THINKING ABOUT BECOMING A LIFE COACH?
Life coaching involves assisting the client set personal and professional goals and establishing a workable strategy to attain them within a given time frame. For clients, a life coach can provide a life-changing experience, an invaluable opportunity to take control over their lives and fulfil their dreams.
Like the coach of elite athletes, the life coach is results oriented, and his or her main tasks are to help clients recognise, overcome or remove barriers to personal growth and development, and develop strategies for achieving goals that will enable the individual to develop his or her full potential. Again like the sports coach, the life coach will be required to accurately assess the client’s aptitudes, strengths, weaknesses, needs and goals in order to arrive at a program that is specifically tailored to that individual. Unlike a sports coach, however, life coaches may also have to manage clients’ reluctance, lack of motivation, inaccurate perceptions and other psychological barriers to effective self-management. Life coaching is primarily about helping clients develop the skills and attitudes that will enable them to manage themselves and their own lives.
People may contact a life coach for very different reasons: to help them make better financial or career decisions; to get them motivated; to help them overcome feelings of frustration, helplessness, or lack of confidence; to help them manage personal relationships; to help them develop practical life skills. However, the reasons for contacting a life coach may not be the primary issues that are causing the client distress or dissatisfaction, and much of the life coach’s work will be to lead the client on a journey of self-discovery.
Like all inner journeys, life coaching must begin with the client’s present situation and the many internal and external influences upon it. Life coaching begins with working with the client to understand where the person is at, psychologically, physically, financially and interpersonally. Only after obtaining a more accurate, clear picture of the client’s Present can both client and life coach identify elements in the client’s Past that may be hindering growth in any particular area, and plan strategies for the client’s Future that will encourage and nurture progress.
Some areas in which a life coach may be asked to provide assistance and support are:
Because every client is different, and no life coach can be everything to everybody, many life coaches will develop special areas of expertise and refer clients needing assistance in other areas to experts in those areas. For instance, clients who appear to have psychological disorders such as depression may be referred to a counsellor, while the life coach may refer a client needing sound nutritional advice to a nutritionist. This does not in any way diminish the role of the life coach, and will, in fact, ensure that the client receives the best possible assistance in all matters.
Therefore, a life coach may either choose to develop his or her expertise in several areas, such as finances, careers counselling, relationships counselling or health and fitness leadership, or focus on a motivational and supporting role as he or she helps the client identify and overcome existing barriers to personal development and success. In the end, however, life coaching is also a learning experience for the coach, and sensitive, responsive life coaches will gradually develop an approach and an orientation that is most relevant and useful to both them and their clients.
Where does a life coach work?
This may vary. A life coach may work as a freelancer, setting up their own business, obtaining their own clients. Or they may work within an organization. This will really depend on the life coach and how they want to proceed.
Again, this will vary depending on where and how the life coach works. They may charge an hourly rate for seeing a client. This will vary also.
Advantages Of Life Coaching
The life coach will be working with people, supporting and encouraging them to fulfil their dreams. This can be a rewarding experience.
You may be able to set your own hours, remuneration and location of work.
Disadvantages of Life Coaching
You may have to work unsocial hours to fit in with clients who work.
Your pay may vary depending on the number of clients and hours worked.
Some clients may experience psychological blockages and be difficult to work with. This will require time and patience.
Clients who do not really WANT to change may drop out quickly, even when the life coach has offered a lot of support and encouragement.
www.acsedu.co.uk for a range of life coaching and psychology courses.
The Assiciation of Coaching (UK)
ACS is now an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching
If this is a field you are interested in and doing some studies for, it’s well worth looking into joining as a student member.
Check out their web site: