What is Life Coaching and why you should consider it!

Positive words associated with Life Coaching

5 minute read

 

I get asked this question a lot by people who have never experienced coaching.

So if you are;

  • New to coaching (Life Coaching or otherwise), or;
  • You’ve had coaching by a manager who isn’t trained (plenty of them!), or;
  • Sceptical of it..

 

…this is for YOU.

What is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching (and generally – coaching), allows you to talk through the stuff on your mind, overcome mental obstacles and take action to achieve your goals. It’s a form of self-development – you learn about yourself; your strengths and skills so you are empowered to do more of what you’re already good at. It’s confidential and it’s a great opportunity to think without interruption.

What does a Life Coach do?

A Life Coach will ask open, probing questions on the topic/s you have chosen. They will help you work out the stuff on your mind, feel better about yourself so that you essentially can better handle what life throws at you.  They listen – really listen, keep distance from the issues presented, remain objective and non-judgemental. A Life Coach acts as a sounding board, a mirror – reflecting your words and behaviours back at you, challenging you out of your comfort zone to grow. A friend however well-meaning, is usually the opposite.

Why do people see a Life Coach?

People see a Life Coach to help them navigate a tricky time in their life and/or to develop their potential. More often, people see a coach because they are unhappy and instead want something else, ie;

  • Meaning
  • Purpose
  • Happiness/contentment
  • To know themselves better
  • Balance

So spending time talking and working out what to do with a professional, could be beneficial. I Life Coach around these areas.

Are there different types?

Yes! It’s growing in areas and in popularity too;

Different types of Life Coaching

 

A Life Coach tends to have a niche, or may work across several areas or audiences. They may have a particular coaching approach too. Example – this is me;

As a Life Coach I work with brilliant women who feel stuck in life or their career, by walking and talking outdoors. I tend to work with strengths, skills and values using Positive Psychology approaches. And I work with nature and gentle exercise (like walking), to positively impact wellbeing.

What can Life Coaching do for me?

People who have experienced Life Coaching often achieve their goals and gain additional results they weren’t expecting. These are real comments from people I have worked with, when asked, ‘what did you gain from coaching with Kate?’;

  • Learned and used new strategies or tools in other areas of their life or work
  • Took control over how they allocate and prioritise their own time
  • Found more confidence in their working life and self
  • Learned how to better deal with their inner critic
  • Have a more positive outlook and better understanding of their self
  • Have insight into their personality, how they view themselves

Life Coaching versus Therapy and Mentoring

Here are my explanations about the differences;

  • Therapy; looking at the past/childhood, dealing with emotional issues or trauma, with a trained therapist. May often direct you, give their medical/psychological opinion.
  • Mentoring; talking with someone expert in your field who inspires you. They help you navigate issues they may already have experienced. They are willing to share advice and direct you.. Not always trained as a Mentor.

Life Coaching is not a substitute for therapy, treating mental illness or any medical issues. Sometimes, (I have experienced this), an issue may surface that is better served with a therapeutic or mental health intervention. It’s vital that when you work with a Life Coach you have a contract and agreement about what issues you’ll work on together.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Life Coaching can work really well for improving wellbeing or mental health, ie;

  • Managing stress /rumination
  • Your values in life
  • Knowing your capabilities and strengths
  • Knowing yourself, boundaries and self-care.

And if you like being outdoors, you might know that research confirms that being outdoors improves our wellbeing – why I coach outdoors! See here; Coaching outdoors

Picture of a flower in a field, blue sky, some cloudThat’s a blog post for another time!

I am  Mental Health First Aid trained. I have experience of working with individuals’ mental health (as well as my own), so I can signpost appropriately.

Is Life Coaching expensive?

Perhaps you have already seen/heard that some Life Coaches charge £100’s or £1000’s per hour. And some do not advertise their fees – you need to ask them on enquiry.

If the fees are unattainable for you, here are a few considerations;

  • Group coaching – does the Life Coach run group sessions? This can keep costs down
  • Do they offer part-payment?
  • Is there an alternative coach they could recommend, or you could find?
  • Find someone in training – they need to coach for a certain number of hours for accreditation, so tend to offer lower rates or free sessions
  • Ask them if they could consider a reduced fee – what’s the worst that could happen?

Personally I like to be transparent and my fees are on my website. I recognise that my fees are lower than some and unaffordable for others. I am not for everyone. I offer reduced rates from time to time.

Why should I consider Life Coaching?

If you are considering Life Coaching, these prompts might help;

  • You resonate with something mentioned in this blog…

(What resonates? What are you currently experiencing? What specifically are you experiencing? What’s the impact?)

  • You want to work your thoughts into a coherent/less jumbled train of thought so that things feel easier/ you feel better…

(What would that bring you? How would that help you?)

  • You’re considering a big change in life or work and it feels daunting/risky/scary…

(What if you could make that change? What if you succeeded or  exceeded your own expectations?)

How can I find the right Coach for me?

  • Who do you know and trust that’s had coaching? Could they recommend their coach?
  • Does your workplace provide coaching? No? – would they like to? What do they need to know to get started?
  • Are you following any Life Coaches on social media that interest you?
  • Have you googled ‘Life Coach’ plus your local area? (ie Life Coach South London, Life Coach near me)
  • Can you book a free call with a coach?

 

While you’re looking for your coach, check their credentials. Life Coaching is not regulated in the UK. Not all coaches have accredited training (and some have none);

  • Training and accreditation
  • CPD
  • Do they have supervision (a 1:1 with someone more experienced to talk through work challenges, ethical dilemmas, improving their service)
  • Do they have PI insurance?

