What Does a Life Coach Do?
That’s a great question. So many people are wondering that, but sometimes we don’t like to ask when “life coach” or “life coaching” comes ups as we don’t want to get into a long conversation or put the other person on the spot right?
As a result, “what does a life coach do?” often becomes the elephant in the room.
So let’s start by stating what a life coach is not and what a life coach doesn’t do:
A life coach is not a psychiatrist, psychologist or counselor. These other related, but different professionals have masters or PHD degrees and training in their specific fields. Some of them can prescribe medication and many can give recommendations to various advanced treatments, like rehab programs and such. If a life coach realizes that a client has need of one of these professionals, then they would admit that the particular client issue was beyond their training, licensing, scope and as a result, making a referral to someone more specifically qualified.
There are life coaches that also have masters, PHD’s and/or licensing in the above disciplines, but it’s not very common. The majority of life coaches do not have licensing in those areas, perhaps 5% or so do, but it’s important for both parties to be very clear about this if a related issue should arise during the life coaching process.
A life coach is also not a fitness trainer, nutritionist, health instructor, business coach or executive coach. Although, like above, some life coaches do have certification, degrees or major life experience in those areas as well as in life coaching but should not be assumed.
If one of these often related but different areas of expertise become needed while in the life coaching process, many life coaches will have relationships with other professionals in those fields and others, that can be of added benefit to you. By adding other areas of expertise and training, a life coach often works with you to leverage your strengths while improving your weaknesses when it can greatly benefit your short and/or long term goals.
So primarily what a life coach does is:
Your life coach will be someone that you can have a 100% honest relationship, similar to the one you can have with your CPA or attorney, in that they are required to keep your information private with the exception like all agents have, to disclose if you are acting or speaking like you might harm yourself or someone else. The life coach is working for you and since that’s limited to life coaching and related activity, they have a vested interest in your success and also, have little to no alternative motive to cause them to want to treat you in any way but truthfully.
A trained life coach will typically put your through various exercises to find out more about you beyond the obvious, like the 90% of the iceberg that sits below the water line. In general, similar to counselors in general, life coaches have found that there are often past experiences, limiting beliefs, loves/hates, curiosity, skills/talents and may other things hidden at a sub-conscious level or that our clients just aren’t totally aware of. Sometimes, clients are aware, but not of the import of the matter.
Once your life coach has worked through some testing, questions and in general gotten the status quo of your life and overall starting situation, they will start to facilitate and explore with you the things you wish to see changed and improved. They will mostly be asking questions and using the Socratic method to identify your short,medium and long-term goals. Frequently, this process results in clients scrapping some of their goals that ultimately weren’t as important as they thought or were in fact goals to please someone else.
Once your life coach has worked through with you to figure out your short, medium and long-term goals, then it’s time to start prioritizing them, setting realistic timelines and breaking them down into action steps that can be done on a daily, weekly or monthly time frame to increase the likelihood of being able to achieve the goals. At this point, some of the individual goals or action items may involve getting additional training, resources or hiring out other specialists to which your life coach again can assist, often offering suggestions and referrals. Assuming you do much of the research and vetting process yourself, your life coach would be a great 2nd set of eyes.
As you move into the action taking phase, your life coach in addition to being available for adjustments and tweaks along the way, is also a great source of accountability and in some cases tough love. Man times good intentions aren’t enough and the “urgent, but not important” takes over and chokes out the “important, but not urgent” actions. We have all experienced ending up being “busy”, but having few of our action items ever checked off, which equates to lack of forward motion and can be extremely frustrating. Our life coach can act as accountability partner, brain storming partner, encourager and emergency emotional support to help us fight daily, weekly and monthly to get the tasks that can change our life done, bringing us a step closer each time to our most important life changing accomplishments.
In old Italy, life coaches might be called consigliere, counselors (general life and business, not psychological), business advisors, etc. In that bent, we have added youth life coaches for high school and college ages, executive coaches for corporate leaders and business coaches for entrepreneurs and business owners.
As you progress with the assistance and support of your life coach, you’ll outgrow him/her and end up needing a more advanced life coach, to hire some trainers or specialists outside of life coaching, eventually if you’re corporate employed, you’ll likely want an executive coach to help you move to the top of that space. If you’re a business owner or want to be, you’ll eventually want a business coach to help you start-up or grow your business so you can be top of your class there as well as in your personal, emotional and spiritual life.
We want to be your first choice to partner with our team in helping you be all you can be. To achieve, live and grow the life you have always seen for yourself at the deepest level. To help you be the best you, you can be for the sake of everyone in your life. We think that’s a worthy purpose, a worthy vision for findalifecoach.us and what we can help you accomplish.
But…we want to keep up with you, keep ahead of you, so that each time you grow and attain another level, we can still be a resource and partner for you to go further, faster and more consistently in direction your life is capable of going.
So what does a life coach do?
He/She spends time with you in your inner circle, asking the right questions, helping you strategize and holding you accountable as you take living your life and building your life to another higher level each day, week and month until you wake up and see that you are in fact living the life you’ve chosen and committed to.
How does your life coach know they’ve succeeded? When they see your life transformed. When they see you living your life like it’s the only one you get and it matters. There’s nothing better than seeing your life coaching student winning at life, living the life they dreamed of. Life coaching can be supremely fulfilling.
Now that you’ve gotten more info on “what does a life coach do?”, are you ready to find a life coach of your own?