What to Know About Life Coaching

castle-life-coaching-personal-development-blog article what is life coaching

What Life Coaching Is and Isn’t

The phrase life coach is relatively new to the modern lexicon and what a life coach does is not immediately obvious…unless you’re a life coach, and even then, there’s disagreement!

Let’s look at the good and the bad, what life coaching is and isn’t. I give you the inside scoop on what you need to know about life coaching and personal development:

  • Life coaching is not about the coach, the client is always the priority
  • There are no magic programmes
  • No one coach has ‘the way’
  • Confidentiality is paramount
  • The client should feel comfortable with their life coach otherwise the process if flawed from the beginning
  • A free consultation is offered by many life coaches providing the chance to see if you have rapport with them and that they can help with your requirements
  • Open dialogue and honesty are key parts to maximising the client/life coach relationship
  • Clients need to work on developing their abilities, a life coach is the facilitator to that not the doer of that

  • It is a collaborative process and should provide answers and solutions to the clients questions
  • The client isn’t always right: there are ‘bad’ clients the same way there are bad customers in any service sector
  • Life coaching is more practical and solution oriented than standard therapies, but does not necessarily share similarities or practices with those
  • Some clients aren’t ready to commit to making changes, and that’s OK
  • Life coaching is about insights a client wouldn’t have necessarily had on their own
  • There are life coaches with little life experience
  • There are bullshitters who want a clients money but they don’t care about coaching and related fields or the end result: meeting or exceeding the clients needs
  • There are people who become life coaches because they think life coaching is easy, who see coaching as a get rich easy scheme
  • There are plenty of unsuitable life coaches – but that is the same for every service sector
  • Certificates and qualifications don’t guarantee anything
  • If a life coach makes promises and guarantees, beware

  • Given that life coaches can be highly specified or very broad in their abilities, taking the time to find the best fit for your needs is well worth it
  • If a life coach is unsuitable the client is not obliged to keep seeing them: change
  • Good life coaches won’t pressure a client into anything
  • If a clients needs are beyond the skills of a life coach, the reputable life coach will advise them to find a professional who is more suited to their needs
  • Life coaching is not a crisis service therefore it is advised that clients contact emergency services when requirements go beyond a life coaches capacity
  • Life coaching combines psychology and experience with the practical element of coaching and can range in scope from deep personal issues to practical problems like working more effectively, or be very specific to one field or element
  • At a minimum life coaching combines open dialogue, guidance, listening, and problem solving
  • Life coaching can be directive
  • Life coaching can take clients into the real world, it’s not strictly conducted in an office or by video link or call
  • Working with a life coach is an investment in the self and takes courage by the client which should never be underestimated

The list is not exhaustive but I hope gives you a better idea of the life coaching process and what to look for in a life coach, and what to avoid.

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