Fequently Asked Questions about Life Coaching

What is life coaching/personal coaching?

Life coaching is directed towards moving forward, change, improvements and results.  Your coach is skilled at getting the best from you, helping you discover your own best answers, tapping into your own internal motivation, getting you in touch with what matters most to you, and encouraging you to feel great about taking action.  Your coach also adds energy to the process and your life by their own enthusiasm and belief in you and what you can accomplish.   Coaching is all about you and your goals. People who look for coaches come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have in common a desire to achieve more in their personal or professional lives. Whether you’re a college student looking to improve your grades, or an aspiring artist trying to make your mark in the art world, you’ll benefit from having a coach by your side to help you see turn your vision into reality.

How does life coaching work and do I have to choose a coach who lives close to me?

Most coaching is conducted over the phone or the internet. And because getting the right “fit” is so important in finding the right coach, we strongly encourage you to find the coach whose training, experience, and background closely match with your specific goals. This might be someone who lives in your city, but may also be someone in a different town. Remember, it’s finding the right coach, not the closest coach, that matters.  Again, the geographical location of the client and the coach doesn’t matter…Allowing the most beneficial match possible to be the top consideration; people tend to be a more honest and open with the sense of anonymity on the phone; and no special trips are needed out of the house – Saves time, money and gasoline!

The coach and client usually talk weekly, 4 times a month.  In the calls you talk about what has went well and what hasn’t, if you accomplished your specific goals for that week, and what the next steps are.  Throughout this process, the coach is asking powerful questions that help you access your best information, talents, emotions and self.  The coach also provides support, objectivity, structure, energy, positivity, insight and technology (tools).

Between calls, you will have steps to take in your own life, and/or exercises to complete that help you learn more about yourself.  You can also usually talk to your coach on email to make sure you are staying on target.

Coaching is sort of like a partnership, where you work together intensely and powerfully on your life!

What is appropriate to talk about in coaching?

Some people will want to focus just on the issue at hand, for example, finding a career, improving a relationship, etc.  However, coaching recognizes that you are a whole person!  Your whole life is a system, in which each aspect affects every other.  How are you going to make a good decision about your career future if you hate your home environment?  How are you going to improve your relationship if you are completely stressed out about money?  So, as much as you are comfortable, your coach will encourage you to consider your whole life:  Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual (connection to something larger than yourself), health, environment, relationships, work/career, finances, etc.  Of course, if anything is off limits, just let your coach know!  Usually you will set the ground rules early in your sessions.

How is life coaching different from counseling and psychotherapy?

Life coaching deals with the present and future. It does not examine the past but instead creates your future. Counseling and psychotherapy usually deal with problems and healing and entails working with the past as well as the present. Therapy is intended to help people overcome emotional or psychological disorders. Coaching, on the other hand, is intended to help normal, healthy individuals achieve greater success, happiness, and wellbeing in their lives. We strongly advise you to seek professional advice from a licensed therapist if you have any concerns or doubts about your psychological health.  Moreover, life coaching is not considered a mental health service per se and as such is not reimbursable by health insurance.

How is personal life coaching different from consulting?

As a personal life coach, I help you find your own answers. People are more likely to take action if it is something they themselves have come up with and not been told to do. A consultant is an expert who dispenses advice and has all the answers. I do not give advice per se but do problem-solve and brainstorm with you.

Does life coaching focus on work or personal issues?

The life coaching that I provide is very holistic in that the person’s entire life is considered grist for the coaching mill. Different parts of people’s lives that might be worked on are: career, health/wellness, money, spiritual development, home, family, friends, fun/recreation, etc. Coaching helps you bring balance and satisfaction to all of the various parts of your life.

How long will I need to work with a coach?

It depends on where you are, where you want to go, and how quickly you want to get there. Some clients are able to achieve their goals in as little as one to three months. Most often, clients stay with a coach anywhere from six to eighteen months. After clients realise their first goals, they often identify other areas they want to work on. The coaching relationship continues as long as there is benefit to the client.

It is important to remember that many coaching techniques and processes can be learned and practiced on your own. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, a good coach’s goal should be to reduce your dependency on them as soon as possible – that shows you’re becoming more resourceful and that you’re learning to more effectively deal with new situations as they arise.

Is coaching appropriate for me?

If you want a change of some sort – whether it is changing or creating a habit or behavior, improving your work-life balance, changing your career, improving your relationships, being more creative at work etc – AND you are ready to take steps to achieve it, then you will benefit from having a coach.

If you are looking for somewhere to simply vent about your past or your circumstances then you will likely waste your money on a coach.

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