Consider for a moment: would there be value in hiring someone as a strategic partner if that person has limited experience in life? Would an individual who is just beginning to experience the myriad of challenges and achievements in life be in a position to understand someone who has moved beyond the earlier phases in life and is facing new challenges? Life experience creates understanding, perspective, and wisdom.
Coaching is a profession that attracts people interested in helping others and making a difference. Because many are passionate about this desire, they believe they can do it; sometimes this is true and other times a client would be best served by a coach with more life experience. An excellent coach recognizes when their life experience meets the need of a client and when to refer a client to a different coach.
When initially discussing coaching, an excellent coach asks the client about their interests and what they want from the coaching process. The excellent coach may explore specific needs and wants of the client from a coaching relationship. The purpose is clarity for the client and an opportunity for the coach to identify whether they are appropriate for the client.
Delving deeper in to the concept of life experience is specific types of experience. For example, many life coaches work with clients going through a divorce, dealing with grief, or managing ADHD. Experience in the specific areas a client is moving through ensures the client feels heard and understood. A coach without experience is unprepared to serve the client.
An excellent coach is aware of their level of expertise and where appropriate refers the client to a coach that is an excellent match.