When I tell people that I’m a professional coach I get strange looks and varied responses. Everything from “I didn’t know you were into fitness” to loud guffaws followed by “oh you shouldn’t say you’re a life coach”. Neither of these responses reflects an understanding of the coaching profession; so if you find yourself wondering what it’s all about, keep reading.
There are various coaching specialties, and nearly each coach has their own niche, but in general, the goal of coaching is to create the time and space for personal growth and client initiated change.
Coaching is an interactive, self-improvement tool in which you can rely on your coach to guide you as you examine your status quo and limiting beliefs, increase your capacity for authenticity, and make conscious changes towards progress.
A professional coach honors you as the expert in your life and believes that you are creative, resourceful and whole. This means that each coaching relationship will be different as the coach works with and honors the uniqueness of each client. Working with a coach allows you to be non-judgmentally seen and heard by another person, setting a strong foundation for you to explore and co-create without the typical pressures you may encounter in your other support networks.
Coaching is typically temporary, with engagements lasting a year or less and on average, clients meet with their coach two to three times a month throughout the course of the coaching relationship. During these sessions coaches utilize tools and assessments as well as ask thought provoking questions to help clients determine their path forward.
The cynics out there may worry that coaching is just another scam, and while the coaching profession is not regulated, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) provides guidelines, accountability and enforceable standards of conduct for ICF members. In order to be a member of ICF, coaches have gone through considerable education and training. If you find yourself worrying about the legitimacy of working with a coach, finding one associated with ICF is a great place to start.
Working with a coach takes time, money and emotional effort. It’s not easy and it’s not magical. It can however be an amazing catalyst toward living the life you envision.
Next week I’ll delve more into why working with a coach is a good investment and what it’s like to work with me. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss it!