What Problems Does a Life Coach Help Solve?
Life coaches can help you:
- overcome the Monday morning blues
- build confidence
- find a career that you love
- get clear on your goals
- stay accountable to your goals
- do more of the activities that engage you
- form better relationships
- have more meaning in your life
- develop your purpose
- work on the things that you are passionate about
- feel happier
How does the coaching process work?
Coaching typically consists of a series of one-on-one sessions between you and your life coach and usually last 45 to 60 minutes each. Some clients meet with their life coach once a week, although some clients meet every two weeks or even just once a month – depending on their needs. You and the coach will agree on what works best for you prior to starting the coaching engagement and will often be flexible if the schedule needs to be adjusted.
In the first one or two sessions, your coach will usually go over your goals, establishing what you hope to achieve through life coaching. If you aren’t clear on your goals yet, that is okay! Life coaches are trained to ask you the right questions and actively listen to what you are saying (and not saying) to help you decipher what truly matters to you. When life coaches use their active listening skills along with assessments, they are often able to uncover your deepest desires and the right goals will come to light.
Oftentimes, coaches will ask you to fill out the Wheel of Life, a great assessment for prioritizing what areas of your life need work. You may be asked to fill out other assessments to identify your strengths, values and the things that give you meaning and purpose. The primary goal of these initial sessions is to give you absolute clarity about what you want to achieve, and then help you develop a personalized plan to achieve it.
Once you have established your main goals for coaching, the life coach will assess where you are now and the steps needed to get you to where you want to be. The coaching process will close the gap between your current state and your desired state.
At the end of each session, your coach will ask you to commit to completing certain tasks before the next session, which is often referred to as homework. These will generally consist of specific actions which you and your coach have identified as being the most important things you can possibly do to move closer to your big goals. By making a commitment to your coach, you’re not only focused on the most important tasks to achieve to your goals, but you’ll also have someone holding you accountable to make sure you’re constantly following through. Commitment, accountability and follow-through are some of the most valuable components of the life coaching process and they are a big reason why people who work with a life coach make so much more progress than they do when working alone.
Coaching vs. Therapy
A common misconception is that coaching is the same as therapy, when in fact they are quite different. Therapy is intended to help people recover from emotional or other psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety. Coaching, on the other hand, is intended to help normal, healthy individuals achieve personal goals such as increased happiness, weight loss, improved work-life balance. etc.
The table below shows a quick side-by-side comparison of coaching vs. therapy
Coaching and Therapy
|Client is emotionally and psychologically healthy||Client is emotionally unwell and in needs healing|
|Focuses on the present and future||Focuses on dealing with the past|
|Driven by goals and taking action||Driven by unresolved issues and feelings|
|Works toward a higher level of functioning||Works to achieve understanding and emotional healing|
|Results-based and focuses on exploring solutions||Explores the root of problems and offers explanation|
|Asks, “Where would you like to be and how can you get there?”||Asks, “How did that make you feel?”|
|Acts on information||Absorbs information|
|Done over the phone, internet or in person||Done in an office setting|
|Coach and client collaborate on solutions||Therapist is the ‘expert’|
|Contact between sessions expected (accountability and wins)||Contact between sessions for crisis and difficulties only|