What Is Life Coaching? Everything You Need To Know About A Life Coach
At a high level, a life coach is someone that you connect with to support you in attaining your life goals.
They will have undertaken training that is focused on supporting others on their personal journeys to fulfill their potential and attain their goals. You can think of a life coach as more than a professional, as they act as a trusted and honest friend who wants the very best for you.
Identifying your goals, ensuring accountability, and providing encouragement are traits we all look for in a best friend; and a coach will support you in all these areas. Whichever area you are looking to enhance; be that in your relationships, career, or daily structure, these are a few of many which incentivise thousands of people to connect with a life coach every day.
The importance of a life coach
Recently, life coaching is becoming increasingly popular amongst individuals and businesses alike.
You may not have considered looking for a life coach previously, however in a world of increasing opportunity and challenges–having a coach can accelerate you towards your goals.
That said, here are the top 7 reasons why people work with a life coach according to research (ICF 2017):
· Achieving their goals (64%)
· Finding happiness (51%)
· Finding their purpose in life (48%)
· Doing what they love (44%)
· To make the right career choices (43%)
· Gain confidence (39%)
· Relationships/love (38%)
When you are collaborating with a life coach, you gain an invaluable understanding of how you can approach challenging situations, adopt the correct mindset, and implement techniques that allow you to be in control of your life and destiny.
What are the results of hiring a life coach?
So, does life coaching really work? Over the years, life coaching has proven to bring exceptional, positive impacts. Based on research (ICF), here are the results individuals have benefited from, by choosing to hire a life coach:
· 80% of clients surveyed said that it improved their self-confidence
· 73% of clients stated coaching improved their relationships
· 72% of clients improved their work performance
· 67% of clients saw a notable improvement in work-life balance
· 61% of clients improved the management of their business
· 57% of clients saw improvement in their time management skills
Why you may need a life coach as an individual
Long-lasting positive behaviours
Habits are essential in helping us to fulfil our potential. Throughout our lives, we have built habits such as house chores and having that particular coffee in the morning. In some instances, you will have developed habits that are far less beneficial – ones in which restrict your progress.
A life coach will support you in developing growth-oriented habits which increase your productivity. It’s possible to build life-changing habits through discipline, replacing the need for motivation, as these habits will be embedded into our lifestyle. These habits really serve as the benchmark to lasting positive behavioural change.
Short and long-term planning
Life coaches help you to identify your goals. Within your session, you can work in synergy to create a roadmap of short-term goals that work towards achieving long-term aspirations.
Short-term objectives are pivotal along the journey towards achieving your long-term aspirations. These short-term targets pinpoint landmarks in your journey towards your desired destination and provide you with added incentive to keep going. Your life coach will support you in identifying these through meaningful conversation.
Long-term plans which can be defined as your “potential”, can be seen in the distance, beyond your short-term goals. It’s always important to start with the end in mind, but it is equally important not to over obsess on long-term goals. Appreciate that all great achievements are built upon the hours, days or months spent working towards your short-term goals. A life coach will help you to identify your long-term goals and support your journey, providing encouragement and positive reinforcement for the commitment and consistency you demonstrate along the way.
Unbiased feedback and support
A life coach will give you objective, unbiased feedback on your personal development periodically, and often helps in suggesting how you can improve. Honesty inspires the greatest results, and you will appreciate such a trait in your life coach as you progress.
A new perspective?
Blind spots. We all have these, whereby we often struggle to identify particular behaviours and attitudes which are holding us back. Life coaching is a proven way in which you can benefit from a fresh perspective: helping you to overcome doubt by truly understanding yourself.
Why you may need a life coach as a business
Life coaching is not only for individuals looking to enhance their personal lives. Life coaching is becoming increasingly prominent in organisations; and is vastly prominent across Fortune 500 companies.
This is particularly the case for leadership teams, who are provided with executive coaching to enhance their performance and relationships with others. Let's have a look at the numbers.
· 63% of organisations that offered coaching to their employees reported higher revenues and income growth among their competitors.
· 92% of employees reported improved confidence in handling business challenges.
