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What is a Life Coach, and What Benefit Will Life Coaching have for any Individual?

What is a Life Coach, and What Benefit Will Life Coaching have for any Individual?

Life coaches have had a mixed press in recent times but despite this, their numbers have been growing fast and the number and breadth of people using them has increased dramatically. So what is life coaching and what kind of benefits can it deliver?

Like other kinds of coaches, Life Coaching is not about giving advice, but about helping clients to think in new or better ways or to find solutions that are right for THEM.  Any “advice” that a life coach gives is therefore merely provided as a suggestion of a possible solution that may work for any client, if it resonates with them as a viable option.  A life coach’s “advice” then may consequently work for one individual, but not another based on their particular circumstances, needs, values, and goals.

Life Coaches (assuming they are experienced and adept in their profession of course) therefore use their skills to uncover the hidden truths that are typically right there inside every person (and perhaps just need to be gently “teased out”).  A life coach does this by helping a client to:

  • identify his or her values, that will supercharge his or her energy and inspiration to meet his or her goals;
  • identify any needs that the individual has that are not being met to ensure he or she does not have any energy drains in his or her life;
  • acknowledge who a person really is, what he or she has accomplished, and what he or she may be becoming; and finally by helping an individual to gain the clarity he or she needs so that personal answers to questions being asked about the present or future are crystal clear, including the steps needed to take along the way to fulfilling any expectations or dreams!

As if this critical steering role was not enough, what else does Life Coaching have to offer?  The major organization, the International Association of Coaching has nine coaching masteries, which are instructive.  In accordance with these mastery skills, a good Life Coach will artfully:

  • Ensure a safe place and supportive relationship for personal growth, discovery and transformation;
  • Recognizes and helps you acknowledge and appreciate your strengths and potential;
  • Listens in a way that shows attention to your words, nuances, and the unspoken meaning of your communication;
  • Is attentive to you, and processes information on the level of mind, body, heart, and/or spirit to expand your awareness of how you experience thoughts and issues on these various levels;
  • Communicates in a way that clearly expresses commitment, direction, intent, and ideas;
  • Reduces any of your confusion or uncertainty, and increases your understanding and confidence;
  • Keeps you focused and working towards your intended goals;
  • Creates an environment that allows ideas, options, and opportunities to emerge; and
  • Helps you identify and build relationships, tools, systems, and structures you will need to advance and sustain progress towards your goals.

According to the 2009 ICF Global Coaching Client Study, “companies that use or have used professional coaching for business reasons have seen a median return on investment of seven times their initial investment. Individual clients reported a median return on investment of 3.44 times their investment.  Working with a personal Coach [also] more than triples the likelihood of making a sustainable positive change in one’s life.” Although this envelopes all forms of coaching, life coaching is a major part of these statistics.

Many clients have stated that Life Coaching helped them to face issues that underline excuses; helped them to see that the path they were taking was not what they really wanted; helped them to see that they were taking responsibility for tasks that weren’t necessarily theirs; and helped them take action towards changes to make work better for them.

Clearly life coaching may not be for everyone, but there is no doubt that everyone can benefit from life coaching at some point in their lives, especially when facing a major personal change transition or managerial career change perhaps. It may therefore be extremely useful to seek out a life coach that is potentially a good match sooner rather than later.

So, here is my Call to Action:  If you want to reach your goals in what is often a fun and interesting way; find purpose, and reach your full potential; overcome obstacles to your happiness; and/or be more successful in your career/business, don’t wait another minute to contact a Life Coach today!

This article was written by Angela Goodeve of Life Coaching With Ang.

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About Angela Goodeve

Angela Goodeve is a Professional Life Coach; Board Member with the Women for Change Coaching Community; and Cofounder of Energy of Yes, a company focused on empowerment, Personal Growth, and inspiration. To learn more about Angela and read her blog, visit her website at:

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  1. Kevin W. McCarthyMay 10, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Life coaching is, at best, a difficult sale on many levels. For those of us who get it, we know the inherent value and returns that Angela espouses in her great article. Truth is, however, most clients have more pressing and “practical” needs regarding career, finances, marriage, health, etc..

    The business of life coaching has matured, but in a great way. Life coaching is foundational to the very real, yet symptomatic needs of clients. This means we need to apply our own methods to better define and understand who we are and how we serve best. In short, niches are the answer.

    For example, in our 30-year old business, we added health coaching 5 years ago as a complement to our basic On-Purpose Person leadership training. This has flourished during a down economy. In the course of helping clients gain health, we’re finding life coaching skills make us even more capable of helping clients than the health care professionals. We’re oriented on people versus procedures.

    The shift in our business has been a blessing because it reinforces my decision to be healthier. We’re now training life coaches to become health coaches and they’re thriving personally and professionally.

    More importantly, we’ve met clients at their point of need and have built rapport to go to the next deeper level. My new saying is, “Health coaching is the new life coaching… only better.” Without physical health any other kind of coaching is falling on the hard soil of the soul and psyche. It is a natural gateway to the deeper issues.

    Health coaching may not be your thing. It wasn’t mine, but I had my eyes opened to the power to transform that life coaching promised but was hard to measure and define.

    Don’t let the maturity of the life coaching business scare you away. Instead, let it inform your next strategic move to find a meaningful and rewarding niche. Hey, and, if you want to become a health coach, I’m happy to interview you.

    Be On-Purpose!
    Kevin W. McCarthy
    Author, The On-Purpose Person

    • Angela GoodeveJune 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Kevin, thank-you for your comments! I agree that incorporating Life Coaching into specific services can help convey to the Client exactly what benefit they will get from the process. It is also an invaluable tool that can help in almost every field in one way or another.

      Someone said to me today: “People want to know how it is going to benefit their health, finances, and/or relationships”. If we can communicate our services in this way, then more people will be drawn to the benefits we have to offer.

      The Field of Life Coaching is gaining momentum and becoming much more mainstream. You are right, it also refocuses businesses and services back on the individual, which is a shift I like to see!

      Ang 🙂

  2. Milan DobrotaMay 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Nice post, Angela.

    The study you mentioned seems very convincing. The link seems to be broken, though.

  3. Angela GoodeveJune 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    My apologies Milan, here is a link to the PDF file for the study.


    Ang 🙂

  4. Maggie HolbikJanuary 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Great article Angela. This is something I can use to help educate prospective clients and those just interested in learning more about what life coaching is. I find as a Life Coach my favorite coaching is truly involved with helping people become passionate about their lives and helping them to consciously become involved in their life plan. When people life on purpose and with joy, magic happens. Thanks again Angela for a well written piece!

    • Angela GoodeveMay 10, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Well said Maggie, and thank-you!!

      Love and blessings,

      Ang 🙂

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Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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