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What Do You “Do” as a Life Coach?

Happy Girl Driving Her CarSomeone once asked me in reference to my career, “what do you do?”  I told them I’m a Professional Life Coach to which they inquired, “Is that for people who suck at life?”  My response was, “do Professional Athletes suck at being athletes?”  Hardly.  Otherwise they would not be paid the big bucks.  Athletes are so involved in the play, it is hard for them to see the tweaks they may need to make or strategies they may need to change.

A Life Coach is much the same as a Sport Coach.  We are partners with our clients/athletes to help them get from where they are to where they want to be.  There may be other stakeholders; however, the fact is much of what happens for the client/athlete and coach is dependent on the relationship they establish. So at the core of a great coaching engagement is a great relationship.

Sounds easy, right?  Not so when you consider what is truly needed for a relationship to thrive.  Trust, presence, listening, genuine curiosity and interest are just a few of the competencies needed in a strong, thriving relationship.  It takes time and intentionality to cultivate these type of partnerships.

The other key distinction between a coach/client relationship as compared to other relationships is that all the power rests on the client’s shoulders.  The coach is a partner supporting the client’s end goal.  While the coach is a partner and certainly in the relationship, it is all about the CLIENT!

Professional life coaching is sometimes confused with similar services like training, mentoring and consulting.  Theories such as leadership, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and neuro-linguistic programming can complicate professional coaching if the focus rests in these theories.  While all of these “side-arms” may flow in and out of the coaching relationship, pure coaching is not about any of this.

Pure coaching is about getting to the “who” of the client in relation to the topic, or “what” they bring to the coaching.

As an example: A client comes with a problem of financial overspending.

Coaching the what would address:

  • What financial software they use
  • How they budget
  • Who can hold them accountable
  • How they track, etc.

Coaching the who would explore:

  • What beliefs they have about money
  • How the overspending is impacting them
  • What is important about changing this behavior, etc.

Getting to the core of their “relationship” with money (or perhaps another issue that presents itself) is what coaching the who is about.

Life Coaching is for anyone and everyone that has a desire, dream, intention, or goal to move forward in their life, business, or relationships — including their relationship to self.  If you want awareness to the gaps, barriers, or “internal drivers” that are keeping you in the passenger seat of your life, business or relationships, then know that coaching supports that clarity.   Life coaching puts you behind the wheel, so YOU are in charge of your journey!