I have a confession! This is going to sound pretty weird coming from a professional life coach, but I wasn’t always a big believer in the power of coaching. The whole concept just seemed kind of vague and wishy washy. How could talking to someone help if the person didn’t actually give you advice or tell you what to do? What would be the point? I just didn’t get it.
But now I do get it. Before I started offering life coaching services myself, I experienced life coaching as a client. And now I will never not have a coach of my own to work with.
I don’t want to exaggerate and say that people who aren’t getting coached are automatically doomed. It’s not like I never made progress on my own. I’m pretty self directed and self motivated, which is probably why it took me a while to see how I could benefit from coaching in the first place. But since I’ve been coached, my progress both personally and professionally has been much faster and much easier. And yes, although I kind of hate to admit it, I’ve achieved some things I probably never would have, had I just been toiling in isolation.
As for you… If you are still on the fence about coaching, let me try to explain how and why it works.
WHAT DO you get from life coaching?
Many of us lead busy lives full of distractions, so one of the greatest benefits of coaching is simply having the dedicated space and time to focus on what you really want in life and how to get it.
Day-to-day, people often spend a few moments thinking about their problems or having half-hearted conversations about them with family and friends. But then you get interrupted or overwhelmed or just stuck not knowing what to do and the issue gets dropped with no solution or way forward.
The coaching process, one the other hand, will almost always result in a way forward. As your coach, I will help you stay focused and keep asking questions for as long as is necessary to reach a resolution that helps you move forward.
And one nice side effect of this process is that many clients are able to greatly reduce the amount of time they spend ruminating about problems outside the coaching sessions. Whenever something pops up, you just make a note and “save it” for discussion in your next session.
Another one of the greatest benefits of coaching is increased clarity. Here’s how that comes about. First, you explain what’s been going on to me. I then summarize what you have said and ask clarifying questions. This simple act of saying things out loud and hearing someone else “parrot back” your thoughts, coupled with the clarifying questions, will help you gain tremendous amounts of self awareness in terms of what you really want and need, what is holding you back, what you can use to motivate yourself, what resources you can draw on, and what you are actually capable of. All of this clarity will then help you move forward with newfound confidence.
Let’s be honest here. Making changes is hard. It’s really, really hard. But as you are taking the first steps out of your comfort zone, I will walk with you. I will encourage you and I will cheer you on. And – unlike family and friends who may be well-intentioned, but who often have their own interests in the game – I will be completely committed to YOUR agenda. I won’t talk over you, I won’t interject with my own issues, and I won’t dismiss your goals because “I just don’t get it”. The coaching process is all about YOU.
We all have blind spots – beliefs and patterns of behavior we don’t even realize are holding us back in life. This is where having an outsider’s perspective can really supercharge your progress. The coaching process is designed to help you see how you might be unduly limiting yourself and how you might be overlooking certain resources and opportunities. With honest and direct feedback, I’ll help you remove limits, overcome obstacles, and uncover your full potential.
After you are crystal clear about where you want to go, I’ll help you formulate a strategy and action plan for getting there. We’ll outline very specific DOABLE next steps designed to move you forward on the path toward your goal.
We might not always want to admit it, but the truth is that there’s nothing like having to report to someone else to get you to do what you say you will do. 🙂 So yes, as your coach, I will help hold you accountable! But we will go beyond that and also explore ways to keep yourself motivated and hold yourself accountable long after the coaching process is over.
While the most obvious goal in coaching is to get you from point A (your current situation) to point B (the immediate outcome you want to achieve), there’s much more to coaching than that. The ultimate goal in coaching is transformation. By participating in the coaching process, you will gain new levels of self awareness, squash limiting beliefs, and acquire invaluable self management skills. This personal growth is something that will help carry you forward wherever you decide to go on your life’s journey.
WHAT ARE LIFE COACHING SESSIONS LIKE?
So what exactly happens in life coaching sessions? Well, there are two broad types of coaching sessions: structured and free-flowing.
STRUCTURED LIFE COACHING SESSIONS
In structured life coaching sessions, the coach uses some kind of tool, exercise, or assessment to help the client get their desired result.
For example, clients who are looking for potential alternative careers that fit their interest profile, take the Strong Interest Inventory® online and then we have an interpretation session where I first introduce clients to the concepts behind this assessment and then I lead them through the assessment report and we discuss any take-aways, following the structure of the report.
Or for another example, I might use a systematic decision making exercise to help a conflicted client choose which course of action they want to take when it comes to an important decision.
FREE-FLOWING LIFE COACHING SESSIONS
While structured life coaching sessions can be really useful for certain purposes, most coaching sessions are more free-flowing and don’t follow a predetermined structure.
However, not having a strict structure doesn’t mean that the coaching session dissolves into random chit-chat. My coaching sessions always start with identifying a specific topic and a desired outcome the client wants to work toward. This ensures that we both stay on track and the client leaves each session with a tangible result of some kind.
Here are some examples of the kinds of topics that might be tackled in a free-flowing life coaching session:
- I need to do X but I’m overwhelmed and haven’t been able to get started.
- I’m conflicted about X and can’t make up my mind.
- X happened and I didn’t handle it very well. I’d like to make sure I deal with it better next time.
- I think I want to do X, but I keep doubting myself.
- I want to accomplish X and I need a plan that’s actually doable.
- I have too many competing priorities and it’s overwhelming.
- I can’t figure out what to do about X.
After the desired outcome has been identified, the rest of the coaching session is a free-flowing conversation where I guide the client toward the desired outcome by reflecting on what they have shared about their situation, making observations, and asking questions with the purpose of moving the client toward their goal.
READY TO TRY OUT COACHING FOR YOURSELF?
Click the button below to schedule your free introductory session! My coaching services are location-independent with all sessions conducted online via Zoom.