What is life coaching?
Updated: Jan 26, 2019
In today's world there are numerous types of healing modalities, therapeutic interventions and personal growth guides it's difficult to know the difference between these choices and what best suits your unique need. The development of coaching has been influenced by many fields such as leadership studies, personal development and psychology. Unlike psychologists, coaches do not provide any therapy or treatment for clients. There are many different niches within the field of coaching including executive, career, wellness, business, relationship and life coaching. Life coaching is the broadest niche where all other niches can be coached while specifically identifying solutions, skills and attitudes that lead to self empowerment. The common thread between all of these niches is coaching uses a governing set of core competencies artfully woven through communication to help clients shift their perspective and discover new approaches to achieve their goals.
The International Coaching Federation is the world's largest leading global organization of professionally trained coaches and defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential." Within each coaching niche there are often specializations and even sub specialties that the coach may have personal experience or qualified training. The field has exploded in the last decade for a very important reason, it works. Coaching views the client as whole, perfect and complete, there isn't any healing necessary only alignment of thoughts and actions.
The structure of a coaching session begins with identifying what the client wants to accomplish and how they will measure success once they achieve their goal. The coach is supportive and encourages the client to express themselves fully while exploring their use of speech, tone of voice, body language, emotions, world perceptions and personal values. Active listening and presence facilitates a sense of trust that creates safety where the client experiences freedom to discuss vulnerable topics without judgement. Coaching allows the client to experiment with alternative viewpoints and possibilities of new ways of being that are needed to achieve and sustain success. Powerful questions in a session lead to self awareness and have the potential for new understanding that illuminate limited beliefs and what precise actions are necessary for transformation. The two underlying questions that influence the entire coaching session are " who are you? and "what do you want?" Life coaching is a process based on accountability, trust, acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm. The achievement of the individual goal directly impacts the entire collective. Coaching strives to cultivate a world where everyone wins.