Life Coaching 101
As human resources has evolved from managing the benefits and employee details of an organization to an investment-based philosophy, companies and individuals are embracing a new teaching method of personal development, life coaching. Part encourager, strategist, and accountability partner, life coaching is a growing tool for people whose needs are not met within the mentor-mentored relationship.
With corporations pushing productivity and excellence, the trickle down effect has landed in the minds of managers and supervisors who want to experience similar transformation in their personal lives as they conquer fear, adversity, and change. With motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Les Brown have extreme pep rallys on the dimes of corporations, individuals like Rhonda Britten and Iyanla Vanzant launch people into orbit through personal development sessions as well as larger group meetings of life coaching.
Life coaching’s origins began as counseling took on a different form as people sought to get counsel on matters beyond the typical problems of marriage, addiction, and finances. That counsel was based on the personal development and desire to push beyond this invisible ceiling a person felt confined by. Within life coaching, any individual was able to tackle life in a fresh and exciting way as both coach and the individual agreed on their level of investment and the goals that would be pursued.
People that utilize life coaching do so because they value the input and counsel a life coach brings. A true life coach is someone who partners with their student to ensure that they reach their goals. Successful life coaches bring tremendous value to their student’s lives and usher in the necessary changes to propel their students to greater success, healing, and joy.
Life coaching is not a hocus pocus therapy session where students tell their entire life’s story with the hope that a life coach can make sense of it without any great effort on the student’s part. Quite the contrary, successful life coaching is based on a coach’s ability to discern the root issues of a person’s life and to help them overcome them through coaching exercises, techniques, and other methods.
In the case of Rhonda Britten whose Fearless Living life coaching program is centered on aggressive confrontations of fear, her life coaching strategies were so successful that she parlayed them into a television show called, Starting Over. In the course of five seasons, she was a catalyst to the change of countless women as they overcame their pasts and the consequences of poor decision-making. Her success both here in America and across the ocean in England is based in large part to her commitment to do everything in her power to see to it that her students reach their goals.
As a discipline, life coaching revolves around five objectives. These objectives include what the individual wants to accomplish and a reasonable timetable for them to be met. The goals must be specific and clear. And no goal can be agreed upon unless it is measurable. Lastly, the goals must be action-oriented and results-focused.
When Rhonda Britten begins coaching someone her first goal is to get a picture of what the student wants the end result to look like. Without an image of an end result, the Chicago life coach has no direction to bring the student to. On the other hand, when a student is aware of what the end result will look like; both the life coach and the student have somewhere to push towards. As the student paints the picture, the life coach will look to make sure the picture is specific and clear so that there is no gray area in what they are accomplishing together.
Having grasped the picture of transformation that is desired, the life coach will set out to develop ways to measure a person’s progress in relationship to where they are when they begin the coaching period. When a student is able to continually measure they are able to see the progress that they are making to encourage and inspire them to work harder.
The actions a student will have to do will be action-oriented. Seeing that a student typically gets into a rut because of passive behavior, the life coach will create actions that will push the student to excel and succeed. The more a student is able to feel the joy of success the more it will become the hunger that drives them.
In business, managers are looking for answers more than questions. It is the questions that have led them to the path they are on now. But in life coaching, as opposed to giving you the answers, the life coach will create situations or ask the appropriate questions to get you to see what you have been blind to before.
Results are the bottom line for life coaches. Life coaches fail their students when the number of sessions has been completed and the student has accomplished very little if anything. Just like in business, life is about results. If no noticeable change has been made, life coaching has been a waste. On the other hand, if life coaching is to have any real benefit, results are what will tell the story better than anything else.
Life coaching cannot and will not go on forever. Typically, an aggressive case of life coaching will last six to nine months in length; more passive cases can last upwards of fifteen months as students and life coaches develop a systematic plan of action.
Life coaching is a productive way for men and women to address issues that have kept them from pursuing dynamic positions and places. Successful life coaches bring tremendous value to their clients in a way no other discipline has or can. With motivational speaking and success media selling at high levels, life coaching will experience similar growth in the future as men and women gain perspective, passion, and principles to live a dynamic life.