Life Coaching is one of the fastest-growing professions in the nation. Practitioners help people work through issues that keep them from reaching their potential, either personally or professionally. Most specialize in a particular area such as personal development, health, finance, career advancement, and intimate relationships, to name a few. I can help in some of these areas; my specialty is workplace relationships, also known as office politics.
Before going into more detail about how coaching can help, coaching roles and responsibilities need to be clarified in comparison to related disciplines. Coaching is not therapy. Therapists work with clients that need or want professional help to work toward healing, recovery, and unresolved issues. Therapists are experts in medical and behavioral sciences, trained to treat diagnosable conditions. Although related, coaching is not consulting. Consultants are hired to produce an action plan for clients to follow. Consultants advise their clients about how to solve problems. Consultants are focused on particular outcomes or results.
Coaches are focused on people. Coaches support clients as they discover their optimal solution. Coaches help clients create their vision. Everything after that reflects the clients’ vision. It’s a point of reference. As they define and work through their goals and action steps, any setbacks or obstacles are managed by referring to the vision. It keeps the client focused on moving toward what they want for themselves and their organization.
The coach and client use their knowledge, skills, and abilities (including intuition) to problem solve. The client sets an expectation of where they want to be and how to get there. In other words, the coach helps the client close the gap between where they are now and where they want to be by stimulating forward-thinking and opening up a world of possibilities. At the end of the process, the client owns their outcome because they took self-directed action to make it possible. In summary, coaches help clients change their thoughts so they can change their destinies. (Source: Coach Training Alliance)