 

If you are reading this far... would you like to book a free call with me? No obligation; Book here

Any questions or thoughts?; Email me

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Client agreement - ground rules.

1. Bring my whole self to this process; professionally and personally.

You cannot separate your professional and personal ‘lives’.

2. Be present in the moment and connected.

… to the coaching; what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing. And…to nature if and where we are outdoors. If we’re on headphones, I’ll invite you to be descriptive of your environment too.

3. Bring the agenda to each session and keep your overall objective alive.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Be goal and action orientated – bring what you want to discuss and achieve to the session; OR
  • Talk and see what lands – exploratory and intentional.
 

I will bring the process, tools, ideas, resources and best practice to best support you towards your goal/intention/objective. More in your pre-coaching questionnaire. 

4. Give feedback and be responsive.

Coaching is collaborative. Neither of us should guess where we stand. I ask you to give me feedback and respond – you can rely on me to give and do the same.

I aim to get back to you within 24 hours of you emailing me, even if it’s just to say ‘I received your message’ before I respond properly. If it’s over the weekend or holiday, this may take longer.

5. Do the work in the session and in between sessions.

…so that you get the best value, even when it’s challenging. I might suggest a piece of work based on what you brought to the session. Mainly you will decide your course of action.

Whichever way, I’ll invite you to:

  • Reflect more; through walking, writing and whatever else fires you up, to help you achieve your objective.
  • Explore more; be curious and follow those trails of thought, intentionally
    Practice more; habits? Actions? Keep trying/tweaking.
  • Note what’s coming up that’s important or interesting to you in the session. I may share a few bullet points with you after, via Google Docs.

6. Session duration and timescale.

Generally a session is an hour but happy to shorten or increase session lengths, as and when we both can, that day. Where either of us thinks it appropriate, let’s say in the session. Timescale – let’s keep to the timescale agreed in the contract.

Additional information...

  • Coaching is a relationship designed to facilitate the development of personal or professional goals and develop a plan/strategy for achieving those goals.
  • It is comprehensive; it may involve other areas of your life beyond what you may have originally intended. It is your responsibility to choose and decide how to handle this, or even whether to.
  • It can be challenging; digging deep, creating better habits, becoming more self-aware, changing unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself to something more helpful. There will be ups and downs. You will gain new insights, learnings and perspectives to help you achieve your goal.
  • You – the Client, are solely responsible for creating and implementing your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of or resulting from the coaching relationship and your coaching calls and interactions with me – the Coach. As such, you agree that the Coach is not and will not be liable or responsible for any actions or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of any services provided by me – the Coach. 
  • You – the Client, understand that in order to enhance the coaching relationship, you agree to communicate honestly, be open to feedback and assistance and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program. I will do the same.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for counselling, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.  If you are in any kind of therapy, please tell me.  Tell your practitioner (medical or therapeutic) of you working with me.
  • I ask you to agree to commit to the coaching sessions to facilitate the required change.
  • I will treat you as the expert regarding the subject matter, which is…YOU.
  • I will allow time and space for you to explore your thoughts and think for yourself, no interruptions. There may be long pauses or silence sometimes to elicit more.
  • What goes on in your sessions is confidential. I do not discuss it with anyone. There may be occasion when it is my duty to break confidentiality:
    > If I feel you or I are at risk of harm.
    > Criminal / illegal activity.
    > A safeguarding concern or something else so serious that warrants concern.
  • I may talk to my coach or supervisor about issues arising in our sessions without ever naming or giving away you as the client. This is to ensure I am following professional and ethical guidelines and delivering my best. I subscribe to these by the ICF; https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics
  • Qualifications and CPD; I am an accredited coach. This means I have trained, practiced and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching (Nov 2020). I hold a ‘Diploma in Transformational Coaching’. This is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
    > I have my own coach and group supervision
    > My CPD includes –  Outdoor Intelligence for Online Coaching (Oct 2020) -Positive Psychology (Feb 2021

My accreditations

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My story

I’d been trying to work out ‘what else’ I could do with my career and life.

After 20 years in HR and with the children getting older, I wanted to change careers, but into ‘what?’ And ‘how’ was that even possible? And…’who would take on a mid-40’s apprentice?’!

I took small steps to boost my confidence and mindset; a regular ‘walk and whinge’ with friends to offload, short courses to up-skill, more running, more netball.
I asked my workplace ‘what else’ they needed that I could help with – ‘job crafting’. 

I was trying to make changes but it wasn’t really working. I was still frustrated and now, more miserable. I needed a different approach to find a way forward and release the building pressure I felt.

Hiring an accredited coach with whom I knew I could work with, enabled me to take a good look at myself – at times, uncomfortably.

To be listened to without any interruption, or judgement was empowering and I started to recognise what made me, me – my personality, strengths, what energised me and made me happy. What if these things amounted to a job I would…love…?

I followed my curiosity and dabbled with ideas about potential jobs, tasks and environments that would suit me, with a new, growth mindset.

I started to shift perspective. When I finally realised the ‘what’, I felt an energy and sense of knowing that was powerful. And I laughed, because it had been right in front of me!

Coaching undoubtedly helped me get to know myself, to see my potential and what was possible. I wholeheartedly decided through those sessions, on what and how I wanted things to be.

It had taken me two years of feeling stuck and miserable and a number of hours to be liberated.

This is what I now do with my clients. I help them rediscover themselves so that they can play to their strengths and thrive.

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