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What Is Life Coaching?

Updated on March 18, 2008

What Is Life Coaching?

Life coaching is a productive and results orientated dialogue between a coach and their client, on an issue specified by the client. That may be the definition, but what is it?

An individual will have an issue that they seem unable to move past, so they enlist the help of a life coach. The life coach will mentor their client through this stage so they can move on to better things.

The "Life" part of coaching is a broad term to encompass the many areas of life in general. It could include for example, personal issues such as moving house, changing jobs or improving a relationship. In business it could be problem solving, goal setting, time management, finances or directional. It may be blockages for writers, artists or musicians; or perhaps a more common aspect these days of trying to juggle career and family commitments.

The reasons a person chooses a life coach are many and varied, but all want to move on, even if they don't know where to! The coach will work with their client to develop a plan or strategy that will enable them to move towards the desired result.

A major skill for the coach is to be able to listen, this may seem easy enough, but it is a hard trait to find in most people. Everyone's situation is unique to them, so they want to talk to somebody who would be as committed to their problem as if it were their own. How often have you heard the expression "Tell someone who cares" This is a sad indictment on modern society, but so true. People hardly have time to stop and listen, let alone help solve someone else's problem.

Because of this, life coaches have a valuable part to play in modern society. They can step into the breach and for each session the client will have the undivided attention of a trained professional. Coaches are not psychologists or counselors; they do not deal in medical or trauma issues, though they can coach people through long term illness such as cancer. A coach's aim is to help, support and encourage their client to find answers and direction so that they may move forward successfully.

As success means different things to different people, it is the coach's job to define what the client wants in terms of a successful outcome. Life coaching is about overcoming obstacles and encouraging the individual to achieve their personal best. You don't even have to have a problem before consulting a coach; the best sports professionals still use a coach and mentor. So if you want to get ahead in life, get a Life Coach.


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    • qlcoach profile image

      Gary Eby 9 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

      Yeah, a good life coach needs to listen and to motivate too. The problem is that so many people don't know how to overcome the negative side that tries to take all of us down. Thank you sharing this uplifting Hub. Also, please see how I try to help others in new ways too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.

    • mattferry profile image

      mattferry 9 years ago from California

      I just would like to quote this from you "As success means different things to different people, it is the coach's job to define what the client wants in terms of a successful outcome." And I couldn't agree more.