There is some degree of confusion today as to what a life coach does. This month I will be sharing with you what a life coach actually does and how everyone can benefit from hiring a life coach. I thought the best way to go about it would be to tackle the 5 most common reactions that we life coaches get, when we tell someone that “I am a Life Coach”. Let us begin
- “Oh you are a Life Coach? – What a nice profession – simply give “Gyaan” to others and get paid for it!” – This a typical response which 8/10 life coaches get. Sad but true!
A life coach does not give “gyaan “or advice. Coaching is not instructional in nature. It is about exploring various options. In coaching, it is the client who comes up with his/her best action forward towards his/her goal. A coach enables a client to tap into his/her gyaan to come up with the perfect solutions to achieve their dreams – Let us confirm today that good coaches do not give “gyaan”!
- “ So you are like a shrink”
A life coach is not mental health professional who offers services to improve mental condition or treat mental illness – depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or an anxiety disorder. A life coach does not dive deeply into the past. Coaching is forward looking. It’s more about what is your next step to resolve the problem.Coaches are great listeners and hence can be easily confused with shrinks – Let us confirm today that they are not!
- “So, how is your consultancy business doing”
A consultant is a specialist in a particular field and offers expert advice – management, law, marketing, finance, education, advertising – the list is endless. A coach may or may not be an expert in your professional field but is an expert in coaching. A coach helps you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be – it could be any field. Coaches also have specialized niches where they love to operate depending on their experience and passion – weight loss, executive, relationship, wellness etc. A coach may have formal education in finance but he/she can coach client from other fields as a coach does not give advice – Let us confirm that a coaching is not consultancy!
- “At such a young age you are a life coach – are you saying that you know everything about life and have experienced all situations?”
When one is a Life Coach, it does not imply that he/she is above everyone else. He/She has mastered coaching and hence more often than not can coach himself/herself out of the problems he/she may be facing. Life Coaches also have coaches themselves. A 50 year old patient consults a 30 year old doctor, as the doctor is an expert in medicine. The 30 year old doctor will not have experienced a heart attack but treats heart patients. Similarly a life coach may not have experienced your situation and yet can coach you. In coaching all the focus is on what the client is experiencing and not what the coach has experienced – Let us confirm that coaching focuses on the client’s experience!
- “Are you saying coaching is like magic?”
Coaching journey is that of transformation where you leave behind or learn to deal with challenges that typically stop you from success. Coaching is action oriented and a coach makes you accountable (does not blame you!) for your actions. A coach facilitates inner dialogue for you to achieve your dreams. Coaching is as successful as the client wishes it to be – Let us confirm while coaching does not involve any magic pill, some clients after all the work do feel the process was magical!
To summarize – see the illustration below:
*The above example is to illustrate how a coach operates and in no way suggests that a coach is superior to other professionals.
Now that we know what a life coach does, who benefits from coaching? This will be answered in the next blog. In the meanwhile if there are questions about what a life coach does, do feel free to reach out to me.