Life coaching is not only what coaching training schools can tell you. All those definitions are pretty boring to me. The first time I heard about life coaching, I didn't get so much mumbo-jumbo about how to be a coach and how complicated life coaching would be. I know that life coaches speak in their own coaching language and it may follow different styles and methodologies. In these circumstances, it is normal to be confused and check with wikipedia in order to get an idea about life coaching, even though we all know how inaccurate Wikipedia could be. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to check on what Wiki has to say about life coaching. We just have to be clear that Wikipedia is not the ultimate truth.
This blog offers part of my truth about life coaching. So, let's check the following seven points about Life Coaching and see how easy it can be to talk about it. May be you want to become a life coach too, who knows?
1.- Life Coaching Offers You Rewarding Experiences
One of the most exciting experiences I have had, was when I coached an american couple who were facing a big challenge in their lives at that moment. They also seemed a bit sceptic about coaching. But after I answered all their questions, there was no other choice for them to start answering to my first question. After a while and after a lot of paying attention to what they said and felt, we connected. They started to open up and being more receptive. During our conversation I could see more spots that needed my full attention to be clarified. Then, I asked them some questions. They had some remarkable A-ha moments they couldn't explain with words, but instead, they immersed in their feelings and reached peace of mind. Finally they show themselves relaxed and their face expressions showed such a beautiful warm look I cannot describe. After that moment I gave them some time before we start working on solutions, but they were not ready for that yet. This peaceful feeling conquered the room and the session was almost finished. Before they say good-bye, they explained to me that they never have been so enlighten about what was happening to them. That was more than enough for me to know that they were on the right track to solve their situation. I saw their faces full of hope. Even though they didn't find their solution right there, it doesn't matter because they are on their way to find it. I trust that baby steps bring big changes.
2.- Life Coaching is as Wide as Life is
What type of themes can you bring to a life coaching session? You can talk about whatever you want. You can talk about your actual love life, work life, social life and spiritual life. You can talk about your goals, your plans and your wishes. You can talk about looking for solutions and making big changes that will transform your life or you may just go step by step to realise small changes in your life. The important thing is that you clarify your mind and discover the way you function to achieve success.
3.- Everybody is an Undercover Life Coach
We are all masters in life and we can learn from each other at the present moment. It depends on our perception, on where we are directing our attention. A person and a situation have many different meanings according to the way we perceive reality. We learn not only from the good friends and the nice or the positive people we meet. I know this is what we all prefer to experience. But everybody can teach us something. The people we don't like without any reason, are showing us what we are projecting on them. So let's learn what is that we don't like about them and let's change it in ourselves. Then we can not change the others, that's an illusion. Interestingly we can realise that we feel different when we are with different people. This is so important when we look for a coach to talk to. That's the same great feeling we have, when we talk to a friend drinking a cup of coffee. We feel comfortably and understood.
4.- Life Coaching is about being Human, not Perfect
When someone tells you that s/he is a life coach, what is your first expectation of the person? Some people think life coaches are the perfect happy people, who've discovered the source of happiness or that life coaches are enlightened Buddhas and know the path to be out of suffering.
I have never ever met a life coach like that. All of them look pretty imperfect and normal to me. All of us have problems and all of us also need a good life coach that help us to be fit.
All life coaches need a life coach too. I have my own life coach too. And this is an investment in myself.
5.- Life Coaching Won't Be Standardised by Any Association
Life coaching can not be standardised. Anyone can be a life coach without any training and these are called Intuitive Life Coaches. Many sport coaches retire from the sport world and enter in the business world as executive coaches and they don't have any life coach certification either. Nevertheless, they do a good job and the main clients for these ex-sport-coaches are executive men. Unfortunately the coaching world have some perils that wants to standardised coaching. These are international organisations that also present a list of schools they recommend. If you do not learn coaching by any school of their list, they will not accept you in their global association of coaching.
Life coaching is as wide as life is. Life coaching is as varied as people on this planet and that is why it cannot be standardised.
6.- Life Coaching Can Be Manipulative in The Wrong Hands
That is so true! As I already told you before, I also use life coaching to be fit. It means, I use life coaching to clear up my mind, to define good plans and good strategies to achieve my goals. Therefore, I have had many different coaching sessions with different life coaches. As a client I have experienced that my plans, dreams and goals were deflated like a ballon, when I got the wrong coach four years ago. But this experience did not disappoint me. I just comprehend that I got the wrong life coach and I decided to look for right one for me. I found more than one. During these experiences I learned that It is very important to book a first session to get to know you coach and see if you can trust him/her your theme.
7.- How to Choose a Life Coach
First get clear about why do you want life coaching. Do your homework and read his/her testimonies and reviews. Read his/her website, Facebook-page and other social media references. Then, call her on the phone and pay attention to your feelings about her/his voice. Notice if she/he only talks or only listen. Is it all about you or about her? Book a first session just to get to know her/him and pay attention to your feelings and to your intuition.
Maria Griselda Mueller
is a professional life and executive coach specialized in expats life and cross-cultural support. She is originally from Venezuela, has lived in more than ten countries around the world and has a Master certification in psychological coaching.