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:
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.
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.
To be a life coach you should:
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
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.
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