What is Coaching? A Short Guide to Life Coach and Career Coach Services
In simple terms, coaching is all about helping an individual or a business achieve an outcome faster than working alone. In the process you gain greater understanding about yourself, what you want from life, your career or your business. Knowing this, you can set and work towards goals to achieve the outcome you want.
Coaching provides greater clarity and fresh insights into your current situation. Through the coaching process you will grow as a person, becoming more confident and understand your values better. This motivation will drive you to accomplish new things, including dreams and aspirations you never thought were possible.
Working with a coach is the best way to kick start your life, career and business goals. You will get past procrastination, limiting beliefs and other factors that held you back before.
Coaching involves making a commitment to yourself, that you want something new, to be the best version of yourself. You are making an affirmation that you are willing to take action to make it happen.
Life Coach and Career Coach Services
People work with a coach to achieve goals in their life and career. Although life coaching and career coaching can be thought of as separate disciplines, really they are very much linked.
Achieving life goals normally involves having a career that allows you to have the resources to do the things you want. For most people, the ultimate goal is feeling happy and fulfilled in life. Unless your career works for you, you are unlikely to get there.
As a life coach, when working with a client, the goals we set and work towards most often include career outcomes, along with other areas like relationships, health and fitness, education, hobbies and interest and overcoming negative behaviour patterns.
When I start working with someone as a career coach, a vital consideration is what you want from life and how your career choices will allow you to achieve it. People often seek help with their careers because they feel overwhelmed and don’t have the right work-life balance for them.
Understanding your motivation is vital to achieve the goals that will lead you to the career outcome you are looking for. This motivation will be driven by your vision of the life you want to create.
What to Expect From a Life Coach
The short answer? With anything! A coach can help you accomplish whatever you want to do, providing you have something you want to achieve and you’re motivated and committed to do it.
Here are just some of the areas that I have helped my clients with:
- Understanding what you want from life and developing a strategy to achieve it
- Evaluating your career and managing career transition from one direction to another
- Making changes to achieve a better work-life balance
- Beating procrastination, poor time management, lack of confidence and other issues holding you back
- Breaking free from employment and setting up and developing your own business
- Improving your health and wellbeing by being more active and eating better
- Resolving relationship problems and building closer bonds with friends and family
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
As part of any coaching programme, neuro-linguistic programming (or NLP) is a highly effective approach to help you achieve your outcomes. NLP is fantastic for helping you gain fresh insights about yourself and uncovering the reasons why you think and feel in a certain way.
Knowing this, through neuroplasticity you can ‘re-programme’ your thought processes so you can achieve the outcomes you are looking for.
As an NLP Practitioner, in addition to the goals outlined in the previous section, I also help clients with:
- Overcoming phobias, including fear of flying, crowded places, heights, spiders and insects, dogs, social anxiety. Basically any overwhelming fear that hold you back from doing things you want to do.
- Changing unresourceful or negative patterns of behaviour, such as binge eating, nail biting and other compulsive habits.
- Coping with and reducing anxiety in stressful situations.
- Changing how you feel about events that happened in the past.
- Getting rid of old beliefs that until now have limited the things you choose to do.
Coaching: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about coaching. Please ask me a question if there’s anything else you’d like to know.
How does online coaching work? Is face to face better?
Online coaching sessions take place using video or voice call, normally using a service like Skype or Zoom. Online coaching, rather than meeting face to face, offers many benefits for both client and coach.
As a client, you have much greater flexibility. Online coaching means you can choose the right coach for you, regardless of where he or she lives. Your coach may even be on a different time zone from you. The most important thing is that they are the right coach for you. You can also schedule your sessions outside of normal working hours.
Although I am based in Manchester in the UK, a high proportion of my clients live in other countries, including across Europe, the US, Canada, and Australia.
In addition to flexibility over the time of your sessions, you can also be coached wherever is comfortable or convenient for you. Maybe at home, your office or while you are away on business or taking a trip somewhere. Being in a place that feels comfortable and secure means you are likely to feel more relaxed than meeting at the coach’s location.
As a coach, I also find coaching by phone or video call can be more effective than face to face coaching. Not being in the same room as each other removes some of the inevitable distractions, filtering out environmental factors that could get in the way. The most important elements of a coaching session are the client’s words and how they say them. A good coach can get all the information they need just from listening to the client’s voice.
What are goals and why are they important?
Setting goals and working towards them in a very strategic fashion is the single most effective way to achieve anything in life. It’s common for people have great aspirations for what they want, where they would like their life to go. However, they normally remain just that. A pipe dream or best intention.
Defining precisely what you want and turning it into a goal means you fix the destination. It is pinpointing your outcome on a map in your brain so you know exactly where you are going. Coaching helps you find your way, so you get there faster and more effectively than working by yourself.
Scientific research has also shown that setting goals is good for your mental health. Goals provide a higher purpose or mission, which you are driven towards achieving. A research project by the University of Liverpool (Dickson and Moberly, 2016) also found that working towards a goal helps patients who are suffering from depression have more positive outcomes
How are coaching sessions structured?
