Saturday, May 23, 2009

Why Do I Need A Life Coach?

There's no one way to answer that question, but I get asked it all the time...

I believe I am asked the question quite frequently because Coaching, as a profession is still relatively new. Life Coaching as a profession didn't become popular or well known until the late 1990's, although it has its roots in the 1970's when W. Timothy Gallwey suggested a paradigm shift in sports coaching. He had noticed that players self-corrected when he coached with open questions, instead of catching errors and offering suggestions. In fact, when a player listened to a suggestion and tried, performance diminished. When a player relaxed and held a picture and feeling of the end result, and allowed the body to create that result, the player improved.

So - Why do YOU need a life coach?

Let's face it - we are all playing a game - the game of Life. And we have all heard the old saying - "Its not how you win or lose, its how you play the game". How are you playing your game? Are you even in the game? Are you in the dug-out, or are you in center-field? Are you playing effectively? Are you playing a game you enjoy?

Coaches help people go from functional to optimum. From "mediocre" to great. Coaches help the players get the most out of the game, and yes - we help you win! We want you to knock it out of the park!

I'm already playing a game I enjoy - and I am playing it well - I'm already a winner... why do I need a coach?

All the "greats" have coaches - Michael Jordan has a coach. Oprah has a coach. Tyra Banks, and yes, even Barack Obama has a coach. They recognize the fact that in order to continually achieve greatness - to stretch further and further, they need to be continually challenged. Even Tony Robbins has a life coach! And, yes, as a matter of fact - I have a life coach too.

Most of my clients have one common issue - they are tired of spinning their wheels. They give so much energy to everyone else, (their jobs, their families, their friends) that they are often left with nothing for themselves. Sound familiar?

So, instead of asking "Why do I need a life coach?"... perhaps the shorter answer would be "who doesn't need a life coach?"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Considering a life coach?

Considering a life coach? Great!! You are one of the elite! You are amongst those cutting edge people who are realizing that coaching is the wave of the future. People are realizing that it just makes good sense to have the assistance of someone who is non-judgmental, a good listener, and capable of thinking "outside of the box," to help them make their lives more manageable and enjoyable.

When shopping for a life coach, you need to take several things into consideration. Coaching is an investment, so be sure to do your homework and choose carefully. Your coach should be reliable, supportive, open-minded, professional, personable, knowledgeable, action-oriented, and they should always keep to your agenda. Choosing a certified coach ensures that the person has been fully trained on all the skills and tools of effective coaching.

So amongst all the coaches out there - how do you choose?

  • Assess your goals - There are many coaches out there, and they all have different niches. Do you need work/life balance? Do you need a spiritual coach? Do you need a coach that specializes in a specific life situation such as bipolar or divorce? Utilize my life wheel to get a good picture on exactly what you would like to work on, then choose a coach that specializes in that niche, or is trained in balance coaching.
  • Call the coach. They should always offer a free (complimentary) session to go over your goals, explain their coaching programs, and make sure if they are a right fit for you.
  • Do your homework. The client-coach relationship is a partnership - be sure you interview the coach to make sure that s/he will be able to support you in all your goals. Be sure in each meeting, the coach concentrates on your agenda, and is willing to understand where you are today, and what you are willing to do to get to where you want to be tomorrow.
What a coach is NOT -

A Coach is not a consultant - Consultants have an agenda, and are often experts in certain fields. They offer advise and give answers to the client. Coaches on the other hand have no agenda except to help the client get what they want, and use the coaching process to discover what that is. A good coach believes their clients hold all the answers to any situation they face.

A Coach is not a therapist - A therapist's typical functions are to help clients fix problems, heal emotional wounds from the past, and sometimes manage mental illness. Coaches do not work with mental illness nor work on healing a clients past. In summary, the therapist usually helps the client heal by figuring out "why", while the coach helps the client move forward by focusing on "how."

A Coach is not a best friend - Honey - lets face it. When we need to be lifted up, there is nothing like lunch, a martini, and shoe shopping with our best friends... but how much of the conversation is ALL about YOU? A professional coach is trained to focus on you, your goals, and your agenda. A coach will not tell you what to do, or how I've been there, done that, and girl.... dump that zero and get yourself a hero! But, we might ask you where you got your cute shoes.

A Coach is not a mentor - Its great to have a role model who has "been there and done that" and will "show us the ropes", but a coach does not need to use his/her personal experiences as a model of success for the client. We believe that you are the best at what you do, and we want to hear what you have for ideas on how to reach your goals.

So when considering a coach, weigh out all the options, choose carefully, and most important, congratulate yourself for taking the first step to creating the life you deserve!

Live Your Dreams Inside - OUT!