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Changing Minds, Transforming Lives - Life Can Work When You Get The Right Support


Thursday, October 6, 2011

What is a Life Coach?

Explore the Life Coach ...

Life transitions are exciting opportunities for individuals to alter their perspectives and create new possibilities. But real change is challenging, requiring commitment, perseverance, personal clarity, and an objective point of view. It's a daunting task – one that benefits from outside help.

An overview

Life coaches help people change their lives. Although coaches are not therapists, they are trained to work with diverse individuals in complex situations. By listening, observing, assessing skills, and making plans, life coaches help clients rethink their options, envisioning more satisfying futures.

Life coaches create solutions, helping clients resolve issues that are blocking their success and happiness. Even in cases of resistance or fear, coaches help clients understand how to reframe and diminish their problems.

Teaching new skills, coaches guide clients toward greater independence. Individuals learn the value of listening to their hearts, gain a greater appreciation for their own abilities, and increase their self-confidence. They begin to see how behavioral changes result in new opportunities.

Important skills for a life coach

Good communication skills lay the groundwork for becoming a life coach. As clients struggle to express desires that they probably never voiced before, coaches must help them clarify their thoughts. Often coaches resort to different ways of communicating, asking clients to keep journals. In cases where clients are more visual or artistic, coaches find that creating dream boards – collages that clients make with pictures cut from magazines – are better storytellers.

Empathy is another skill coaches must possess because they occasionally help clients cope with difficult situations. For example, grief and frustration are common emotions for clients who have lost their jobs or who feel unable to change their lives. Coaches must stay detached, but also they need to empathize and redirect clients' emotions into solutions, solutions that empower their clients.

Coaches must be committed to their clients, understanding that clients' successes are also their successes. At the same time, they must be entirely nonjudgmental and open to their clients' various perspectives. It's imperative that coaches restrain from imposing their own issues, opinions, and personal agendas on their clients, and that they have a high degree of integrity. These skills contribute to a coach's ability to remain objective, increasing the likelihood of their clients reaching their desired goals.

Coaches must keep the confidence of their clients. In fact, the personal nature of the coaching process requires confidentiality. The whole point of working with a coach is to have a safe space where clients can express thoughts, fears, and ideas without a concern for competition or betrayal.

Life coaches are partners in success

Life coaches are invaluable assets, assisting individuals as they encounter various challenges of life. As partners, their insight and expert advice gives clients the perspective and skills they need to successfully direct their own futures.