Life coaching is the term given to someone who delivers coaching services on different aspects of someone’s life. A person will seek the services of a life coach to help them discover problems, identify goals, establish a plan of action in many different areas of their life. The life coach will then keep the client accountable to the plan and guide them through their journey! These main areas of life coaching are:
Whether you NEED help in one area of your life, or many – a life coach will help you evaluate your life and break down each area of your life to discover which areas you are stuck in – or need to improve. A life coach works with their clients to ascertain these areas of improvement using specialist Q&A and to get to the ‘root’ problems that are causing roadblocks, unfulfillment and uncertainty.
Do you have areas of your life that don’t feel right? Do you have areas of your life where you feel stuck? If so, you may NEED the services of a life coach!
A life coach will work with a client and ascertain the many areas that the client needs help with. Using many different tools the life coach will use a variety of tools, methods and exercises to help evaluate a person’s problems, create and set goals, and work towards mini-goals or ‘to-do’s’ so that the path to achieving the goal is clear, with purpose and clarity.
A life coach will perform an initial assessment of the client. This may be done on the phone, or in-person or both. To really get to the ‘core’ areas of a person’s need to change – a life coach will use different techniques and resources which may include the following:
Once the initial assessment has been done. A life coach will use Q&A to narrow down what area of a person’s life need to have immediate focus. Once agreed on the area(s) with the client, the life coach will work with the client and do a deep analysis of core problems, mental roadblocks, false beliefs and values. Once this has been achieved, a life coach will explore the ‘deeper’ root cause of limiting beliefs using different techniques such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming).
NB: Not all life coaches have training or expertise with NLP. Make sure you research whether you want your life coach to have this specific knowledge and training.
There are many areas of improvement needed in many people’s lives. Our own lives are vast, complicated and busy! Who doesn’t want to improve something? Once a coach and coachee have discovered specific areas of improvement, some of these areas NEED to be chosen first to allow work to commence.
It is not wise to try and tackle everything all at once. Very often, with the use of the SOD scale, a life coach can pinpoint the obvious areas causing the most distress. And identify areas of work which will have the most impact on that person’s life, both in the short-term and long-term.
A good life coach will help a client get clarity! Very often coachees (clients) are NOT clear on what they want, or why they want to change or improve a certain area of life. Using several resources and techniques a life coach will help the client get a clear vision and perspective on their problems. These problems bring clarity and sometimes clarity is all that is NEEDED for change to happen!
Once obvious areas of work have been identified – an NLP practitioner /life coach will conduct a thorough assessment of any roadblocks that you may have. Roadblocks hold people back in many areas of life. Throughout life, people’s minds are being programmed by other people’s beliefs, opinions and values. These beliefs that are installed in us may be the exact reason why people find they hit a roadblock in life and can’t get past certain issues that have been hard-wired into the subconscious mind.
An NLP practitioner (practitioner or master practitioner) will work with a client to help reprogram a person’s subconscious mind using a variety of tools and resources. These techniques help to alleviate or eradicate limiting beliefs and habits that hold clients back. Some of the popular techniques used are:
In order for a client to prosper and to make break-throughs it is important for the client to have an awareness of their beliefs and values. Sometimes, it is common for people to not really understand why they think in a certain way, or why they behave in a certain way.
Very often, whether positive or negative, a person’s belief can impact their life drastically. When a client has an awareness of a limiting belief or a positive belief – changes can start to happen that will help the client improve areas of their life that are holding them back.
Where an installed belief is present – recognising it positively will reinforce the NEED to continue to manifest this belief when trying to improve other areas. A life coach will help the client to recognise and strengthen positive beliefs, or reprogram negative ones. This is best done by an NLP life coach as they have training and skills that life coaches do not.
Once awareness has been brought to light – the work to realign a client’s limiting beliefs/negative beliefs can begin to manifest! Whether the practitioner (NLP) or life coach uses the above techniques or other popular techniques. Together – the life coach and client will work to reprogram the mind to alleviate or delete the non-helpful beliefs.
Once the work on limiting beliefs has happened – the NEW work for change can start to happen. Together – a life coach and a client will agree on new beliefs and understand how the new beliefs will serve the client positively and help them with their identified areas of improvement. This will be done in many ways.
An NLP practitioner life coach may use some of the following common exercises/ techniques to help align ‘new’ beliefs and values within a client.
A good life coach will help a client strengthen their WHY and their purpose for wanting to make changes and improve their life. The WHY aspect is the human driver for change. The WHY is the motivation that comes from the client to make changes within their own life.
