Life coaching is a fairly new career choice on the scene and as the title of this post suggest its all about helping people to find their most fulfilled self. A valuable and vital job choice if ever there was one. However, what exactly does a life coach do and what skills do they need to succeed? Check out our guide below on life coaching to find out.
If helping people achieve their dreams sounds satisfying, life coaching could be the career for you.
A bit more on life coaching as a career
For the most part life coaching is something that you will do freelance on a one to one basis. It is a service that helps fill that gap in provision for advice and support once people have finished their education but when they still have things you want to achieve in life but aren’t sure how to get there.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not your job not to advise people so much as to challenge them and draw them a path they can walk that will allow them to reach their most treasured goals.
A major skill that you need to be a life coach is to be able to relate to people in the right way. This means that you can have empathy with your clients and their situation. However, you also are able to remain detached enough so that any of their negative energy does not overwhelm you and stops you helping them in the way that they need.
In fact, the prime value that a life coach can provide is that objective view that can help the client put their wants and needs into perspective. Something that can be incredibly valuable for anyone looking to identify what is most important to them in life and how to get there.
As a life coach, you will also need to develop your own way of talking to people that help them see where they might be going wrong, but is also respectful and not condescending. After all, you will be primarily be working with adults that are paying you directly, and so they need to feel that the relationship is positive, nurturing, and successful rather than ones in where they are just instructed as to what to do.
Something else that is vital for a good life coach to be able to do is understand the goal-setting process. The reason for this is that goal work make up a large part of the dialogue between the coach and the client, as well as the motivation for change itself.
That means you need to be able to help your client identify the goals they want to work too, as well as break these goals down into manageable and achievable steps.
Many life coaches use the SMART goal system or a variation of it to do this. This is a system that not only identifies goals and how to get there but uses a number of checks and balances to ensure that they are actually relevant to the client’s life and can be achieved in the time scale that they have. Something that can mean a much better rate of success for the client.
The psychological elements of life coaching are many and varied, and it can really help to study some of the more major concepts such as personality profiles in term of the MBTI, as well as actualizing techniques like NLP.
Knowledge of the MBTI personality profiles is useful in coaching because it can help clients identify what they need in their life to be the most fulfilled. This is because each person fits roughly into 4 categories extroverted vs. introverted, sensing vs. intuition, thinking versus feeling, and perceiving vs. judging. Once you have established where they fall on the MBTI scale, you can help the client identify different working conditions, ways of absorbing information, and types of interpersonal connection that will suit them the best.
Obviously, without this knowledge, it can be easy for a client to believe they would be happy and fulfilled in a certain life situation that they worked very hard to achieve only to realize that it isn’t a good fit after all. Therefore a life coach can help a client minimize any wasted time and effort on poorly suited goals. Alternatively, they can also help them create conditions for achieving their goals that are much better suited to their natural self. Something that will make aims much easier to achieve and maintain in the long term.
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is another psychological tool that has a valuable place in life coaching because it’s all about reprogramming the brain through speech. In fact, it can be incredibly useful in helping a client break through blocks, overcome confidence issues, and reframe situations more positively. Something that means there is less of a drain on the client’s’ internal motivation to achieve what they have set out to do.
Talking of motivation, when picking a career as a life coach it’s vital to remember that you will have a key role to play in supporting and motivating your client to do what they are aiming for. This often includes showing faith and reminding them of their strengths and capability either verbally or by email or text.
However, the life coach is also there to hold the client accountable for the decision they are making and seeing them through. For some clients, this may be as easy as getting together to discuss how a particular task went and how it can be improved. However, for others, it may include helping them to analyze the feeling and any issue they came across while completing a step on their plan and seeing how there could be holding them back in others areas.
Of course, no one can truly enjoy their life unless it’s in the balance. Something that so many of us struggle with in these modern times. Balance is, of course, another vital element of the life coaches’ work and it can be down to them to help foster some equality between all the different responsibilities and need in their client’s lives.
This could include helping clients to ring-fence working times so they can have more leisure time to enjoy. It could also be by assisting clients to find short times during their day for fitness or artistic activities that they have identified as valued. Something that means a life coach will help them to include greater variety and richnesses into their everyday life.