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;
- To know themselves better
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;
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
That’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
- 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
- The Mental Health Foundation provide lots of useful resources in the UK
- Therapy directory; BACP
- Do you need a Mentor? I always recommend the podcast, ‘How to Own the Room with Viv Groskop. Her interviews are inspiring. Here she interviews Yonca Dervisoglu (VP Marketing) and Matt Brittin (President EMEA) from Google
- Animas Centre for Coaching, where I trained and qualified