· 92% of employees reported increased skills in their jobs.
Tangible Business Impacts (frequency of impact reported by executives)
· Productivity Improvements 53%
· Organisational Strength 48%
· Customer Service 34%
Intangible Business Impacts (frequency of impact reported by executives)
· Improved Relationships with stakeholders 77%
· Improved Teamwork 67%
· Improved Relationships with peers 63%
The return on investment of coaching is estimated at 600%, according to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 500 executives (reported by financial times). Coaching for your business is an investment, but one that is proven in supporting success.
The different types of life coaches and what they do
There are various types of coaching in which a life coach may specialise in:
Relationship and Family Coaching
This style of a life coach will encourage discussion between partners and friends of the family who have communication barriers. Through discussion, such coaching encourages people to find solutions to overcome their existing issues. Whether it be rebuilding after a difficult relationship or looking to resolve family challenges; this type of coach will help you identify a conflict and provide a roadmap towards positive change. After all, our relationship with others is what ultimately defines our lives and personal happiness.
For those seeking guidance around their profession, a career coach can help in identifying career opportunities in the market or support your shift into a new industry. Many life coaches specialise in career coaching, given their experience within a specific industry. Find a coach who can help you find clarity in the direction you wish to pursue and then develop skills accordingly.
Life coaches sometimes support financial planning. They help you to identify spending habits, correct these, and help to plan towards a better financial future. It’s important that you check that these coaches have relevant experience in financial management; with those offering such service likely having a corporate banking, investment, or accounting background.
Mental Health Coaching
A life coach specialising in mental health support in rebuilding following challenges such as conflict or grief. They can help individuals develop techniques related to stress management or positive interactions with others, but they cannot be used in situations where a psychotherapist is most suited for disorders such as depression and other psychiatric illnesses.
In a similar area, health and wellness coaching supports individuals looking for motivation and guidance for health-related issues like losing weight, nutrition, and fitness. Again, please be advised that a doctor or physiotherapist may be more appropriate in certain circumstances.
A spiritual coach may assist those looking for a profound purpose in life. This style of coach uses spirituality to assist people with finding inspiration and approaches to problems.
All of these coaching areas can be explored on site, here.
The average price for life coaching sessions
At Adviice, based on our life coaches on-site, we say that new coaches tend to charge £40-£60 per hour. As they develop more experience, this rises to around £60-£80.
Experienced coaches with a portfolio of clients will likely charge a rate of £150-£200. That said many others will ensure their price remains between £80-£100. For organisational coaching, workshops tend to be substantially higher and are based on a daily rate.
Factors that affect the price of life coaching:
The coaches which have years of coaching experience or operate with a niche or specific industry expertise tend to be more expensive as they provide a unique training plan.
Similarly, coaches associated with trusted bodies such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) will likely be more expensive, but this accreditation is an indication of trust and value for money.
Many coaches, although having exceptional experience, will offer reasonable prices for sessions as they have a passion for making a difference. Coaching is what they love to do!
Adviice is committed to connecting you with a life coach which can inspire positive change in your life.
How to get the best from a life coach
Whether a session is online or in person, the benefits of talking to a life coach are proven by research and the personal experiences of others.
It’s important to maximise the value you gain from coaching indeed from each session. You are making a commitment to self-improvement, so finding the right coach is key. Here are some top tips for maximising your experience with a life coach.
Know the Objective of Sessions
Have objectives in mind as you approach your sessions. You do not have to know all the answers, but if you are taking the step to reach out, you have an idea of the direction you wish to take. That direction is ultimately forward! Even if you do not have a defined objective or outcome for an initial call, be prepared to talk openly.
The best coaches will have a portfolio of experience which demonstrates their ability to support you. However, there are other characteristics that define a coach; such as those that listen and those that challenge you to face the obstacles in your path head-on and with comfort.
How important is a coach’s certification?
Here are coaching certifications that indicate a trusted service and experience:
· Association for Coaching (AC)
· British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
· European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK (EMCC UK)
· International Coach Federation (ICF)
· International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring (IAPC&M)
· & More