Once an enviable employment perk – a service used by an elite group of successful investors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, sportsmen and entertainment personalities – life coaching has become ubiquitous. A rapidly increasing number of mid-level executives as well as individuals coming from virtually all paths in life are consistently using life coaching services to catapult their careers, break free from 9-to-5 jobs, and to create better, more fulfilling, richer lives, among many other goals. But what is a life coach, and why is it so in demand?
A life coach is a professional who has developed the skills and learned the required techniques to motivate his or her clients (usually referred to as coachees) to reach a certain goal, solve a frustrating problem and discover their particular purpose in life. But more than anything else, life coaching is about getting concrete results – outcomes that can be easily measured or markedly experienced by the coachee. Generally speaking, a life coach guides and empowers the coachees to make their dreams a reality.
It is important to realize that there are many aspects that define the life of a person. Each one is capable to strongly influence, and even define, the perception of fulfillment and success. Among them, personal growth, relationships, health, career, money, fun, vision of the future and physical location are prominent. The level of personal satisfaction of the coachee in any of these aspects can range from very low (very dissatisfied) to very high (highly satisfied).
Given the complexity of life, it is easy to understand that the practice of life coaching is full of challenges. It is of paramount importance to clearly establish what the coachee really wants, which implies reading between the lines and hearing the unvoiced questions. Many coachees have difficulties articulating their ultimate goal or identifying the changes they need to make in their perspective to live their lives according to their potentials.
The word life has recently begun to vanish from this career title, as many life coaches prefer to identify themselves according to their specialty. Executive coaches, health coaches, leadership coaches, financial coaches and spiritual coaches are among many of the specialties or explicit denominations related to life coaching.
There are several modalities in the practice of coaching. Some coaches offer individual coaching, which mostly involves face-to-face sessions. Skype and phone calls are used as alternative channels and also allow coaches to have an international portfolio of coachees. Group coaching, also referred to as performance coaching, is another modality that is usually performed within an organization. This often leads to a full-time engagement for the coach.
In summary, life coaching is the process of helping someone to reach his or her potentials in life. It is transforming a dream, vision or idea into reality.