What is Life coaching?

Life coaching helps people identify and achieve personal goals by encouraging them to set and reach goals using a variety of tools and techniques. Life coaches are not therapists or consultants; psychological intervention and business analysis are outside the scope of their work. Life coaching draws inspiration from disciplines including sociology, psychology, positive adult development, career counselling, NLP, mentoring and other types of counselling.

Coaching as a career has become increasing popular in recent years.  There are many definitions of coaching, mentoring.

  • Managing is making sure people do what they know how to do.
  • Training is teaching people to do what they don’t know how to do.
  • Mentoring is showing people how the people who are really good at doing something do it. Coaching is none of these – it is helping to identify the skills and capabilities that are within the person, and enabling them to use them to the best of their ability.

Professional coaching uses a range of communication skills (such as targeted restatements) to help clients shift their perspectives and thereby discover different solutions to achieve their goals. These skills are used when coaching clients in any field. In this sense, coaching is a form of meta-profession that can apply to accompanying clients in any human endeavour, ranging from their concerns in sports and personal, professional, social, family, political, spiritual dimensions, etc.

The different areas of life coaching:

Business coaching

Business coaching provides positive support, feedback and advice to an individual or group basis to improve their personal effectiveness in the business setting. Business coaching includes executive coaching, corporate coaching and leadership coaching.

Career coaching

Career coaching focuses on work and career or issues around careers.  It is similar in nature to career counselling and traditional counselling.  Career coaching should not to be confused with life coaching, which concentrates on personal development.  Another common term for a career coach is career guide, although career guides typically use techniques drawn not only from coaching, but also mentoring, advising and consulting. For instance, skills coaching and holistic counselling are increasingly of equal importance to careers guidance in the UK.

Executive coaching

Executive coaching is designed to help facilitate professional and personal development to the point of individual growth and improved performance. Coaches need to have a strong understanding of individual differences in a work place as well as the ability to adapt their coaching style or strategies. It is suggested that those coaches whom are unable to acknowledge these differences will do more harm than good. Many executive coaches have a specific area of expertise, sports, business, or psychology. Regardless of what specific area the coaches focus they still need to be aware of motivational needs and cultural differences.

Executive coaches work their clients towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. An industrial organizational psychologist is one example of executive coaching.

Personal coaching

life-coaching-can-show-you-the-way-forwardPersonal coaching is a process which is designed and defined in a relationship agreement between a client and a coach. It is based on the client’s expressed interests, goals and objectives.

A professional coach may use inquiry, reflection, requests and discussion to help clients identify personal and/or business and/or relationship goals, and develop action plans intended to achieve those goals. The client takes action, and the coach may assist, but never leads or does more than the client. Professional coaching is not counselling, therapy or consulting.

Thinking of becoming a life coach?

If you are considering the possibility of becoming a life coach then taking this quick quiz may provide you with the answers you are looking for.
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Congratulations - you have completed Thinking of becoming a life coach?. This was not a test but a means for you to identify whether you think you have what it takes to become a life coach. If you answered NO to any of these questions (especially Nos.     ), then you may not be ideally suited for a career as a life coach just yet.  Perhaps getting further information and advice might help you decide if this is the career for you. However if you answered YES to all the questions, you certainly appear to have what it takes to take the necessary steps to qualifying and becoming a life coach.
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The NLP Life Coach Directory is a directory where you can find a life coach for your needs. We suggest you find a coach in your area, take a look at their site if they have one, then contact them and get a feel of them for yourself. After all you are the one who knows what you are looking for in your coach. Many life coaches offer a free initial consultation specifically for this purpose. A good coach will make you feel comfortable and will only work with you if they are confident they can deliver the results you expect. We also recommend that you ask for testimonials, past successes and their terms and conditions.

Are you interested in Becoming A Personal Life Coach?  At The Personal Development Cafe we have created a page that can teach you how you can learn what’s needed on the path to a becoming a Personal Life Coach.  You can also find useful information on our Coaching Articles page.

Life Coaching is about helping others. If you have any advice, suggestions you want to share with others, questions that you would like answered or useful articles or comments that will be of help to others – simply use our form below to post or reply to a topic.