Coaching and Mentoring
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.