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How to become a Life Coach

What does a Life Coach do?

Life coaches (or personal coaches) enable individuals to realise their aims, fulfil their potential and become successful. Originating in the US about ten years ago, it is an emerging discipline in the UK.

Life coaches help clients translate their thoughts into actions through support, structure and encouragement. Using listening and questioning techniques, they build trust and explore clients’ values. Clients are then able to discover and establish their life goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.

Coaches work cooperatively with their clients to find solutions and strategies to overcome the obstacles and barriers they face in turning their dreams into reality. Life coaches work with techniques like:
  • goal setting
  • action planning eg, a route to achieving a goal
  • targeting eg, dealing with self- confidence first
  • positive feedback
  • tests and evaluations
  • role plays that help clients prioritise and focus.

Life coaches do not let their own judgements influence sessions, and allow clients to make their own decisions about how they want to live their life. They believe that clients have the intelligence and resources to achieve any aim they choose. Under some circumstances, they may challenge the client’s assumptions through constructive feedback.

Coaches may specialise in a niche area, like executive and business coaching, relationships, work-life balance, life transitions, or spiritual coaching.

What's the working environment like working as a Life Coach?

Life coaches have no set, required hours and are able to design their own working day. They would normally work from home or an office.

Life coaches work in sessions that usually last about 40-45 minutes but these are negotiable with the client. Sessions can be conducted face to face, over the phone or online. Preparation and review is required for each session. Some coaches may deliver short bursts of coaching lasting 10-15 minutes, focusing on clarifying a specific problem; this is known as ‘laser’ coaching.

Life coaching can be seen as portfolio skill that can be used by supervisors or personnel managers, as an added part of their job.

What does it take to become a Life Coach?

To be a life coach you should:

  • be positive and encouraging
  • have an interest in motivational and psychological techniques
  • have excellent questioning and listening skills
  • be able to build rapport and trust with clients
  • have a non- judgemental approach
  • be impartial and non- directional
  • have the ability to solve problems with clarity
  • be able to maintain confidentiality
  • be a good role model.

Life Coach Career Opportunities

Life coaches are usually self-employed and will need to develop their businesses through networking, marketing and reputation. Some coaching organisations will offer assistance in making members’ businesses more successful.

Some coaches work with new media offering tele-classes (through video conferencing) and e-coaching. Corporate clients are often the most lucrative. Coaches may offer ‘laser coaching’ to senior managers to help them unravel confusion and find focus.

Life coaches can move into consultancy; helping organisations identify problems, generate ideas and set targets.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Life Coach that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

UK International Coach Federation
Tel: 0870 751 8823
www.coachfederation.org.uk

Coaching and Mentoring Network
PO Box 5551
Newbury
Berks
RG20 7WB
Tel: 0870 733 3313
www.coachingnetwork.org.uk

Association for Coaching
66 Church Road
London
W7 1LB
Tel: 020 8566 2400
www.associationforcoaching.com

The European Mentoring and Coaching Council
7 Oxhey Road
Watford
WD19 4QF
Tel: 07000 234683
www.emccouncil.org

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
151 The Broadway
London
SW19 1JQ
Tel: 020 8612 6200
www.cipd.co.uk

Courses to help you become a Life Coach