11 Questions You Have About Life Coaching But Didn’t Know Who To Ask

As a life coach, I am constantly asked questions related to life coaching.  Below are some of the most common ones. 

Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me if you have any further questions related to coaching.

What is coaching? Coaching is a unique one-on-one partnership in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires individuals to maximize their personal and professional potential. Life coaching works with people to improve their lives by helping them learn and know more about themselves is designed to help individuals overcome challenges, plan for the future and maximize success regardless of which area of life is in question (family life, romantic life, career, health…etc.) Coaching is:

Confidential

Empowering

Goal-oriented

Non-judgmental

Objective

Partnership

Supportive

Coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work , and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.


What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?

Do any of these statements sound familiar:

I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

My life seems out of balance.

I have dreams and goals that seem to be out of reach.

I lack clarity or am unhappy with my life.

I have no control over my life.

I would like to improve my relationship with others

My team is not delivering good results


What is the coach’s role?

I once met a person who said they were a coach. “People come to me with their problems and I solve it for them” This is NOT a coach.

Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs.

Coaches do not tell you what to do or give advice

They remain neutral and objective  

They provide suggestions (which the client does not have to follow);

They challenge the client’s limited beliefs, fears and thought process;

They encourage client self-discovery;

They empower their clients to get in touch with their resources to solve their own challenges


What is the coaching process like?

The coaching process is flexible therefore it depends on the agreement between the coach and client.

Generally speaking, a session lasts for about 50 – 60 minutes and tends to be one session a week.

Coaching session can take place over the phone, online video calls or in-person. Each method or platform has its advantages and disadvantages.

A lot of people have reservations about non-face-to-face- sessions. This is very normal and understandable. However, these sessions can be as effective as in-person because coaches are trained to listen and were most likely also trained and coached to handle over the phone or video call sessions. (Discuss this point with the coach you are interviewing and see what kind of solutions you can agree on. If you feel you absolutely must have in-person sessions, then honor that wish and make sure you find a coach in your area who uses this platform).

Some coaches restore to sessions via text chats. This still remains unpopular and not preferred given that a lot of misconception can occur and is added work to both the client and the coach. 

While coaching occurs one-on-one, it is possible to have sessions with two or more people (such as in group and family coaching)

Coaches may also facilitate workshops

It is VERY normal to feel nervous about calling a coach.  This is not easy so congratulate yourself on this huge step. 


How long would I need coaching?

This is a difficult question to answer because coaching depends on the person more than it depends on the coach.

Generally, it takes about 3 to 6 months for new habits to develop.

Some people have specific goals and end their coaching sessions once they have reach these goals.

Some coaching goals are a bit more complex  

In other cases, the coaching process brings out other issues which the client chooses to address.

Many people work with a coach for a while and stop when they have reached their goals yet have on and off sessions every now or there when needed.

Here is a little secret that is not really a secret: even coaches have coaches. 


Am I ready for coaching?

Are you ready to devote the time and energy to make changes in your work or life? (you will be doing all of the work)


How is coaching distinct from other service professions?

Professional coaching focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management.

Coaching focuses on the present while using the past as a point of reference.

One may have a therapist and life coach simultaneously.


How do I choose an effective coach?

LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELING AND FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT.

Much like any relationship, coaching is a two-way relationship that requires a level of trust, transparency, and chemistry.

Spend some time researching coaches.

Ask yourself what aspects are important to you. For example:  Is the gender of the coach important? Session platform (discussed above), language, religion…etc. There is no right or wrong answer.

Interview the coach and feel free to ask any questions related to their credential or experience.  Many coaches tend to interview their potential clients as well.

Just like with any other profession, a new coach might not have enough years of experience but can still be a very good coach.

Check-in with yourself on how you feel during and after the call/meeting with the coach.

We each have our own values, priorities, and interpretation in life. Your objective coach will be sensitive to your personal values and priorities and coach you accordingly.

Be aware of what assumptions you have about coaches and how much of it is just your views on life. For example, your coach might have a different view on what a healthy lifestyle is or make personal life choices that are different from yours.  Different values and priorities should not affect the coaching process.

If you feel your coach is pushing towards a specific direction you might not agree with, then perhaps you look for another coach.  (Address this issue with your coach if it does happen)

Until now, there is no agreement on what credentials a life coach must-have.  The International Coaching Federation (ICF) which is the biggest organization for professional coaches has put forth some guidelines and standards for coaches.  Their search engine might be a start to find coaches in your geographical area and figure out the areas in your life you would like to work on.  

While referring to the ICF, it is noteworthy to mention that not all coaches feel the need to be part of the organization. Being an ICF member does not reflect on a coach’s capabilities or credentials. Also, being a member does not guarantee that the coach and client are compatible.

 

Life coach, business coach, relationship coach…. What’s the difference?

Here is another little secret that is not really a secret: there is not much difference. Coaching is coaching regardless of the goal or area of life that is being addressed.  The difference is that specialty or niche might indicate where the coaches’ interest and experience lies.

It is also used as a marketing tool to help people find a coach.

Areas of life affect each other so it is natural that while you are being coached in one area of life that an issue in another area presents itself. For example, a business coach might coach the client on issues related to family life. Or a client, who has a relationship coach, might notice that she would like to start her own business and would want some coaching in business.


What do I do if I want a coach, but I can’t afford it?

Where there is a will there is a way. Saying this, don’t let the issue of money (or lack of it) stand in your way.    You have been such a good reader (and this is a very long post) that I am giving you another little secret that is not really a secret: talk with the coach and see if they have a payment plan. Many coaches agree to reduce their fee in an exchange for a service (bartering: exchange of services or goods for other services or goods without using money). This is perfectly legal. For instance, one coach was working with a flower shop owner who couldn’t afford coaching.  They agreed that she would reduce her fees in exchange for weekly flower arrangements. The mind is very powerful in protecting us and coaching can be perceived as a threat. Therefore, the mind will find any excuse to make it impossible for us to seek change. So, talk with your potential coach. She/he is your ally and will appreciate your honesty and expression of vulnerability.

How Do I Become a Coach?

Great question! First, start out by asking yourself: Why do I want to be a life coach? Being a coach requires a lot of dedication whether it’s to gain the needed skills or enhance and develop these skills. Life coaching programs could take up anywhere from a weekend (not recommended if you are planning on becoming a professional coach) to up to a year. Online search might become incredibly overwhelming so here are some things you can do:

* Check the ICF web page for chapters in your area and for accredited programs. There is a never-ending discussion on whether or not coaches and coaching programs should be accredited to the ICF. Being Accredited to such a big organization has its perks. It's prestigious, offers nice discounts and might distinguish coaches from each other but it is also very costly. and might not offer the wanted results.

* Interview coaching schools and see if what they offer is in alignment with what you want. Ask to talk to students if you want.

* Contact coaches in your area and ask them directly about their experience.   Some would be more than happy to assist.

* Do a google search. Many articles have been written in this regard

* I have seen some good looking coaching programs but I have to admit that I am biased and would recommend Professional Excellence in Coaching iPEC since I graduated from them. I have also recently come across INLP which combines coaching with NLP. Don't take my word and do your own homework. Feel free to contact me further if you can't decide.


Whether you decide to hire a coach or be a coach, remember that you are you exactly where you need to be <3

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