Happy New Year!!!
I genuinely wish you a fruitful start to an outstanding 2022 for you and yours. I hope you
enjoyed the year-end integration process we left you with in December! If you missed it, you can find it attached to that email!
Today’s resource is an article about what life coaches do and don’t do. There is so much
confusion around this! Many folks I have run into think life coaching is a form of light counseling. I know I was shocked to find out that coaching didn’t include any counseling. Zero, zip, nada.
If you want clarity or know someone who does, today’s outline on coaching is for you. Please feel free to forward, so we can share the education on the key distinctions.
Should I Hire a Life Coach?
by: Laurel Elders
Are you wondering… What exactly does a life coach do?
Wonder no more! Today, I will teach you exactly what a life coach does and does NOT do.
My name is Laurel, and I’ve been a professional coach since 2005. I started my coaching practice to have a flexible schedule with my kids, leave a positive impact on people’s lives, and make a living doing meaningful work in the world.
I now own and operate an accredited coach training organization, the Institute for Integrative Intelligence.
I have to admit... I’m a coaching geek! I have so much to share with you on this subject, and I LOVE clearing up misconceptions!
Let’s dive in.
First, it is critical to understand what coaching is exactly and what coaching is NOT.
Coaching is a professional service that invites healthy and resourced individuals to explore and reach new potentials. A professional coach is trained in a Socratic method that enables clients to unlock hidden possibilities, grow new skill sets, and leverage their lives to a new level. This process is called Self-actualization or Integration.
Coaches do NOT: give advice, tell clients what to do, take an expert role, or diagnose.
Advisors, therapists, counselors, and consultants advise and diagnose.
The premise in coaching is highly unique!
In coaching, the client is respected as the expert of their own life, and the coach is there to provide a container for the client’s chosen self-actualization process. Coaching includes powerful questions, challenges, accountability, and a safe self-inquiry space ripe for personal growth.
You can sum it up this way. Therapy is focused on emotional healing and making sense of the past to inform the present – like an archeologist. Coaching is focused on future goals, attaining those goals, and building a future you love – like an architect.
Second, coaches provide programs. A coaching program is a 3-12 month commitment that includes goal setting, action-taking, accountability, and self-reflection. Some coaches may have a niche, like “taking your life back after a divorce” or “career transition”, while others may coach in any area of personal growth.
Third, according to research conducted by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), 99% of professional coaches have invested in training by an accredited program. If you are seeking to hire a coach, working with a trained and credentialed coach can make a world of difference.
This is because coaching is a peer-regulated industry, so anyone can use the title without any formal experience or training. For example, if someone calls themselves a coach but tells you what to do, they are not coaching. They are advising.
It is also good to note that if a coach is trained AND ICF credentialed, this indicates that their skills have been assessed. That coach has also met or exceeded standards of excellence in the field.
So there you have it! To close, let’s sum it up:
1. A professional coach does not advise. They provide a self-development space where the client is in the driver’s seat. They offer a robust self-inquiry process that elevates potential, eliminates blind spots, and is 100% client-directed.
2. Coaches offer programs that support integration and self-actualization.
3. Hiring a credentialed coach means that the coach has been evaluated and meets
standards of professionalism. Currently, the ICF is the leader in standards and credentialing. I recommend visiting the ICF’s coach directory for a listing of credentialed coaches that have been vetted.
I hope this has been illuminating!
To learn more about the amazing field of coaching, visit us at
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