Life coach: an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems
One of the questions I am asked more often than any other is, “why do I need a life coach?” And it’s a fair question. Any investment that you’re making, into yourself and your future, requires close examination and consideration before moving forward. But before we answer the question of why, let’s look at the question of what.
What makes a great coach?
Throughout working with my clients as well as my own personal experience with coaches, there are 5 qualities that have ended up at the top of my list, across the board. A great life coach:
1.Is authentic and honest
They are simply themselves – no gimmick or pretense. When someone is their authentic self, it puts others at ease because there is no atmosphere of keeping up appearances and impressing others. They are also honest with you regarding the parameters of your relationship, the work that is required on both parts for success, and boundaries that need to be respected in order to have a great partnership.
2.Is curious and always learning
A life coach can be certified from the most established institutions and yet, they may still not be effective OR successful. Why is that? Because sometimes, when we get that certification – that piece of paper that says we are qualified to do what our heart and mind have already said we can do – we may stop there. "I’ve finished my curriculum, I’ve made it!" The great life coach is always curious and always learning. Reading new books, poring over case studies and articles, attending conferences, webinars and panels (oh my!), collaborating with other coaches in the field – anything to widen the scope and sphere of influence. The growth of the coach ultimately contributes to the growth of the client, because they will be better able to guide them on their journey.
3.Is skilled and has a framework to guide the process
A great life coach has clarity. They know the skeleton of the process. Every client is different, but there are still some routines, habits and activities in place that are followed to keep structure and order. It is hard to follow a map that has no indication of direction or destination. A great life coach has a plan of action and their skills/experience will help guide you in the process of achieving your goals.
4.Seeks to understand, not to be right
There’s a reason why we have TWO ears and ONE mouth. Great coaches listen. They ask questions, sure, to delve deeper into the topic at hand. But the coach’s primary concern is to understand – where you are, where you want to be, and what you say or do that is preventing you from getting there. Great life coaches do not lecture. They illuminate the path. They listen and repeat your words back to you. “This is what you said you wanted. This is what we agreed would be necessary in order to get this. Are you willing to do that?” A life coach is not concerned with being right all the time. They are concerned with helping the client realize their own truth, and what is necessary for forward momentum.
5.Has a need to serve
More than money or status, a great life coach has a need to serve. Of course, coaches need to be compensated for the great work that they do. Assisting others in achieving success and working through their issues is worth the money they charge. But more than that, a great coach wants to make an impact on their community and the world. The idea of service is paramount, because in spreading a message that focuses on authenticity, motivation, inspiration, mindset and success creates a better world for us all. If we could pursue our dreams, be happy and successful, while also providing a great future for the next generation, think about how better off this world would be!
Now that we’ve gone over the what, we can address the why.
So why DO you need a life coach? The answer is simple – we all need help in achieving our goals. Our own limiting beliefs prevent us from living the life of our dreams and coaches can help in moving past those blocks. Now, coaching is in no way a form of therapy. Therapy is a discussion of habits and patterns that originated earlier in life that affect current relationships – with yourself and others. It is based on reflection. Coaching is a discussion of decision making, goal setting and success that can get you to the life you’re currently working toward. It is based on action.
You need a coach because you owe it to yourself to be ridiculously happy and successful – however that looks for you. And if you aren’t already there, you also owe it to yourself to figure out why. A coach serves as an impartial third party that can help illuminate the path and bring clarity to the map of your life. We won’t give you all the answers (nor should we), but we will guide you in the direction that can bring you to those “a-ha” moments.
If you are at a crossroads in your life and you need support in getting to the next step, book a free consultation today. Let’s see if we’re right for each other.