What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching is a form of counseling done over the phone in weekly, 50-minute sessions to help you improve an aspect of your life like relationships, career, finding a life purpose, communication skills, fitness, and more.
A professional life coach has a depth of personal-development knowledge and specialized training to get you "unstuck" and motivated to take action. Through life coaching you can learn a lot about yourself and how to maximize your success in business, health, or personal life. Coaching helps build a strong inner game so that you can go out and realize your full potential.
Coaching can help you with the following:
- Finding a life purpose or a career you absolutely love
- Getting in shape, losing weight, and eating healthy
- Building confidence and communication skills
- Family and relationships (kids, parents, coworkers, spouses, bosses, employees)
- Identifying what motivates you
- Time management and increasing productivity
- Reducing stress
- Finding a better work/life balance
- Raising your emotional intelligence
- Advancing your existing career
- Starting a business
- Planning a major life transition
- Making important decisions
- And much more
It's hard to enumerate all the ways a coach can help you move forward in life. An effective coach can help you make intelligent decisions and plan for success in any area of your life, although often a coach will have a focused area of expertise like business, health, family, life purpose, etc.
How Much Does Life Coaching Cost?
Prices for coaching vary from coach to coach and depend on the coach's target market, years of experience, etc. Coaching generally ranges from $100-$300 per session, with a typical session lasting from 30-60 minutes. Many coaches offer packages, like $500 per month for 4 sessions. Business, corporate, or executive coaching tends to cost more.
Coaching: An Investment in Yourself
Coaching can seem costly but it's important to put this cost in perspective. How important is the quality of your life to you? How important is it that you maximize success in whatever ambitions you have? Coaching isn't just talk. A good coach will be results-driven, making sure that you realize your goals. A coach can't stay in business long if he doesn't deliver tangible results.
Investing in coaching (and by extension your own personal development) can yield a very high return on investment (ROI). What would it be worth for you to reduce stress from work? What would it be worth to find a career you deeply love? What would it be worth to you to keep your family together? What would it be worth to you to start your own business? What would it be worth to you to drop all that excess body fat?
The results from working with a good coach can be seen within just a few sessions. Even though a typical coach-client relationship might last 6-12 sessions, you should feel yourself growing on the inside after each session. At $200 per session, 3 months of coaching would cost $2,400. That's a lot of money, but the ROI can be 5, 10, or 100 times more if the coach helps you make a significant gain like becoming fit, holding your family together, getting a promotion, or starting a business. In fact, the result can be so far-reaching that the ROI becomes incalculably high.
How to Pick the Right Life Coach for Me
Once you've decided that life coaching is right for you, you're faced with the challenge of finding a great coach. With thousands of coaches out there, make sure you find a coach that fits your style, shares your philosophy, and is someone with whom you have a good rapport. Here's what to look for in a good coach:
- Professional, responsible, and on-time
- Certified, having completed a quality coach training program
- Has lots of documented coaching experience
- Experienced with helping clients facing similar challenges as yourself
- Walks the talk and lives congruently to what he says
- Gives minimal advice but asks lots of probing questions that make you think
- 100% committed to advancing and championing your agenda (as opposed to his own)
- Friendly, easy to talk to, and understanding
- Demands that you push yourself
- Constantly puts you into action
Signs That Your Life Coach Sucks
- Not certified, no formal training
- Doesn't start each call by asking about what YOU want and what YOUR agenda is
- Constantly gives you advice and tells you what you should do
- Gives specific suggestions based on his personal history
- Doesn't have a good, friendly rapport with you
- Misses call times or is late
- Gets distracted by other things while on the call with you
- Talks a lot about himself
- Promises specific results in your life, like "You will get your next promotion."
- Has little experience coaching others
- Goes straight into having you plan actions without working at the deeper level of WHO you are
- Doesn't live by principles he advocates. Example: an overweight health coach
- Doesn't help you set actionable, realistic goals
- Doesn't hold you accountable for your goals
- Doesn't acknowledge your accomplishments
- Doesn't inspire you to take action and live up to your own words
- Doesn't challenge you and make you think
- Doesn't push and stretch you to be your very best
- Doesn't have raving testimonials from past clients
- Coaches on-the-side, as a hobby, or only part-time
- Requires many sessions to deliver a breakthrough or tangible result
- Is negative, discouraging, judgmental, or long-winded
- Isn't constantly pushing himself to learn more and grow personally
Difference Between Coaching, Therapy, and Consulting
Although all three fields involve some form of working with a client to improve life function, there are also significant differences. Coaching takes a client from function to an optimal level. Therapy (typically) takes a client from a dysfunctional to a functional level. Consulting offers the client specific, expert-level advice.
Coaching: Coaches typically work with functional clients who want to build upon their existing level of success. The coach's job is to help clients make conscious decisions, draw out plans, implement goals, and better understand themselves. Coaching works through the art of asking powerful questions, which force the client to think deep and generate answers for themselves. A skilled coach rarely gives advice and is therefore qualified to coaching on a broader set of topics because he does not coach from personal experience. The coach holds to the client's agenda and follows up to make sure the client takes action.
Therapy: Therapists typically work with dysfunctional clients. Therapy clients often face severe mental challenges like depression, paranoia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, drug addiction, etc which may require medication. Therapy works well for more serious conditions and may help a client get over traumatic life events like death or rape, which prevent a client from living a normal life. Therapy likes to delve and root around in the past. It's usually done in-person and can last for months or years.
Consulting: Consulting is similar to coaching in that a consultant usually works with a functional client. The difference is in how a consultant and coach solve the "problem". A consultant usually offers targeted advice that stems from his own experience and knowledge base. So a consultant might be an expert on online marketing and offer a business specific advice on how to improve a marketing campaign to increase customer retention. The consultant is usually only qualified to give advice within a narrow field of expertise and may issue a set of changes for the client to implement on his or her own, without following up or keeping the client accountable.
Are You a Good Life Coaching Candidate?
Life coaching is a great way to move your personal development forward, but it's not appropriate for everyone. In general, coaching is designed to help mentally stable, already functional people to advance themselves to an optimal level.
You are an EXCELLENT life coaching candidate if...
- You are ready to take massive action to achieve your goals
- You understand that money itself won't make you fulfilled in life
- You know that you are capable of much more and your greatest gifts have yet to tapped
- You feel stuck with where your life is headed and you want to explore other options
- You are open-minded and eager to learn new things about yourself
- You want to take action and see results, and not just engage in mental-masturbation
- You want to motivate yourself to do more in life
You are a POOR life coaching candidate if...
- You have psychiatric or medical issues
- You are not ready to make real changes in your life
- You just want somebody to talk to and listen to you
- You feel that life is unfair and that you are a helpless victim
- You are happy with your life exactly as it is and have no desire to improve
- You expect that talk alone will get you results
- You are afraid to learn about yourself and face up to emotions
- You believe that who you are is fundamentally fixed and cannot be changed