Many people ask, “What is life coaching?” In the simplest terms, “Getting results!” A coach’s role is to help you assess what is going well in your life, decide what you want to change, and hold you accountable in achieving your defined goals. Financial well-being, relationships, work, parenting, spirituality, and marriage health are examples of life areas you may desire change. Everyone can benefit from a life coach, who can provide the needed structure, space, and time to figure out a life vision, direction, and goals to move toward that vision. A coach will also challenge your preconceived assumptions and help you navigate around roadblocks. A coach can make a difference in your thinking, beliefs, decisions, actions and ultimately your whole life.
Some clients enter a life coaching partnership clear on what goal(s) they want to achieve; whereas, others come to coaching with general discontent and indecision on how to move forward with their lives. A coach has the tools to help a client where s/he stands on the continuum of life satisfaction. Common issues that bring people to life coaching include:
- My spouse and I are not getting along as well as we have in the past. We’re in a rut and need help getting back on track.
- I’m a married wife and mother who is getting a divorce and need help transitioning to my role as a single working mother.
- I’ve been unhappy in my job for years and need a change but am unsure whether my unhappiness is with my specific job, my career, or my company.
- I’m stressed about not having a work-life balance.
- I’m a recent empty-nester and do not know what to do next with my life now that my children don’t need me on a daily basis.
- I’m a freshman in college with an undecided major and need to decide on my major and career direction.
- I’ve been dating a woman for two years and getting pressured for a proposal. I don’t know whether she is the right one or if I want to get married.
- How can I be a better leader for my family and the people I supervise at work?
What do these situations all have in common? Each person is struggling with a difficult situation or decision. A life coach can help one navigate through the decision-making and goal-setting process that results in greater empowerment and success.
Although each client’s situation is unique, I typically take a client through all or a portion of the following:
- Assess on a scale of 1-10 your satisfaction in several life dimensions
- Discuss past and current background content relevant to focus areas
- Suggest various exercises to discover strengths and weaknesses
- Define a vision for your life and select specific areas of growth
- Identify and define future goals that will move towards that vision
- Brainstorm ways to achieve goals
- Narrow solutions
- Develop SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Aspirational and Agreed, Realistic/ Relevant and Time-bound)
- Monitor and overcome obstacles in achieving goals
- Provide accountability
- Celebrate successes
Coaches and clients are equal partners, who co-construct the coaching relationship through vulnerable and empowering conversation. Coaches can administer written assessments, sometimes suggest, and lead with challenging and powerful questions, so clients can then decide on specific plans to achieve their defined goals. Coaching is grounded in the present with a focus toward the future, enabling people to move from where they stand to a position of where they want to be.
In addition to the time spent in session, coaches typically provide written exercises, document action plans, and follow-up with their clients between sessions. Coaching can be done over the phone, via Skype, and face-to-face. Coaching is for anyone who strives to be a better version of themselves in any area of life, and successful coaching is measured solely by the client achieving results. Everyone can benefit from having a coach, so let us further the conversation and find out how I may help you.
About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement. She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.