What is a Life Coach?

Often when I meet people and explain what we do, the first question is, “What is a life coach?” Life coaching, leadership coaching, executive coaching, or transition coaching to name just a few are variations of a broader sphere of service. Making matters more challenging the services, expertise and professionalism vary.  Not long ago someone shared a funny cartoon that showed one person berating the other, they then paused and continued “I guess that makes me your life coach.”

Unfortunately, some people’s coaching experiences have been nearly as effective as the cartoon.  Last fall wrapping up a year-long coaching engagement the CEO confessed to me “you are the third in a line of coaches and in my estimation the only successful one.”  A wonderful compliment but a terrible rap for an industry.

So, What is a Life Coach?

So you can call it life coaching, leadership coach, executive coaching, whichever makes you most comfortable.  As a matter of fact, transition coaching or career coaching are areas I have extensive success in too.  Why not land on a name then, you may ask? Because our lives are integrated, work, vocation, your calling and purpose, life at home and relationships, business success (your own or who you work for), our knowledge and competencies and how we are made all are intertwined.

Allow a brief example, several years ago my wife was the recipient of her second service dog through an extraordinary organization called Canine Companions for Independence http://www.cci.org. Give me a call anytime in you want more info. My point however after attending training 12 days on 2 separate occasions was my continued amazement about how much they discussed “Leadership.” It is 75% leadership, of the recipient as the leader because the dog is always seeking a leader.

Life is no different, work, home, community, school, leadership is a key and that’s not just for the top dogs. So my approach to “Life Coaching” has a leadership component and my “Leadership Coaching” has a good dose of self-awareness and assessment work.  When the call is for “Executive Coaching” you still need these foundations plus your coach should be listening, asking the right questions and being a trusted advisor because the CEO has no one to confide in, at least that’s what I do.

My answer to “What is a Life coach?”

My approach and promise differ dependent entirely on YOU.  Sometimes it is Life Coaching to create margins and competencies so you can transition your business or double its size.  One client responded when we wrapped up said “I can now live my life,” because prior to our work LIFE crowded out his life. Want to move from $100 million in sales to $200 million, just like doubling the size of your house, the foundation needs to be expanded. Everyone has a next step what is yours?

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