Coaching is a process by which two individuals—the coach and the client—work together to get clarity and direction, set goals, create action plans, set up accountability structures, and remove blocks whenever they appear. This is done to help the client achieve specific goals with velocity, or simply to improve their overall quality of life.
Having a life coach is a little like having a personal trainer for your life’s goals. In that sense, coaching aims to bring out your full potential to optimize your performance in day-to-day life.
I operate under the principle that no one needs “fixing” or is “broken”. That said, coaching provides tremendous value to individuals who have tangible goals they want to achieve such as “start a small business” or intangible goals such as “build more confidence.”
We’ve all gotten advice from people in our lives. Sometimes the advice is helpful, and sometimes it's not. Now imagine having a very wise friend who, instead of giving you advice about what they think will work best for you, asks powerful questions to have you discover the answer yourself. Instead of telling you what they think is best, you get to discover what you know is best.
Through that process, you’ll start to see the immense benefits of the coaching relationship. Some examples include:
No more toiling over ideas for weeks, months, or even years on end. The coaching relationship is all about keeping you in action so that you’re constantly moving toward goals, with minimal distractions and blocks along the way.
The coaching relationship provides a safe space to air your ideas and vet them before testing them out in the world. I will be your champion. I am trained and practiced at creating a non-judgemental atmosphere of trust and openness to ensure that you feel comfortable to speak freely and easily about anything you want.
I will partner with you to create the most effective accountability systems for the goals that you set, ensuring that you are constantly in action. As your coach, I am your partner in making things happen.
Introspection and self-reflection are great tools for growth, but they are limited to what the individual can see. With an objective observer, you can expect honest, straight-forward feedback that will have you become more aware than ever about how you are showing up and performing in the world.
Consultants are experts in their field. They hold an agenda and possible answers for their clients on very specific topics.
There are times that a coach can act like a consultant by suggesting new ideas inspired by knowledge, experience and intuition; the main difference between the two is that a consultant creates a plan of action whereas a coach partners with you to create a plan together.
Moreover, a consultant is not responsible for keeping you accountable. They are there to inform a plan that we are expected to execute on our own. In contrast, the coach’s agenda is to keep us focused on achieving our goals and to help remove any blocks that prevent us from moving forward - this includes setting up accountability measures.
Mentors show us the ropes. They present solutions based on their past experiences. Coaches, on the other hand, don’t use their personal experiences as a model of success.
The reason for this is because coaches honour the fact that we all have our own set of unique experiences that inform the way we view and experience the world. Rather than being an expert on any given topic, coaches are experts in the coaching process and help us discover answers for ourselves through a process of informed inquiry.
Therapists help us fix problems, overcome issues created by past traumas and manage mental illness. They focus on the “why” and help us heal.
Coaches, on the other hand, focus on the “how”. We practice seeing all situations as an opportunity for growth and learning. This results in solution-focused, action-oriented, forward thinking.
If therapy is about moving someone from dysfunctional to functional, then coaching is about moving people from functional to optimal.
In sum, a therapist helps figure out the “why” and coaches help figure out the “how”. Many people match therapy and coaching together to create accountability and forward movement towards their goals while they navigate through a process of healing.
It’s true that friends are an integral part of a healthy, happy life!! What’s also true is that most friends cannot see (or choose not to point out) our blind spots and various mindset issues that inhibit our success. Nor are most of our friends trained professionals who know how to listen to you objectively or have learned how to avoid giving personal advice.
Coaches are objective, non-judgemental and detached from our personal lives. They practice objective listening, allow us to process and act as a mirror so we can find more clarity and overcome any obstacles getting in our way to success.
The coaching process is well established and has proven time and again to deliver powerful results for clients. By investigating an issue and creating a space to process, reflect and talk through relevant factors, clients can discover powerful insights that directly lead to new actions they couldn’t see before.
Once insights are distinguished, the client and coach work together to put insights into action that eventually produce new, extraordinary results. Accountability structures ensure that the client continues to work toward their goal, solidifying their learnings into life-long habits and practices.
There are two major reasons why coaching produces such powerful results:
Have you ever rehearsed something in your head a million times and then, when you actually said it out loud, it sounded way different than you expected? There is something special about being able to deliberate something out loud. In fact it is proven that speaking out loud can help improve someone’s performance on a given task. The coach’s job is to ask you powerful questions that ultimately result in you providing powerful answers to your life’s most pressing challenges.
Most humans know how to lose weight - eat less, exercise more. We also know how to have more money - spend less, make more. And yet despite knowing these things, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. The coaching process provides a system to not only gain insights, but also to put them into action. This results in powerful learnings that last well beyond the coaching relationship to positively impact the client’s life. This kind of experience-based learning is the simplest and most powerful kind of learning there is, and it's the kind of learning that makes the difference in the satisfaction and overall quality of our lives.