What is life coaching? From the positive perspective, it is a partnership between a coach and a client wherein the client explores:
- what they want
- options for new possibilities
- strategies for moving forward
- action planning
- a method for accountability
- awareness for celebrating progress and success along the way
The coach serves as a strategic partner and serves by listening, asking questions, and partnering for the accountability the client chooses.
The focus of the coaching varies widely and just a few examples of niche areas include:
- Work / Life Balance
- Personal Awareness
Coaches often have focus areas or niches which then lend themselves to expertise in terms of approach and awareness. Clients enter coaching with a sense of their own reasons for engaging a life coach. Together, the coach and the client define the coaching relationship and the process.
On the negative side, some well-intentioned individuals who lack effective training as coaches function in the role of an advisor or worse, an unlicensed counselor or therapist even though they title themselves as a coach.
As a coach, ensure you have the appropriate training, the Code of Ethics (published by the International Coaching Federation, the ICF), and that you develop the Core Competencies (also developed by the ICF).
As a client, ask prospective coaches about their training, whether they subscribe to the ICF Code of Ethics, and about their experience.