Emma Minshull


What Really Stands Behind the Growing Popularity of Life Coach Careers? Just Read On:

What Do Life Coaches Actually Do? How to Get On the Path Towards a Successful Career in Life Coaching?

The very first thing that any individual, seriously considering a life coach career, should do is to get the clear and unambiguous realization of what exactly are the professional responsibilities of a life coach. In order to give the most concise and basic description, it can be formulated as follows: efficient and non-judgmental motivation. By taking up a life coach career, an individual should realize that his or her primary responsibility from now on will be providing the clients with various kinds of motivation stimuli, but doing it in a specific, life coaching way. The purpose of this activity is to enhance and considerably improve the overall performance of the client. The field of application of the life coach activities does not really matter; it could be professional or strictly personal. The core approaches, employed by life coaches, are basically the same in any of the cases.

Basically, situation can be illustrated as follows: a person, a prospective client of a life coach, is in need of assistance in order to reach some kind of his or hers personal or/and professional objectives. In the majority of cases this is extremely difficult to be achieved on your own, because of many reasons, such as pressures and stresses of your professional environment, family responsibilities and life or health issues - so, you just name it! Here is exactly the situation when a professional life coach steps in, offering a helping hand. What is amazing, the modern means of communication, such as Internet, with its instant messaging and e-mail options, make it possible to do without the necessity for coach and client to meet face to face, the whole coaching procedure can be successfully and time-efficiently carried out over the e-mails, instant messaging, VoIP programs or even the conventional phone! As simple as that!

The life coach careers give you an exceptional opportunity to combine a self-fulfilling and noble vocation with rather attractive financial incentives. As a rule, it is exactly the wealthy, busy people who employ the services of a life coach. This is understandable - the speeds and challenges of modern life, the constantly shifting business environment leave very little, if any, time and energy for self-improvement and performance-boosting. Busy working professionals are faced with a dilemma: they need to improve their performance on the constant base in order to stay among the players in their field of specialization. At the same time, they are hardly in position to spend time and efforts on such activities like efficient goal-setting, strategy planning and so on. The assistance of a professional life coach is exactly what could help them out of this predicament. And this fact explains the growing popularity of life coach careers that has been obviously demonstrated over two last decades.

It should be realized, in the first place, that there is one very important and fundamental difference between a life coach and a therapist careers. This difference is manifested in the opposite approaches that are employed by these two branches of applied psychology. What the therapists usually do is looking for the external reasons for the client's problem, when they, for instance, work with people who are experiencing problems like depression and so on. On the contrary, life coaches concentrate on people who need to become more organized or/and more productive. A life coach finds the strengths and stimuli from inside of the person and on their support guides the client to beneficial transformation. The choice is always on the part of the client, but the wise and balanced guidance is exercised on the part of the life coach. Putting it in a nutshell, this is exactly what the life coaches do for living!

The specific specializations of life coach careers are quite diverse and miscellaneous in numbers. Some life coaches prefer to concentrate on different areas of career or business coaching; some feel it more to their liking to specialize in health or fitness coaching. But the range of life coaching areas is not limited to the above-mentioned two. The spiritual coaching has become a rather trendy specialization recently, the approaches of spiritual coaching have been successfully applied to miscellaneous problems inherent for various life and business activities.

What Skills and Qualities Are of Key Importance for a Life Coach to Make a Successful Career in this Field?

It goes without saying, not every individual with an interest in life coaching would be able to make a successful career as such. A person should be able to demonstrate some specific features of his or her personality in order to become successful in life coach careers. The most important requirement is the natural interest in personal development. This aspect is of paramount importance. In the majority of cases this essential factor is exactly what attracts people to take up life coach careers, in the first place. The matter is, the life coaching process has a double-sided nature, and personal development of a life coach is immediately connected with improvement of the client's personal performance, whether in some business areas or outside of them.

There are two other very important personality traits, which are of critical importance in order to become a successful professional life coach. The first of them is the ability to listen to the client, and the other one - the ability to be non-judgmental. Through the ability to listen to the client the life coach makes use of the counseling skills, which can be learned very quickly by taking a short course. These skills provide a coach with the necessary materials for further analyses and consideration. The non-judgmental approach is the key factor for employment of one of the core methods of life-coaching: the coach should not instruct a client regarding what should be done, what actions to take etc. The potential solutions have to be introduces from the client himself in order to bring beneficial results. Consequently, life coaches should never impose their opinions on their clients.

I Have Decided to Take Up a Career of a Life Coach. How Can I Obtain the Necessary Skills and Qualifications?

For the moment, the educational regulations governing the qualifications of a life coach are still in the process of development. There are no strict standards set up yet. On the other hand, the number of programs for those whishing to try out life coach careers is quite wide. The life coaching institutions are represented in both possible formats: the traditional campus-based ones and the modern online ones. Those who wish to follow this profession are welcome to try any of them, depending on the availability, affordability and your personal time and financial resources. Online training is much more flexible and makes it possible for life coaching students to fit their training around existing work and family commitments.

In order to spare some precious time and efforts for you, we have compiled a short, but comprehensive list of items, which a life coaching course should certainly cover. Be careful and do some research into the training programs of a life coaching course. Any quality training program in this field of specialization should contain the following items:

1) Life coaching core values and detailed definitions of life coach responsibilities

2) The techniques for the selection of acceptable clients: the criteria and procedures for recognition of people in need of specialized psychiatric therapeutic assistance (such people definitely fall beyond the context of life coaching)

3) Efficient state-of-the-art techniques of building a "coach-client" rapport

4) Skills, which are essential for professional development of a life-coach, such as basic counselling skills, listening skills and others

5) The typical success-blocking barriers, which the clients usually suffer from and the methods to break through those barriers in the most time-saving and efficient way

6) Techniques of effective questions - how to phrase them and how to ask them correctly

7) The feedback techniques

8) The basics of self-employment management in the field of life coaching (how to establish your own life coach counselling agency, attract the clients and so on, including the subtleties of pricing)

9) If a client is not 100% satisfied with your life coaching - what to do next? Practical ways to make the best from clients who are not happy with your service

What would the next step be? In case you have made the firm decision to take up a life coach career - start looking for a suitable training program and - good luck!