Sessions are structured around the needs of the client and the areas you are working on. It could be the case that your programme of coaching sessions is designed to help you achieve a significant life or career goal, with each session working progressively to help you get there. Or you may want to talk about something different each time and work on multiple different areas.
Alternatively, sessions may have outcomes centred around helping you to decide what you want your life or career. Uncovering what will motivate you to achieve it or gaining clarity over the values that are most important to you. All of these are important in helping you set the right goals to achieve the outcome you are looking for.
Sessions may also look at other areas like confidence, limiting beliefs, anxiety, phobias, using NLP techniques to help you.
The key to any successful coaching programme is flexibility – working on whatever you need at the time of your session and at a pace that is good for you.
What happens in between coaching sessions?
At the end of each session, you will normally have actions that you decide you want to do complete. Once completed, these actions will move you closer towards achieving your goal.
We review your progress at the start of your next coaching session.
What’s best? One off sessions or a coaching programme
Coaching works best in a programme of sessions, especially if you are working towards a significant goal or outcome. Although you will start making progress right from your first session, I recommend a minimum of six sessions, depending onwhat you are looking to achieve.
A single package of sessions may be enough for you to complete and achieve your goal, depending on the outcome you are looking for. However, many clients see value in choosing to work with me for longer. This helps support their personal or professional growth as they progress to achieve new and bigger outcomes.
My entry level coaching package is 6 hours, which can be split into up to six sessions. I also offer a 12 hour package and longer, more immersive coaching programmes involving a higher level of support in between sessions by phone or email.
From our initial free 30 minute discovery call I will be able to work out the best package for you.
How should I prepare for a coaching session?
It is important to feel awake, calm and present in the moment to really get the most out of a coaching session. For that reason, you need to be settled in one place, wherever is best for you, rather than travelling. It’s also good to take some time beforehand to allow you mind to switch off from you were doing before. This way you can focus completely on your coaching session. A great way to do this is to go for a walk, listen to music or meditation. Whatever works best for you.
As with everything else in life, you will get out of your coaching session whatever you put in.
How do I know if a coach is qualified to help me?
Coaching is a largely unregulated profession. There are lots of people out there with no training call call themselves a life coach or a career coach. Therefore, it’s really important to check out their qualifications and look for any professional bodies they are affiliated with.
Any reputable coach will also abide by an acknowledged code of ethics in running his or her practice.
I undertook my coach education with The Coaching Academy, based in the UK, which trains more coaches than any other company worldwide.
With The Coaching Academy I have completed two diplomas: Personal Performance Coaching, which is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner, which is accredited by the Association for NLP (ANLP)
As a member, I abide by Code of Ethics of both The Coaching Academy and the Association for NLP (ANLP).
How do I choose the right coach for me?
The right coach will build good rapport with you and ask the right questions to help you set and achieve the right goals.
Firstly, established the coach is suitably qualified, with the proper professional credentials. It is common practice for a coach to offer a free introductory call. This is your opportunity to assess whether you get on with the person you are speaking to and can have confidence in them to help you.
As some coaches offer online coaching, it is not necessary to find a coach who lives in the same place you do. However, should check that the coach can fit in sessions at convenient times for you.
Neuro-linguistic Programming techniques blend really well with and enhance all one to one or group coaching programmes. Choosing a coach who is also an NLP Practitioner means you will be working with someone with a level of skill and expertise to help you at a deeper level to achieve your outcomes.
Another consideration is to check for reviews or testimonials on the coach’s website or social media. This will provide you with insight into how the coach has helped other clients.
It’s also good to choose a coach with an active social media presence or with a regular blog. This provides additional content you can learn from and which will help motivate you in between sessions. As well as the blog on my website, I provide regular content through Facebook and Instagram.
Do I need life coaching or career coaching?
When I start coaching a client on career goals, it is often the case that I also end up helping them with other areas of life too, such as relationships, health goals, confidence and lots of other life goals. Likewise, career or business goals often form part of a life coaching programme.
Choosing a coach who specialises in both life and career coaching means you will be working with someone who can coach you on most areas. Look for other areas of specialism too that may complement outcomes you would like to work towards.
For example, as I’m also an athletics coach, I will draw up fitness schedules and offer nutritional advice to clients who are working towards sporting or fitness goals.
What sort of person becomes a coach?
I soon found after I commenced by own coaching journey that coaches tend to be among the nicest people working in any profession. This is because coaches normally choose to do what they do because they have a drive or need to help others be their best.
People usually move into coaching from other professions, bringing with them a vast amount of expertise. This enriches the services they can offer to their clients.
By the very nature of the work coaches do, they will always be a ‘people person’ and genuinely care about the client they are working with.
Finding a qualified coach who is right for you means you will be in safe hands as you work towards your life, career and business goals.
When is the best time to get started?
The fact that you are reading this page indicates you are at a point where want to change something in your life or career.
When it feels like you’re standing on a threshold and you don’t want to stay where you are, it’s time to do something it.
You are ready to get started.
Now you have created momentum, don’t waste time or risk your attention or motivation being diverted elsewhere. Take action now!