A life coach will help the client discover/strengthen their purpose. The purpose is very different from the WHY. The purpose focuses on the outcome of what needs to happen/change, the WHY enforces the motivation of taking action!
For example, a client wants to lose weight and get healthy. This is not very specific. But if the client says: ” I want to lose 2 stone in weight, and run a half marathon.” This desire/need is more specific. The Purpose: the client wants to raise money for charity by running the marathon. The WHY: the client’s mother died of cancer – and they want to help find a cure for the disease so that other family members don’t have to go through what they did. An indirect purpose is to also become fit and healthy so that the client doesn’t die of cancer also. There are many examples. In this example, the client’s external purpose was to raise money for charity, and the internal purpose was to feed one of the human needs. Contribution.
As you can see a life coach’s role can be challenging. Expertise is needed sometimes to get to the ‘core’ the ‘nuts’ and ‘bolt’ of issues, problems etc. Understanding WHY something NEEDS to change reinforces someone’s purpose, their motivation and their willingness to be coachable, and to take the important steps needed for change and growth!
Once the WHY and PURPOSE have been discovered and aligned – the client is now able to start to set goals! Purpose focuses on outcomes, goals focus on mile markers along the way! A clear pathway needs to be made so that the client can take steps towards their outcomes.
Take the example above: These NEED to happen so that the client can achieve the outcomes. Outcomes = Run half marathon & to become fit and healthy.
Breakdown of goals into steps/actions:
Goal One – start a daily running journal, 100 metres, 250 metres, 500 metres, 1000 metres, one mile. Building up towards the first goal! Aim to run every other day for one week.
Goal Two – increase the frequency of running daily, run one mile every day for a week. Build up the duration until the five miles have been achieved.
This process will be continued until a point the client reaches the 4th goal. A life coach will work with the client to establish which route or ‘pathway’ is best for the client’s needs. For example, the client may prefer to start running on a treadmill or doesn’t have money for a gym membership. A life coach will utilise the client’s resources to help them achieve their goals.
One of the major beliefs of NLP is the ability that everyone has it within themselves to make the changes they desire. All of the tools and resources are within us already. A good life coach will help the client establish and reconnect with existing resources already available to the client. Resources include:
Time is a valuable resource that many people do NOT give enough credit to. Time is one of the most VALUABLE resources available to anyone. What we do with our time determines our life. Our perceptions of time also can impact how we use our time in our daily lives.
Procrastination can be one of the biggest negative components of wasting time and not being productive. Thoughts control our everyday lives, and thoughts control feelings, and feelings control our actions and our ‘mental states’.
A life coach will identify with the client ‘periods of time’ that the client can use or set-aside to help them achieve their goals. Here are some examples:
As you can see, there are many areas in which ‘time’ can be used as a resource. It is how we manage our time that matters!
A good life coach will help the client reflect on their current skill set. What skills the client has already, and what skills will need to be learnt! In the example of this blog post where the client wants to run a half marathon, the client may have the following skills:
Once the existing skills within the client have been agreed, it is then important to discuss areas of knowledge that the client will need to have, to have the best chance of achieving their goals. This could be:
Sometimes money is a problem for many people. People associate money as a problem and the sole reason why something can’t happen. A good life coach will encourage the client to view money positively and not negatively.
Yes, money does make life easier – but maybe in this example, TIME is a better resource than money! Of course, there are occasions where money may need to be sought! A life coach will help a client establish areas in which money can be gained. For example:
It’s ok not to have enough money – but it is about being proactive and NOT reactive to the use of money as a resource. Whatever your goals, money may NOT be the most useful resource. There are other solutions and pathways!
A life coach will help a client establish existing support networks readily available to them. This awareness is a useful resource as support is very important in one’s journey to self-improvement and achieving goals.
A person’s environment plays a huge part in a person’s ability to be productive, think positively and achieve desired outcomes. A good life coach will help a client to identify areas of their own environment which may be improved to help them achieve their goals. These environments include:
It is very important to have a clutter-free workspace and environment. Our external environment is a direct link to our internal state. Making our environment more organised can have a huge impact on our state of mind.
A good life coach will help the client find their existing resources and establish areas of gaining NEW resources to help them achieve their goals.
To find more time, the client will NEED to map out their week. And find out where time is wasted, how to add time and how to prioritise time away from other things.
To increase money, a client may need to change how they spend money, waste money, and prioritise what they spend money on. The coach will help the client look for ways to stop spending, save money and increase earnings.
