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What is a Life Coach?

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

What a coach does, why it works, how they help and most importantly, what they are not!



What a life coach does


In a way, we all already know what coaches do and how vital they are to an individual's development. In sports, nobody ever questions the role of a coach, and how key they are to the development of a team and its players. In this world, a coach is expected to work with an athlete, hone their capabilities, unlock their potential and bring out the absolute best in the their performance.


Well, this is exactly what a professional coach does, minus the injuries and the sweat! Replace the subject of athletics by what one hopes to gain from life, professional career or business, and we now have a very clear picture of what a professional life coach does.


A few ways that a life coach can assist a client:


  • By helping them unblock an obstacle in their personal life or business, that has them feeling "stuck" and that has been holding them back from experiencing joy and a better quality of life

  • By allowing the client to see their issue(s) in a completely different perspective, allowing them to gain new accountability to what they are facing

  • By defining a strategy, goals, an action plan or business plan, and related timelines, in partnership with the client, that will get them the results they are looking for


Similarly to a sports coach, a life coach focuses on getting results and the best performance out of their clients.

A professional coach recognizes that their client already has the answers they are looking for and that they simply need the right support to be able to bring them to the surface. It is a truly respectful relationship, never condescending, because the coach understands that their role is a support one, not a teacher-student one.



Wait... So they are not experts giving advice?


The biggest misconception that probably exists regarding professional coaching is that they are experts in a field, and that they provide value by telling or advising their clients what they need to do to fix their issues.


While a coach may have expertise in a specific area, telling or advising a client what to do in a specific situation is actually consulting, not coaching. While there is definite value in consulting, it is important to distinguish between consulting and coaching to manage expectations of clients and the work they have mandated.



Is a coach a therapist?


Short answer: No. While a professional life coach can be a licensed therapist at the same time, and vice versa, the two professions are not the same. They each have their unique value; one is not better than the other.


Therapy, most often delivered by a psychotherapist, psychologist or licensed counselor, deals with examining past traumas that the client has endured, how the past shapes their present behaviours and explores different techniques and modalities to clinically treat these traumas, giving the client a better overall quality of life.


Life coaching, on the other hand, focuses on the now and the future; what must be done from this point forward to get the client the result in life or business they are seeking. Clarifying goals, creating a vision for the future, defining action plans and business plans, are all techniques employed by a life coach to assist their client in reaching their potential.


Life coaching focuses on the now and the future, and most importantly, how can we get there?


I can already set goals and reach them. Do I really need a life coach?


Working with a Life Coach is not for everyone!


First off, not everyone needs a life coach. People who know exactly what they want out of life or their business, who are capable of defining very clear visions of what they want, and know exactly what next steps must be taken in order to get the desired result will definitely not see the value in working with a life coach, although one can always argue that "everyone can use a helping hand" to strive for better!


However, many people simply need that additional support and perspective from an unbiased third-party to unlock the answers they are seeking regarding which steps to take next in their life, how to deal with a particularly stressful event, or how to unblock an obstacle that has been holding them back for a while. For these individuals, life coaching can be extremely powerful!





How long does coaching take before I get results?


While I hate to say "it depends", it really does! It depends on the nature of the issue, how open the client is to change, how serious they are about making the change, the amount of work they are prepared to put into the change.


IKIGAI Coaching offers several unique programs that can start delivering positive results within hours.

If you are serious about making a positive change for yourself, and feel that the time has come to make this change, contact IKIGAI Coaching today to start getting the results you have already imagined for yourself.


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