What Is Life Coaching And How Can It Help Me?

What Is Life Coaching And How Can It Help Me?

Coaching is a relationship-based process that helps people achieve their personal and professional goals faster and with more ease than would otherwise be possible. The primary role of a Coach is to support clients in defining goals, identifying and avoiding roadblocks, and creating action plans based on each client’s individual skills, resources, creativity, and wisdom. Coaches provide structure, support, and feedback to help clients gain greater self-awareness and take measurable action toward the realization of their visions, goals, and dreams. Through a process of inquiry and accountability, coaching empowers individuals to question closely held thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that may previously have kept them from reaching their full potential. Coaches are trained to listen and observe without judgment, and to encourage their clients to discover their own answers.

How is Coaching Different from Therapy?

Therapy generally addresses emotions, behavior, and disruptive situations by examining the past and asking why a client feels or behaves a certain way. The primary focus is on healing – bringing the client to normal function by correcting dysfunction. Coaching, on the other hand, focuses on moving toward higher function in life by identifying and removing self-imposed limits. The primary focus is on taking action in the present to move forward. Instead of asking why, coaches encourage clients to ask what and how. What might success look like? What can I do right now to move myself toward achieving my goals? How do I experience life, and how do I want to be in my life?
Coaching is not a substitute for therapy; however, it can be an excellent complement to many kinds of therapy, and both coaches and therapists should be encouraged to work together to ensure that a client’s needs are being met in the best way possible.

Finding a Coach

As mentioned earlier, there is currently no licensing mechanism for coaches. However, professional coaches take their responsibilities very seriously and want to ensure that clients get the best service possible. To that end, the International Coach Federation (ICF) was founded to build, support, and preserve the integrity of the Coaching profession through programs and standards supported by its members. Participating coaches agree to abide by a powerful code of ethics, and those who become accredited by the ICF must go through rigorous training, pass a comprehensive exam, and demonstrate expertise in all aspects of coaching. In order to maintain their credentials, coaches participate in continuing education, much as therapists and lawyer do. The ICF (http://www.coachfederation.org) is the largest worldwide resource for business and personal coaches, and maintains a database of member coaches for those who are seeking a coach. Local ICF chapters frequently offer additional information about member coaches. And finally, coaching academies around the world often provide information on their graduates.

Finding a coach is only the first step, however. Since the relationship between coach and client is of an intimate and ongoing nature, clients may want to interview several coaches to find the one that is right for their specific needs and personality style. Ask the coach if s/he is a member of the ICF, where s/he went to school, and what accreditations or certifications s/he has. Most importantly, ask about the coach’s experience – there are many outstanding coaches who have not gone through an ICF-certified program but have years of experience that uniquely qualify them as coaches.

Getting the Most from a Coaching Relationship

The degree of success of a coaching relationship depends largely on the client; finding a qualified coach is only part of the equation. Successful clients prepare for their coaching experiences in advance. They show up ready to explore all possibilities. They are open and receptive to the coaching, and understand that powerful coaching can come from anything around them. Successful clients listen with an open heart and mind. They are open and truthful with their coaches (it is better to disclose too much than too little), and they speak up about concerns or questions they may have. And they see that holding the coaching relationship as a critical factor in their success can impact how effective they are being in their lives.

Source by Joanne Sperans Hartzell
#Life #Coaching life coach

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