What is a Life Coach? And, What Do They Do?

What Is A Life Coach?

What follows is a typical conversation in response to the opening question, “What is a Life Coach?”

A Typical Conversation

New Friend, we’ll call him Joe: “So Creed, what do you do for a living?”

Creed, “I’m a Life Coach and Executive Mentor.”

Joe: “What?” (whimsical look) “What is a Life Coach?”

Creed: “Did you ever play sports in school or any kind of intramural sports, Little League, that kind of thing.”

Joe: “Sure.“

Creed: “Well, that’s kind of what I do but I believe you are an expert in your life and have the answers to all your problems residing within you. A Life Coach is able to uncover those answers by providing a framework to bring the solutions to the surface.”

Joe: “How does that work?”

Creed: “Let me answer with a question, If you keep doing the things you are doing now, will you be happy with your future?

Joe: “Yeah, I think so.”

Creed: “So there is nothing you would like to improve in your relationships or your career?”

Joe: “Well, we can always get better but I’ve never needed the help of anyone before. Why would I need you?

Creed: “That’s true, but would you like to get there faster and with greater enthusiasm and joy?”

Joe: “Maybe” (still reluctant to make any kind of commitment)

Creed: “So do you like sports?”

Joe: “Sure”

Creed: “What’s your favorite sporting event to watch?”

Joe: “Baseball, I love the Rays!”

Creed: “Would it surprise you to know the most successful players in MLB have coaches for improved performance? Take Mike Trout for example, he has a coach. So does every high performing CEO in the country! They want every advantage they can find to perform at the highest level. In fact, many of them have a coach for different aspects of their life.” The coach’s job is to get in the head of the client and optimize their performance.

Joe: (still not convinced) “Okay, I’ll keep you in mind.”

Is this where you are struggling with the idea of Life Coaching?

How To Get Life Coach Certified

Like many professions; certified coaches are credentialed by a governing body, the International Coach Federation (ICF). The ICF provides oversight of ethical standards, qualify training institutions and have rigorous standards and testing to ensure the long term success of the occupation. ICF’s response to the question, “What is Life Coaching?” follows:

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve

Encourage client self-discovery

Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies

Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential. (1)

How Can A Life Coach Help Me

Still confused? What is most important in your life? The answer is as simple as, look at your checkbook (where you spend your money) and your schedule. Your time and money tell you what is most important in your life.

Therefore, many people will invest their money in things that bring them pleasure. Or, they will spend money on activities that bring short term relief to a problem. They over indulge in one of many areas from buying expensive clothes or cars or bigger houses or furniture…you name it. Or, they will invest in self-help books or seminars or motivational speakers who provide a quick burst of energy. Or, they will hide their pain in relationships or with drugs and alcohol. All of the above provide a dopamine surge. The more you feed this drug to your brain the more your brain craves it. This is the stuff that leads to addiction.

Would you like to understand why you need to hide your problems in a bottle or a drug or a relationship? Would you like to stop spending money on things that you’re going to throw away in a year? Would you like to understand your past and the inner conflict that keeps you trapped? Are you ready to optimize your performance?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might need a coach.