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Life Coaching - from Insight to Action

Updated on September 17, 2012

What is Life Coaching?

Life coaching a way to realise a person's true potential, through a process of uncovering and eliminating one's destructive behavioural and thinking patterns in a supportive, caring and inspirational environment.

It is to do with facilitating people empowering themselves with practical, effective tools and techniques. It is a solution-focussed process of personal development which can lead to lasting change in all areas of a person's life.

"Life - or 'Personal' Coaching is a solution-focused approach to personal development that can help someone to make lasting change in all areas of their life. Coaches facilitate this change for their clients by empowering them with specific tools and scientifically tested techniques that work." - from the New Insights Africa website

The International Coaching Federation web site has the following definition of coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.

Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.

What is the difference between coaching and counselling?

Briefly, coaching is solution focussed while counselling is problem focussed. Coaching aims to help a person function better towards defined life goals while counselling aims at fixing something in a person's life that might be experienced as "broken" or in need of fixing.

Coaching is future-oriented while counselling is orientated to the past. Both processes are valid and have a place in an individual's life. It might even be that a person needs therapy or counselling in order to benefit fully from coaching, if things in the individual's past are unresolved and holding them back from fully achieving their life goals.

The Life Wheel

The Life Wheel

Balance is important in finding purpose and happiness in life and so coaching focusses attention of all areas of life. The areas focussed on in the New Insights coaching method are represented in the "Life Wheel". Each area of the wheel needs to have an appropriate weight in a person's life and part of the coaching process is to examine imbalances and, when found, to take action to correct the imbalances. (See the diagram of the Life Wheel at right).

The idea is that any part of the wheel which is weaker than the rest causes potential "flat spots" on the wheel, much like the "flat spots" made on the wheel of a Formula One car when the brakes are applied too hard and too suddenly. And the effect on one's life is analogous to the effect on the Formula One car: loss of speed and traction.

The Coaching Programme

The coaching programme that I follow is the 13-session New Insights Africa process. The 13 sessions cover the following areas:

Session 1: Goals - the building blocks of success

Session 2: Resources and milestones - essential stepping stones to your goals

Session 3: Motivation - how your beliefs move you closer to success

Session 4: Beliefs - breaking down negative beliefs and rebuilding the positive

Session 5: Values - adopting a value structure for ultimate success

Session 6: Rules - uncover your hidden rules and always feel good

Session 7: Six Human Needs - which ones do you need met?

Session 8: Projection - all communication is projection

Session 9: Responsibility - the foundation for freedom

Session 10: Questions - the answer to everything

Session 11: Long Term Goals - what would you really love to do?

Session 12: Purpose - true meaning in life

Session 13: Celebration time!

To find out if life coaching would benefit a potential client I use a fairly detailed Life Balance Questsionnaire which I ask potential clients to complete before setting up the first session, which is always free and is exploratory.

The questionnaire probes the potential client's perceptions of their own Life Wheel to try to uncover the sources of any lack of balance, any areas where some action might improve the "roundness" of the Life Wheel. Such areas would then become the major (though not exclusive) focus of the Life Coaching process.

Code of Ethics

Since coaching is a new profession potential clients might be concerned about the ethical conduct of coaches.

The International Coaching Federation has drafted a code of conduct to which I as a coach adhere.

Although I am not yet a member of the ICF I nevertheless make the following pledge:

As a professional coach, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical obligations to my coaching clients and colleagues and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with the ICF Code of Ethics, to treat people with dignity as independent and equal human beings, and to model these standards with those whom I coach.

Should you want a copy of this Code of Ethics contact me and I will gladly let you have a copy.

Otherwise check the ICF web site at for the full document and other interesting information regarding coaching.

Contact details

Tony McGregor

Life Coach

Bright Scenarios

Mobile Phone Number: 076 574 5299

E-mail address:

Postal Address: PostNet Suite 79, Private Bag X927, Pretoria, 0001.

Copyright Notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2008


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    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Dave - thanks for that kind comment! I think it does take a particular kind of personto do it.

      Love and peace


    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi Tony - I think you must be very well suited to this. Some time ago I did some website development for a coaching group based in UAE and got to know a few quite well. It seemed to me that one or two had chosen the wrong vocation, but I kept that to myself!

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Lady Maita - thank you so much! A visit from you is always a pleasure. And the comment is right on - without caring for the other person, really caring, the coaching will be of little value. A coach has to be person-centred, no doubt about that!

      K. Partin - thanks for the kind words and for dropping by.

      Love and peace


    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 

      8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Thanks Tony, very informative and a lot of thought went into this. Thanks for sharing I rated it up also. K.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      I like this hub and I rated it up Sir. Life coaching and empowering a person is best with care, Thank you, Maita

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Adrianna - yes you have it right, exactly.

      Thanks for your comment

      Love and peace


    • Adrianna's Pages profile image

      Adrianna's Pages 

      9 years ago

      Very interesting. I have always wanted to know more about life coaching and it's origins. Have had my fair share of "time on the couch", lol, but in reading your hub I can see how life coaching may benefit me more, now that I know the difference between the two.

      Counseling takes one back to the source of their issues and life coaching is for those that are ready to move forward. Do I have a fair understanding?

    • mattferry profile image


      9 years ago from California

      thanks for posting the international code. I think this will help potential clients understand us coaches more.

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Beth. Havee joined your fan club also! I agree - coaches need to share ideas and techniques to help our young profession grow. Thanks again.

    • betherickson profile image


      9 years ago from Minnesota

      Great hub you got here! As a coach too, I agree with Gary's opinion. Nice of us to share ideas as coaches, isn't it? Thumbs up for you I'm a fan of yours.

    • tonymac04 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tony McGregor 

      10 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Gary for your comment. I appreciate it very much. I am at the starting gates of my practice as a coach. Your encouragement helps.

    • qlcoach profile image

      Gary Eby 

      10 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

      Excellent information on life coaching! There still is a lot of confusion about the diffence beween counseling and coaching. I think counseling is about the process of helping people defeat the inside stuff that holds them back. Coaching is more in the now, and reality oriented. Please see how I continue to try to help others in new ways too. Sincerely: Gary Eby, author and therapist.


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