Before You Become a Coach….

Before you can become a life coach, you need to know what coaching is and where it comes from.

If you’ve looked at various sites on personal or life coaching, you’ve probably noticed that their definitions of coaching vary.  There isn’t a standard definition.

Before an attempt is made to define coaching, let’s start with a bit of history.

Personal or life coaching has sprung from a handful of related yet distinct fields.  These include sports, psychology, and personal development.  (See this blog post for info on the 175 key influencers of the profession of coaching.)

In addition, there are two philosophies about how to ‘do’ coaching.  The first group believes that the client has the answers so the coach just needs to ask questions and voice observations.  The second group blends the above along with mentoring and consulting techniques such as sharing steps or processes that work to achieve the end result wanted.

So, what’s the answer?  What is coaching?

According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), the definition of coaching is:

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Now that we know what coaching is, why do people hire coaches?

Why Do People Hire a Coach?

People hire coaches for a variety of reasons.  Here are a few:

  • to become more effective in organization and time management;
  • to decrease stress and increase balance in their life;
  • for support and guidance through a career transition;
  • to find their passion and start living it;
  • to make their life even better;
  • for support in starting a business;
  • and many other reasons.

Basically, they have a result they want to achieve and they know they can get there faster with the support of a coach.

You may be thinking, ‘I could get a friend to help me with that.’  The drawback is a friend may not be as blunt with you as a coach as they don’t want to risk losing their friendship with you.  Plus many professional coaches have invested time and money in coach training programs and are trained to ask powerful questions and to listen.

While talking with a friend may be cheaper than the $200-400+ monthly fee a typical life coach charges, the latter is more likely to support you to achieve the results you’re looking for.

To really understand and get what personal coaching is all about, you need to experience coaching.  How can you become a life coach if you’ve never experienced it?