Once you've decided a career coach is the way to go and you've scheduled your first session you’ll want to make the most of your time and your money!
Before you meet with a coach, take some time to prepare. If you don't know where to start, it's perfectly OK to show up empty-handed and let the coach guide you. However, good preparation can make the process easier and get you a closer to reaching your goals, faster.
We’ve compiled some tips to help you prepare.
What is a Life Coach?
Before you go to a session you first need to understand what a life coach is and isn’t.
A life coach is a specially trained person who can help you look at your life objectively. You will work with your life coach to work on your personal development and reach your goals whether they are personal, financial, career or health-related. Life coaches aim to help you help yourself. You will become more self-reliant and more confident in your own decisions.
Think About What You Want From Coaching
Identify how you want the coach to help you. Do you need to improve your CV? Do you want to achieve a work goal, a health goal or find love? Whatever it is you need to decide what it is you want from a coach. The clearer you are the easier it will be for a coach to help you.
Do Some Self-Assessment
Before seeing a coach to clarify your goals, do some initial self-assessment. Ask yourself the following questions and take some notes:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What are you naturally good at?
- What do other people say are your greatest strengths?
- What's most important to you in life?
- What motivates you in life?
Share these answers with your coach. They will serve as a good starting point for further assessment.
Go In With An Open Mind
By choosing to work with a life coach, you're taking a leap into an exciting opportunity that could really make a difference in your life. Remember to keep an open mind and take the guidance of your career coach seriously. Your coach will ask you to do things that are challenging or outside your comfort zone. This won’t be easy but it will be worth it when you can work towards your goals. The coach won’t force you to decide on anything until you are capable. Sessions are confidential to enable you to investigate your thoughts, opinions, beliefs and values.
At your life coaching session, you should already have the motivation to work with the coach and be truthful concerning your aspirations for your life. Once your life coach understands your current situation, they will guide you through a positive process aimed at making internal and constructive changes.
Processes and Techniques
Some of the common processes that coaches employ include visualization, affirmations, hypnosis, meditation, relaxation and many others. Sometimes discovering your ultimate intention and clarifying how you want to feel helps to kick-start a new perspective and can make things clear for you moving forward.
A coaching session will be slightly different depending on what methods your life coach uses and what stage of coaching you’re in. The relationship with your coach will change over time and techniques will change and develop depending on what stage you’re at.
Coaching sessions will always be tailored to your needs and so will naturally change over time.
Your coaching sessions will gradually reveal what’s holding you back in reaching your goals. Through the sessions with your coach, you will find out exactly what you need to do to get over your mental and emotional blocks.
A life coach is there to help you see what’s in your blind spots and getting you to look at things from a different perspective. Life coaches are valuable because they give an outside perspective that you might not be able to see by yourself.
Outcome of a Life Coaching Session
The outcome of a life coaching session is a feeling of direction and purpose. Instead of those feelings of being lost or constantly frustrated by either not being able to reach your goals or just disappointment in failing to try, you will feel energized and mobilized to move forward.
When you are finally able to set yourself realistic goals and take the correct steps to follow through, it is an amazing feeling. You will finally feel ready to achieve your goals.
Your life coach is there to guide you to these conclusions and get you moving forward. You’ll begin to feel more confident and therefore more productive! The happiness that comes with having a clear vision and actually achieving your goals is validating, and the best thing that comes out of spending your time and money in life coaching sessions!
What Your Relationship with Your Coach is Like
You may initially be unsure about what your relationship with your coach should look like. The relationship should be based on trust and be something that is constantly challenging you. The ultimate goal for a life coach is not to tell you what to do but to ask you the right questions so that you tell yourself what to do. Then they are responsible for holding you accountable for the decisions you make, and the goals you set.
A life coach can be similar to a lot of things like a consultant, advocate, friend, facilitator, navigator, and more but ultimately they are there to get you to take action. The relationship is bound to fail if you expect them to be just a friend who cheers you on or just a consultant who gives you all of the answers and data you need. They are there to help you succeed so they will push you and challenge you to look at things differently and stay on the right track. This is a relationship that is a partnership. You can trust them to be a non-judgmental party who is looking out for your best interest with no ulterior motive except to see you succeed.
At the centre of it all is the idea that clients are given the power to help themselves. Coaches will not offer advice, give their opinions or pass judgement, but instead guide to an answer. There are some basic principles of life coaching that all coaches should follow:
- Subjectivity: we all have different perspectives, none of which are 'right' or 'wrong', but some perspectives can be restrictive and can stop a person becoming who they want to be.
- Empowerment: it is within everyone's capability to adjust their own perspective. With the tools that you learn through life coaching, anyone can learn to open their mind to achieve their goals.
- Guidance: there is a difference between an instructor and a guide. An instructor shows a person exactly what to do, whereas a guide provides the tools and support a person needs to do something for themselves. A life coach is a guide, not an instructor; they will not tell you what to do.
Do Life Coaches Have Qualifications?
Currently, in the UK, life coaching is an unregulated profession. This essentially means that anyone can call themselves a life coach. Because of this, it is essential you do your research.
Having said that, many coaches are associated with professional affiliations that include published codes of standard set procedures and moral values. Many of the institutions offer certification to guarantee that their associates are prepared enough to be employed as life coaches. To be given their credentials, life coaches must have a mandatory number of training and coaching practice hours. For example, to achieve certification as a professional certified coach from the International Coach Federation (ICF), an individual must accumulate a minimum number of coaching and training hours.
Make sure you find the right coach for you. Search online directories and organise a meeting before you commit to a coach. You should feel comfortable with your coach.
Choosing the right life coach can make a significant difference in your outlook, energy, stability and happiness in life.