The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.
In other words, coaching is a highly tuned and powerful process of communication and problem solving.
As a coach, I honor my clients as the expert in their life and work and I do believe that every client is creative, resourceful and whole.
Standing on this foundation, my responsibility is to:
- Discover, clarify and align with what my clients want to achieve.
- Encourage my clients’ self-discovery.
- Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies.
- Hold my clients responsible and accountable.
This process helps my clients dramatically improve their outlook on life and work, while unlocking their potential.
Investment: The coaching process is a commitment and its success depends on its regularity.
What does a professional life coach not do?
As mentioned above a life coach focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. It is also helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions.
- Coaching VS Therapy: these are the similarities between the two professions: the relationship develops over time, the needs and wants of the client are the focus for both and confidentiality and ethics and standards are critical.
However, the differences are significant. A life coach is a partner who enhances their clients' lives through action while a therapist help a client to work toward s healing, recovery and issue resolution. A coach uses questions and reflection to highlight their clients' strengths and help clients uncover their wisdom and solutions while a therapist is trained to treat diagnosable conditions. And last, a coach uses personal disclosure as a tool to catalyze and challenge their clients while a therapist refrains from expressing personal feelings and thoughts. Coaching is not appropriate as front-line support for individuals suffering from chronic depression, anxiety or addictions.
- Coaching VS Consulting: A coach guides a client to their own solution while a consultant advises about how to solve problems. A coach focuses on people while a consultant focuses on results. A coach is hired to support their client as they achieve a certain outcome while a consultant is hired to produce a certain outcome.