client.
People typically hire therapists because they are going through some level of emotional pain or some type of loss. On the flip side, there are many people who are “highflyers,” and hire life coaches to improve their performance, their social connections, or other positive improvements.
You should consider hiring a life coach if you want to be proactive in your life and are looking to move from “a to b” in the shortest time possible, while being held accountable for your goals and actions.
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