What is Life Coaching?
Coaching is a client-focused and solution-oriented process in which a trained coach applies a skill-set of proven techniques and co-creative behavioral communication tools to facilitate the client’s ability to plan and achieve their own personal or professional goals in one or more areas of life, such as health and fitness, relationships, family, career, education, entrepreneurship, spirituality, business leadership and more, based upon the client’s priorities. While coaching practices may apply general and specific knowledge from the behavioral sciences, management principles, spiritual traditions and/or the arts and humanities, the coach functions as an independent, respectful, and non-judgmental facilitator of the client’s self growth, change, action, and achievement, without giving advice, but by employing a set of standardized coaching competencies and conduct. Coaching sessions are aimed to promote self-awareness, accountability, and progress forward towards achievement and success.
How is Coaching different from Therapy ?
In therapy, a counselor is more focused on helping the client with answering the “why” questions, often related to the past, in order to gain healing and understanding into emotions and behavior. In coaching, although some emotions may arise from conversation, the coach will ask exploring questions more focused on assisting the client to take actionable and measurable steps forward in a self-defined and specific area of objective progress.
How is Coaching different from Mentoring ?
A mentoring relationship is one in which a person with particular knowledge comes alongside another person with “how to” advice and often works alongside that person. In coaching, the coach does not tell the client what to do or how to do it, but helps the client become all who they can and want to be themselves through self-discovery and self-initiation.
Is there any proof that Life Coaching works and is worth the investment ?
Yes. As per the International Coaching Federation global client research study, “most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communications skills, better work-and-life balance and an improvement in wellness. Nearly 70 percent of individuals indicated they had at least made back their initial investment. The median suggests that a client who achieved financial benefit from coaching can typically expect a ROI of more than three times the amount spent. A stunning 99 percent of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall coaching experience.” However, a question you have to ask yourself is, “How important is achieving that life goal to you?”
How do I begin if I am interested in obtaining “Life Coaching”?
You should of course do some research so you feel somewhat comfortable, but, the process typically begins with a mutual and conversational interview, either face-to-face or by video conference or phone, to discuss your desired goals and define the details of a pending professional relationship, and to assess whether or not both parties can accept and agree upon an initial contractual agreement with each other. Clients may already know what their specific life goals are or they may allow for the potential coach’s help to initially self-assess and identify their priorities among many personal or professional desires.
What should I expect from a Coaching session?
While there are different modalities of coaching, an ICF certified coach is trained to follow a standardized professional meeting structure that is welcoming, respectful, and focused on achieving the client’s desired outcome with a clear and smart path forward. Coaching meetings typically and initially last between 45-60 minutes, but depending on the area of coaching, particular goals, assessed needs, and where you are in the process, some intermediary or followup meetings could be designed to last 30 minutes or less. Meetings can be held in person or through video conferencing or phone calls.
When and for how long does a Coaching Agreement last?
Coaching meetings are usually scheduled weekly based upon proven effectiveness, for a contractual length period determined and agreed upon by the coach and client, optionally renewable, and sometimes with consideration given to financial abilities and time management. In order to achieve the client’s initial desired results and obtain a positive outcome, twelve meetings are initially and normally suggested. This is not a set rule and each coach/client can formulate a customized contract that is agreeable. The Coaching relationship may be short-term or long-term. After a coaching client has experienced positive results, they often renew in order to build upon their fresh achievements or choose to focus on succeeding in another area of their personal and professional life.