You’ve probably heard the term before, but have you ever wondered what a life coach actually is?
Life Coach: “a person employed to help people attain their goals in life.”
That is the dictionary definition and it’s a fair and straightforward description. But how exactly does a life coach do that? Why would you want to work with a life coach? What is a life coach not?? Having worked as a life coach for nearly 15 years, this is my take on the question, and also description of a good life coach!
What is a good life coach?
- They listen to really hear what you’re saying. A good coach learns how to really listen. And not just listen to what you are saying, but listen and hear what you are not saying. And this is so important because we tend to tell ourselves stories about what we can and can’t do, what we want in life, we throw in a lot of ‘shoulds’ rather than ‘wants’ and we need to talk where someone listens and seeks out what we’re not saying or revealing, and hear the language we use and how we talk about ourselves. This kind of listening and subsequent questioning is what can lead to a breakthrough for the coaching client.
- Asks pertinent, searching questions. A great coach will ask some questions that blow your mind! That leads you to really think about your answers. To realise things about yourself, about the actions you take, about the actions you don’t take and the results or lack of results. They can encourage you to think outside the box, do things differently and move in the direction you really want. This can be life changing.
- Help you clarify what you want. Through this process of questions and thoughtful answers, a coach can help you understand what it is you really want. I’ve lost count of the amount of clients who came to me saying “I want xyz” to happen, only to realise after a couple of sessions they actually want abc!! This is a huge lightbulb moment and can open up all sorts of possibilities, shift mindsets, encourage some real progress, authenticity and joy.
- Help you overcome obstacles that seem to be in your way. We are masters of putting barriers and limits in our way. We will often say “I can’t do that because…” “I’m not good at…” “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…”!!!! The blocks we have are often false and need to be broken down. A great coach will recognise from your language where you are holding yourself back and they will encourage you to challenge your thoughts and speech and look at whether these things are actually true or just limiting beliefs. It’s amazing what you can achieve when the blocks are lifted!
- Gives you space to think and answer. Some of these big, huge questions may give you real pause for thought. You need time to think and work out your true response. When you’re working with a coach they will give you the time to think about it. If it’s overwhelming and you can’t work out the answer, they will find another question to help you get there.
- Gives you accountability. If you tend to have the ideas and know what you want to do but you don’t actually get on with it, but it’s the right thing, then perhaps you need some form of accountability. This is something you get from a good coach. The upcoming sessions with your coach will give you added momentum and a desire to be coming to your next session with some results – even if the result is that it didn’t go to plan! You’re making progress.
- Helps you build your sense of achievement and fulfilment. This link between coaching sessions leading to accountability, leading to action taking, leads to results. The more you see results, the more motivated and fulfilled you feel and the greater your sense of achievement. This can be a winning combination pushing you into a different space and helping you realise your true potential.
- Empowers you to know you know what to do next and to recognise your skills and strengths. Too many of us speak to ourselves negatively and highlight our perceived imperfections or gaps in knowledge. Working with a coach can allow you to really recognise what your strengths are and to draw on and highlight those. They will also boost your confidence when it comes to trusting your own instincts and decision making skills. Because they will never tell you what to do, they will empower you to uncover that for yourself.
And what is it not?
We can see from the above, how helpful a good life coach can be. But what is a good life coach not?
Quite simply, they are not an advice-giver. Working with a coach should not feel at any point like someone is telling you what to do. The role of a coach isn’t to give advice or to tell you what actions to take. The reason for this is that the decision a coach makes about your choices will not fit with your beliefs and therefore it won’t feel right and it won’t be empowering or motivating. That’s why a coach will lead you to work it out for yourself, because they know you have the answers!
Ultimately, working with a coach should give you what you need to start taking action and realising your goals. It is a fantastic opportunity to uncover what you really want, to discover your power and to feel your way into being authentically you!
If you’ve been considering working with a life coach, you can read more about our signature life coaching programme – The Success Mindset Programme – by clicking here. Then, if you would like to discuss how our life coaching practice works and most importantly, how it can work for you, get in touch to book a free, no obligation chat!