Life Coach versus Executive Coach 1 of 3

The perception of a Life Coach is often mistaken as similar to a friend, mentor, or counselor. The perception of Executive Coach may be mistaken as a consultant, advisor, or mentor. Both Life and Executive Coaching are very different from the other fields. Consider how the perceptions develop, the actual process of coaching, and the difference in experience and effort between Life and Executive Coaching.

Because many people have a genuine desire to help others and because coaching is an uncontrolled industry, an abundance of “Life Coach” businesses are available to the public. The experience people have with these businesses influences the perception.

Sometimes the experience is great – the client served feels their coach did a great job. Sometimes these experiences are poor and the client gains a negative impression of coaching and shares those thoughts. Sometimes the process is counseling or mentoring rather than coaching which leads to a distorted impression. When the coach is trained in a good program, the coach empowers the client to explore their goals and move towards creating what the client wants in their life.

Because consultants and advisors provide valuable experience and because coaching is an uncontrolled industry, it makes sense that experts and executives in transition look at coaching as a business opportunity.

Businesses are increasingly savvy about the difference between consulting and coaching. As a result, the specific training of the coaches, the coaching model used, and the expertise of the coach are factors in the decision to begin a coaching relationship. The primary reasons for hiring a coach are transition, leadership development, and to serve as a sounding board. Long-term success results from a well-trained coach who recognizes the client is their own best expert.

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