Personal coaching – or ‘life coaching’ as it is commonly described and promoted – is a recent area of learning and development, and one of the best ways that you can promote yourself, and build a career utilizing your own personal qualifications and expertise.
Life coaching can be effective in many situations, for example in helping a person’s career direction and development, or for personal fulfillment or life change more generally.
In recent years a big industry has grown under the heading of ‘life coaching’. For this reason the term ‘life coaching’ appears widely in related marketing and publicity, which can create a perception that ‘life coaching’ is in some way quite different from other forms of personal coaching. In fact the term ‘personal coaching’ can be equally descriptive of what ‘life coaching’ entails: many personal coaches have capabilities which match those of ‘life coaches’, and many clients of personal coaches experience exactly the same coaching effects as in the ‘life coaching’ industry.
Therefore in this article, the terms ‘life coaching’ and ‘personal coaching’ are inter-changeable, and mean the same.
Life coaching/personal coaching is interesting from the standpoint of being coached, and also becoming a coach. This article aims to cover both angles.
People use life coaches and personal coaches for various reasons, for example:
- As sounding board
- For career help and career direction
Coaching is about getting the very best out of someone and enabling them to make decisions that will improve their life. Coaches are hired for very many different and diverse reasons, for example: to climb the career ladder faster; to feel more fulfilled at work; to improve relationships with family and partners; to learn parenting skills that benefit both the child and parent; to gain a spiritual meaning to life, or a desire to ‘get sorted’.
The profession is growing and coaching is becoming widely acknowledged because people realise just how effective it is. Coaching is a relatively new and different profession – different to psychology, counselling or therapy. The big difference between coaching and these professions is that coaching doesn’t claim to have the answers. A coach’s job is not to go over old ground, be past-orientated or to force-feed information, but to work with clients to help them find the answers themselves.
Also, when a person experiences being coached, their motivation comes from working with a coach who is him/herself an upbeat, positive role model. In this way coaching is a unique way of developing people. Coaches agree that helping clients to reach their full potential through this approach produces great satisfaction.
5 Reasons People Become A Coach
Many people enter the life coaching profession having been coached first, enjoying and benefiting from the experience, and feeling inspired to help others in a similar manner.
Life coaching offers a potentially rewarding additional or alternative career to many types of people
Whatever the reason people decide to work with coaches; whatever the type of coaching given, and whatever results clients seek from coaching, a common feature in all coaching relationship is that coaching is a two-way process.
Both coach and client benefit. Personal development for the coach is a huge aspect of learning coaching and all coaches find that they themselves grow before starting to help others to do the same.
An excellent coach finds out new things about themselves and is on a continuous learning journey. Becoming a coach means a lifelong quest for personal excellence. For many this quest is the motivation to become a coach in the first place.
Great coaches are never motivated entirely by money. The very nature of coaching means that it’s a profession that is built around ‘making a difference’ and helping people. Focusing mainly on making money generally leads to a lack of concern for the client, with the result that the client exits the relationship. Happily, coaches who enter the profession chiefly for financial gain leave coaching quickly – which helps to maintain the integrity of the coaching professional reputation.
Common factors and reasons for coaches entering the profession:
- they like people and want to bring out the best in them
- they want to do something more fulfilling in their lives
- they want personal and financial freedom
- their own family, friends and colleagues previously turned to them for advice and help – they have natural ‘people’ skills.
Coaching entails helping yourself grow and become more self-aware, whilst helping others to overcome problems in their lives.
How life coaching and personal coaching typically operate
Interestingly, most life coaching and personal coaching is conducted on the telephone. Many coaches never actually meet their clients. For several reasons coaching is just as effective over the telephone as it is face-to-face. In fact, many clients prefer to speak over the telephone. This makes the process very convenient for both coach and client, and it offers greater flexibility for people with a busy lifestyle. Coaching using the telephone offers other obvious advantages:
- coaching can be conducted wherever coach and client happen to be – anywhere in the world
- there’s no traveling time or cost involved
- since little preparation needs to be done, telephone coaching sessions can be arranged with minimum prior notice
- coaches do not need offices, meeting rooms, staff or other expensive overheads
A coaching session is typically thirty minutes and rarely longer than an hour.
Benefits of a career in coaching
1. Being an entrepreneur has its advantages in any area of business. Having the luxury to choose the hours you work, where you work and how much to charge for your service is a huge motivation for anyone considering joining the profession.
2. Coaches can choose how many clients they want – one client, or twenty.
3. No overheads involved – working from home is a big incentive for people who want to enter the coaching profession.
4. Flexibility of the coaching role, along with the rewarding aspects of the job, is likely to ensure that coaching and the number of practicing coaches grows considerably in coming years.
5. Coaching, as well as being hugely satisfying, a means of personal development and very flexible, is also financially rewarding. Clients value and benefit from the support and are therefore happy to pay for it.
Your benefits as a Professional Coach
- Accelerated personal growth and understanding of self
- Lifelong journey of personal excellence and knowledge
- The ability to enhance any job-role in any organization and industry – coaching brings out the best in people and motivates them to be the very best in whatever they do – in all manner of jobs and careers
- More options in life – important and rare choices of when to work and with whom
What else can compare to really making a difference in another person’s life? As a Professional Coach you have the ability to help people make lasting, positive changes in their lives.
I will be exploring more about a career in coaching so stay tuned.
Success and Happiness to YOU 🙂