How Life Coaching Changes Lives

It was two weeks before Christmas when I received a phone call from Rebecca who said, “I have had two warnings at work and I am about to lose my job. I need life coaching to save my job and I have one week.”

Now as a coach I am confident about my abilities but I must admit this request felt like a tall order as I had no prior knowledge of Rebecca or her work situation. However, I love a challenge so I scheduled a coaching session and in one session was able to help her see what took her off track at work and what she needed to do to save her job.

Two months later Rebecca’s employer commented on the change in her and how well she was doing. Nearly three years later she is still in the same job and has coached other staff members, who found themselves in the same position, on how to turn their situation around. That’s the benefit of coaching.

A lot of people misunderstand what life coaching is and feel it is another form of counselling, or giving advice, it is neither. Although coaching is about finding a solution, this is often not the real goal. The real goal is supporting a client to view the world through different filters, when we do this a shift occurs that can change a person’s life.

When we focus on giving advice our intention is to get the client from “A” to “B”, and we don’t hear what people are really saying. Listening is such a great skill and I must admit it wasn’t one I had when I first started coaching. I came from an advisory background and I gave way too much advice in the early days. When we really listen, not only do people feel valued, we hear the clues they drop in their everyday conversation, about their limiting beliefs, rules or habits. These are what people need to become aware of, and in many instances change, if they want to create a more fulfilling life.

Another skill a good life coach has is the ability to ask questions. We know ourselves better than anyone else and we know the solution to our problems, the right questions bring solutions to our conscious awareness. A coach can also introduce a different alternative that a client may not have thought of themselves.

The Heart Process coaching model, which my school teaches, has three core elements that form the foundation of all the coaching we do.

Three elements of life coaching

  1. For change to occur there often needs to be a shift in perception. We listen for clues that indicate where a client has gone off track. Then through questioning we support clients to clear the obstacles that prevent them from being who they want to be and living the life they want to live.
  2. We teach life skills. Not all life coaching is about teaching life skills but without conscious knowledge of self and how to be the best person you can be it’s very easy to be influenced by the world around you. We show people how to become a centre of influence. Self knowledge enables us to expand our horizons, create harmony in our relationships and allow more into our lives.
  3. We support clients through the process of change by helping them create strategies to achieve their goal.

Whether you are a coach, or a person being coached, life coaching changes lives. In the 20 years since we started hearing about life coaching in the mainstream media it has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries and although the ICF say they expected to see a levelling off by now, it is not happening.