People have often asked me, "so, what exactly is Life Coaching?" In this article, as a qualified coach of some experience, I'd like to share some of my views of the following: what co
aching means, what coaching can do, what you the client can expect from coaching and what will not be happening in your coaching sessions!
What is coaching?
Wikipedia refers to Life Coaching as follows,
'Life Coaching is a practice that helps people identify and achieve personal goals. Life coaches assist clients by using a variety of tools and techniques. Life coaching draws inspiration from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, positive adult development and career counselling.'
This is a start. Coaching is not a new practice. It has been around for centuries. Socrates - 'the father of Life Coaching', used a unique method of self-reflection with his students in Ancient Greece, which became known as the Socratic Method. Coaching is often said to overlay other similar disciplines: mentoring, counselling, consulting but it is much more than that with its unique behaviours and specific language.
What can coaching do?
Ultimately? Help you to start living the life you want to live...NOW. Coaching can bring a focus on to the three main areas that can benefit most from positive attention and adjustment: our thoughts, the words we use and our actions/behavioural patterns.
Through the use of coaching techniques such as curious questioning, you, the client will begin to see and to believe that positive change is really within your power.
It can ensure that you leave every session happier, more confident, more convinced that the gap is closing between where you are now and where you want to be.
What can you expect from your coach?
You can expect your coach to immediately set about building a positive and trustable relationship with you - providing an environment where you feel safe to share your best hopes and ambitions without any fear of criticism, judgment or blame. You will be truly heard.
Your coach will tailor each session to your individual needs and requirements whilst involving you, the client, directly in the shaping of them.
The work you do together will contribute to dismantling and clearing any blocks which, up until now, have prevented you from moving forward and making those desired changes. Your coach will encourage you to take full responsibility for your actions, your happiness and your future. Autonomy and fuller maturity are often the results of this work.
What will not be happening?
Good question! Don't expect your coach to do any of the following: give you advice, tell you what you do, provide the solutions for you, set you homework, criticise or judge your progress - or keep you coming back for years.
I'd like to share a short poem I wrote in connection with coaching, many years ago.
If I tell you what to do, how will you know that the answers are all within you?
If I describe your reality for you, will I not rob you of your uniqueness, your own experience?
If I only tell you how I did it and you copy me, how will you experience the learning journey for yourself, build up your own bank of self-esteem?
If I judge you, how will you be rid of labels and constructs that no longer fit you?
If I 'attach' to you so that we feel joined at the hip, how will you know where you end and I begin? How will you find your wings and fly?
Life Coach and Listener
Caroline Gibbs is an NCP (National Council of Therapists) registered Life Coach holding an EDI
qualification in Performance Coaching along with qualifications in Counselling Skills, Solution Focused
Thinking and Psychology. She is an entertaining speaker, and engages groups through her
energy, humour and insight.