Life coaches offer general coaching across all areas of life, supporting a wide range of clients in areas such as work/life balance, getting a new job, going back to work after a break and so on.
Some may focus on a particular group. eg. coaching retirees to deal with retirement, teenagers to cope with change etc.
Scope of Work
Life coaches need a sound understanding clients to:
- devise quick and accurate assessments.
- set realistic, achievable and sustainable goals.
- identify their clients’ unique skills.
A life coaches most common tasks include:
- Meeting clients to evaluate them and discuss their needs and goals.
- Formulating strategies to help clients reach goals and improve lives.
- Motivating their clients to improve their lives.
- Keeping records for each client and their progress
- Monitor - discussing and reviewing progress; adjust client strategy if required.
People who use life coaches include:
- Business executives and Entrepreneurs
Companies looking to improve productivity/sales and/or staff relationships, to develop leadership, team building skills and improve motivation.
- Individuals with relationship problems.
- Individuals who want to improve their work and home life.
What You Need to Learn
Life coaches need a sound understanding of their client's needs:
- Assessments - quick and accurate assessments of client's skill sets, needs
- Coaching skills - goal setting, strategies to enhance performance, goal adjustments
- Coaching theory - coaching behaviour therapy, SMART goals, wellness vision
- Planning - formulating strategies to help clients reach their goals and improve their lives
- Motivation skills - use of praise, encouragement, targets, advising, mentoring
- Record keeping - discussing client progress, benchmarks, improvements, monitoring progress
- Communication skills - verbal, non-verbal, interviewing, educating clients, interpersonal skills
- General knowledge - a good all round knowledge
- Personal skills - commitment, self-discipline, patience, enthusiasm, flexibility, innovation, charisma, positivity
Starting a Career
Start by developing broad skills that relate to all aspects of life - personal, work and financial to physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Do this through your own life experience as well as learning -formal an/or informal.
Some study may be necessary to understand the life coaching role, and how to fulfill such a role. Life coaches are mostly self employed so you need to develop:
- Attitude and skills to successfully run a business
- Networking and visibility to attract clients
Life coaches work with a variety of clients that include people who want to improve their lives to those that are looking to make major adjustments.
Progressing a Career
Life coaches often move from other sectors into life coaching or extend their life-coaching into specified areas.
- Business executives that see a need for life coaching of individuals or groups within the business world.
- People within family services that want to work more closely with families and their needs.
- People from other sectors such as health and fitness that want to add to what they offer their clients.
- People working in other coaching sectors that want to expand.
- The best way to increase your job opportunities as a life coach is by networking and making people aware of your existence:
- Continuous learning is key to progressing in any career. Learn through experience and PD courses, attending seminars, conferences and workshops.
- Networking also helps to improve career and business opportunities – developing contacts and raising industry awareness.