What Is A Life Coach?
Life coaching is a relatively new career that has become very popular over the past 10 years. While it has it’s roots in mentoring, consulting, and career counseling, a life coach is not a consultant, therapist or counselor.
A life coach can work one-on-one with clients to help them get clear about their goals (what they want to accomplish), set specific goals and objectives, develop strategies and action plans, and take action. The life coach plays the role of a helpful guide, advisor or mentor depending on the needs of the client. Life coaches support personal growth, developing new habits, making specific behavior changes and providing support, encouragement and accountability to help clients perform at their best.
Some life coaches work with clients in person, but the vast majority of life coaches work with clients over the telephone, which makes it possible for life coaches to work with clients anywhere in the world.
Life coaches can also work in groups, where several clients participate in group coaching sessions and get the support, advice and accountability they need in a group setting.
Life coaches focus on future goals and new behaviors and not on past events. While learning from the past is important, it’s only done in the context of future goals and plans.
Through the life coaching process, life coaches can help clients set and achieve goals, overcome challenges and obstacles, and break through fears and limiting beliefs that may be holding a client back. The goal of coaching is to help clients perform at their peak and get what they want, not to tell clients what they should want. Coaching is not a substitute for therapy or counseling if that’s what the client needs.
Life coaching is currently not regulated in most places, so no degree, license, certification or formal training is required to become a life coach and start your own coaching practice (but make sure you check for any laws or regulations in your area). However, life coach training is certainly helpful and can speed up the process of becoming a good life coach.