What Is Life Coaching?
Because the word “coaching” is mostly used in a sports related context where it entails the giving of instruction, the term “life coaching” has come to deal with a few misinterpretations. Coaching, as the term is most commonly used in the sports sector could rather be classified as “mentoring” which entails the giving of directive instruction. The term coach is actually derived from the Hungarian word “kocsi” which means carriage. Thus life coaching refers to the process of transporting people from where they are to where they want to be. Although life coaches can make use of different approaches and coaching styles that often involve some level of mentoring, life coaching is generally a more non-directive discipline. In other words, the aim of a life coach would not be to give you instruction on how to manage your life, but rather to help you in defining your own structure.
Professional coaches are focused on helping you design your own future and goals. Joseph Umidi says: “Coaches are change experts who help leaders take responsibility and act to maximize their own potential. Coaching is like having a personal trainer for every area of your life. Coaching is a dialogue, not a monologue.” Life coaching can be therapeutic, but the intention of this helping relationship differ from client to client based on their needs. A coach would be someone equipped with various skills and tools that can help his/her client develop a greater self-awareness and facilitate growth. Some characteristics of a good coach include:
- Great love for people
- Empathic listener
- Thought provoking
- Both accepting and challenging
Looking in the mirror
Life coaching is for the mind the equivalent that looking into the mirror is for the body. It is a journey of reflection and self discovery, but also a journey of growth and purpose. Life coaching helps one get perspective and thus empowers you to achieve your best. It involves a process where a coach gets to know the client and creates a deeper insight for the client into his/her own life. The life coaching process generally lasts anything from 6 – 12 months where the coach will work with the client towards the goals they have established. Life coaching can be beneficial in many areas of your life including:
- Passing through life’s stages(childhood, adulthood, marriage, parenting, retirement etc.)
- Career development
- and other
How has your life been effected by working with a coach? If you haven’t worked with a coach before, have you considered it yet?