Once the existing skills have been identified. A good life coach will work with the client to find new skills that will be needed in order to improve their knowledge base.
Once the existing skills have been identified a coach will work with the client to identify new areas for support for the client.
A good life coach will help a client improve their home environment to best help them to keep mentally strong and laser-sharp focused.
A good life coach will work with the client to establish mini actionable steps for change. Mini actions will help the client take small steps of victory towards their goals. These mini-steps can be short-term, mid-term and long-term changes that compound.
A good life coach will help a client with extra valuable resources that the client can take-away and use to help them on their journey. There are many useful resources that can help a client on their desired path. These may include:
A good life coach will work with the client and create a useful plan tailored to the best NEEDs of the client. Assessments are crucial and form part of the building blocks of self-improvement of one’s journey. Each assessment needs to be rated out of 10 at the start of a client’s journey and throughout their journey. There are many scales within the life coach sector but some of the common ones are:
A good life coach will work with the client and establish a clear structured pathway that suits both parties. Some people prefer email accountability, and some prefer 1-2-1 accountability services. There are many areas of a person’s life that may NEED attention. It is important to be realistic and use SMART goals and accountability of a client’s actions. A client uses the services of a coach that can keep them on track, and keep them motivated and moving forward.
There are many ways a coach can keep the client accountable, these include:
There are many ways a life coach can help a client to achieve their goals and win at all areas of life. Motivation is one of the biggest drivers – and sometimes using the services of a life coach can get you past the roadblocks of taking action. Sometimes it NEEDS someone outside of your life to be able to help you to move forward. A positive and encouraging life coach will stand by you and HELP you achieve your goals! Here are some of the ways a good life coach will help you win!
Life coaches come in many forms. In the UK there are NO formal qualifications needed to provide life coach services. The industry isn’t regulated in the UK. However, the industry is growing year-on-year. The NEED for a life coach’s services is growing in popularity all the time. But the sad truth is: anyone can say they are a life coach!
However, the good news is that there are many training establishments which offer life coaching training and some offer very good training. There are many types of qualifications, and many routes to becoming a trained life coach. Here are some of them.
There are many good life ‘experts’. These life coaches may be more life ‘mentors’ than life coaches, yet these types of individuals may identify themselves as being a life coach! Sometimes a life mentor may be the right person to support you. Proven life experience life coaches can often provide more compassion and empathy with their clients.
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Practitioners) is a specialist form of life coaching or addition to life coaching. NLP looks more at how individuals behaviour is determined by their map of the world. Using language, verbal, body and tone, and preferred language style – NLP practitioners are trained in reprogramming a client’s mind to best serve the client’s needs.
This is done through the understanding that everyone has the ability and tools within them already to make the changes needed. NLP assists the client to achieve outstanding results, and very often works alongside life coaching qualifications to enhance services overall. NLP is particularly good for clients if they have:
Hypnotherapists are therapists who help people overcome more significant trauma. Hypnotherapy uses the subconscious state to bypass the critical thinking brain that resists change. Hypnotherapy can help clients overcome the following:
Very often, hypnotherapists often double up and offer life coaching services to ‘add’ value to a client’s needs. Both elements can help a client get past certain issues and then move forward to better things.
Life coach training is often monitored and regulated by OfQual and many companies can offer these as professional qualifications even though the industry isn’t regulated. There are many companies that offer training programmes with a recognised qualification
There are many ‘cheap’ online courses that sell life coaching training. Although there are no formal qualifications, candidates will learn the basics of coaching and how to structure meetings. The training is basic, and very often not used with case examples. Udemy and Groupon all offer these types of courses.
There are many niches of life coaching. These include:
The above types of coaches are more specific and such ‘coaches’ have specific skills and education. For example, a fitness coach may be a personal trainer, and a nutrition coach may have a degree in nutrition. A relationship coach may be a best-selling author in relationships. Or a teen coach may have been a community worker who has helped inspire 100’s of young people. Sometimes, it’s NOT just the qualifications that count – it can be their background too!
What makes a good life coach means different things to different people. One of my personal beliefs on what makes a good life coach is someone who cares! Caring has got to be single-handedly the most important element in a person’s quest to find a GOOD life coach! There are many other traits a good life coach will have these include:
As you can see there are lots of traits of a GOOD life coach! All of these are important. However, it is one’s own judgement that makes the pre-requisites important to each individual’s needs. Rapport is massive! Rapport is probably the one determining factor which will make you want to sign-up to the services of a life coach. Here are some other traits of a good life coach.