So you’re a life coach… what does that actually mean?

When I tell people I’m a life coach, there will often be  a ‘Wow that’s great!’  followed by a pause, and then a look of concentration and perhaps a little confusion on the face of the person I’m chatting with, and finally the question … ‘What does a life coach actually do?’.

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When this first started happening to me, I used to  launch into a passionate (but long winded) explanation, about the importance of goals, and strategies, and drawing parallels likening my role as a life coach to that of a mix of personal trainer, manager, sports coach, etc etc…  Gradually either confusion reigned, or eyes glazed over and people changed the conversation or moved on. While lots of people  have heard of life coaching, most don’t really know what it’s all about, and that makes my ‘job’ as a coach just a little bit more challenging…

After lots of trial and error, and now 5 years down the track, I have a clear statement that people get when they ask. I tell them simply that as a life coach, I support people achieve their goals.

Yes, as a coach, I am part manager – giving constructive feedback, part personal trainer – pushing clients past comfortable, part sports coach – taking note of the whole state of play, not just my client’s current position, and part mentor – sharing advice and recommendations, but the biggest role I undertake is that of number one supporter.

If a client needs someone to bounce ideas off, talk them through a dilemma, help them get clarity around an issue, navigate a ‘road block’, keep them accountable to the actions they set, ask the tough questions, remind them about insights, keep them on track, and help them celebrate the ‘wins’… then  I’m there supporting them 100%.

I don’t have a vested interest in anything other than ensuring that my client gets the best outcome possible. I don’t take sides, I don’t discourage, I don’t take a negative perspective, I never put my own agenda forward, and I don’t talk negatively. I’m at the other end of the phone every week or fortnight, supporting my client, leading them to insight, and helping them achieve their goals.

To use a boxing analogy, I am in my client’s corner, believing in them and cheering them on!

So…. if you are interested in having someone support you without prejudice, consider teaming up with a life coach, and I reckon you’ll love the outcome.

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