Let’s demystify Life Coaching

“If I talk to my friend and help them, does that mean that I am already a life coach?”

Ah, not so fast! No.

Many well-meaning folks make this mistake.

Being friendly, guiding and counselling, mentoring and leading—aren’t these all the same as coaching? No.

Being able to help others might mean that you already have natural talents and skills— but coaching skills are very specific and different.

Look at our quick Coaching Skills Test here if you want to see how you measure up to professional coaching.

Professional coaching is different to just helping people.

If it weren’t different, why would we have a title like “Life Coach”?

If anyone tries to get credentialed, without proving that they are skilled at the 11 core competencies, they would fail— which means, you need specific skills to be coaching professionally.

A coaching industry governing body called the International Coach Federation (ICF) who benchmarks the industry by credentialing professional coaches at 3 levels of competency and by accrediting training courses, ensures that the specific skills are applied.

What does a professional coach do then?

So many people have the true meaning of coaching mixed up with mentoring, training, guiding, developing, etc.

A professional coach coaches conversations or meetings, in such a way that the client (the person being coached):

  • Establishes clear goals (dreams, aspirations, objectives).
  • Finds their own solutions, action plans, insights and clarity about how to reach that goal. That was the big clue.

    As coaches, we don’t offer our solutions or our ideas about what the client should do. Rather, we help others to find their own best solutions!

  • Holds themselves accountable for their own journey and commitment to their planned actions. Another clue! As coaches, we help people to help themselves, we don’t carry their burdens.

Why did coaching suddenly thrive?

Coaching is a multibillion dollar industry, and is growing every year. Why?

There is a variety of new thriving coaching professions like Life Coaching, Executive Coaching, Youth Coaching and Business Coaching which have emerged in the world, because they answer a need.
People became tired of relying on externals — hence the self-help industry was born.

And with the self-help industry people started claiming back their power, to help themselves in every area of their life, from health, to spirituality, to education, to finances and career building.

That’s where life coaching and all of its subsidiaries arose to answer the growing appreciation for self-help.

Coaches help us to help ourselves.

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