For those of you unsure about what life and business coaching is–wondering whether or not it’s something for you–here’s a simple breakdown that will help. I’ve written this three part series about Professional Life + Business Coaching because although the personal coaching industry has been around for over 30 years now, it’s still a new concept to a lot of people. This week, we’ll take a look at what Life and Business Coaching is, and next week we’ll talk about what it’s not. Finally, in week three, we’ll examine why coaching works.
By far, the most common question I hear is, “What is it?”
In fact, I didn’t know much about coaching myself until I started acquiring a number of coaches as clients in my design and development work over the years. Through working with these coaches, I learned about the industry and became more and more interested in transitioning into the profession myself. I even ended up hiring a few coaches of my own, from a business coach to a health and nutrition coach. Having my own coaches really confirmed my desire to become a coach because of the positive impact it’s had in my own business and life. I knew I wanted to be able help others in the same way.
In reality, personal coaching isn’t new at all. People have surrounded themselves with all kinds of advisors and accountability partners since the dawn of human interaction–but personal coaching as a recognized professional industry has developed into something different–complete with a professional code of ethics established by the International Coaching Federation. And although the industry is still new, it’s growing rapidly because the evidence for its effectiveness has is indisputable. By 2011, Harvard Business Review reported that coaching had already emerged as a $1 billion/year industry. So while not everyone is clear on what professional coaching is, these numbers reflect there are plenty of people who are familiar with the benefits of working with a skilled coach.
Just like any profession, there are personal and business coaches who do a great job, and have or are pursuing education, training, and recognized industry credentials, as well as those who call themselves coaches (but have no training). There are also differing levels of experience. There are coaches who specialize in business, leadership, nutrition, exercise, skills development, relationships, work/life balance, finances, personal development, parenting, faith, and all areas between.
In short, coaches use their skills to help their clients:
- identify their goals,
- uncover the obstacles keeping them from reaching their goals,
- create an action plan to overcome these obstacles,
- and hold them accountable along the way toward reaching their goals.
A good coach helps people overcome limiting habits and mindsets, so they can make positive, lasting change in their business and life.
Another way to explain coaching is to list key things to look for in a good coach:
A Good Coach:
…is trained to listen carefully and ask powerful questions–questions that lead to those “aha” realizations that help you clearly identify your goals, dreams, purpose, and obstacles. Your coach helps you gain clarity on your values (over what others say your values should be) and assists you in identifying and aligning your values and purpose.
…is skilled in helping you create a pro-active, doable, and scaleable action plan, so you can overcome obstacles and begin reaching your goals. Your coach helps you see your potential, possibilities instead of obstacles, and helps you clear the way to get excited about your life.
…walks alongside you, without judgement, and helps you keep your eye on the prize (the vision, goals, dreams you’ve identified through working together). Your coach keeps you accountable, and helps you stay focused on your goals even when the going gets difficult and you feel like throwing in the towel.
…is able to help you identify resources to help you upgrade skills you might need to gain in order to reach your goals. Your coach helps you make sure you have the foundation you need to reach your goals, and works to empower you to succeed on your own.
…doesn’t get their personal needs met by you, and has no agenda where your journey is concerned. Your coach genuinely wants to help you in a way that works best with your personality and nature.
…understands she isn’t the expert when it comes to you; YOU are.
…has experience in what you want help with–she’s accomplished what you want to accomplish, and can give you valuable insight. Your coach can question you about things someone without experience wouldn’t think to ask. Sometimes a coach without this type of experience can still be helpful, but in most cases, someone who’s “been-there-done-that” will be better able to help you get where you want to go than someone lacking that insight.
…is someone you have a good rapport with, and with whom you share common values. I’m a Christian Life and Business Coach. That means for me, it’s impossible to ignore the work of God in the lives of my clients, or keep faith out of the coaching conversation. That’s important for my clients to know, so they can determine whether or not I’m the right kind of coach to help them determine their purpose, discover their worth, and reach their goals and dreams–in light of what God is up to in their lives.
Coaches come from every walk of life, so if the first coach you encounter isn’t a good fit, find another one and don’t give up until you’ve found the one that’s right for you.
There you have it! Now you know what life and business coaching is about. Next week, I’ll write about what life and business coaching is not. And finally, we’ll take a look at why life and business coaching really works.
Is Coaching a Good Fit for You?
If you’re ready to make a change in your life and/or business, but find yourself getting stuck, life and business coaching can help. Are you ready to learn how coaching can help you overcome obstacles and start getting the results you want? Schedule an introductory phone call with me and let’s chat!
Are you ready to Strength Train Your Mind, Body, and Spirit? Schedule your I’m Ready for MORE Breakthrough Coaching Session with me and Let’s GO!
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