When you’re considering going into something as transformative as life coaching, questions are to be expected. It does sound too good to be true: life coaching gets rid of distractions, refocuses your goals and gets your life back on track. If you’ve ever been apprehensive or skeptical about life coaching before, these 5 questions are a good place to start finding answers.What is Professional Coaching?
International Coach Federation, 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.
Why Should I Choose an ICF Credentialed Coach?
The mission of the ICF Credentialing program is to:
- Protect and serve consumers of coaching services
- Measure and certify competence of individuals
- Inspire pursuit of continuous development
A coach who has been credentialed by the ICF has completed stringent education and experience requirements and has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in coaching.
Certification from the ICF is extremely important when considering which coach to hire. It means the coach:
Has received professional training from a program specifically designed to teach coaching skills in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics
- Has demonstrated a proficient understanding and use of the coaching competencies as outlined by the ICF
- Is accountable to the ethics and standards set forth by the ICF
According to the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, 84 percent of adult consumers who had experienced a coaching relationship reported they thought it was important for coaches to hold a credential.
Working with an ICF Credentialed coach ensures consumers they aren't in a partnership with someone merely calling him or herself a coach. When you hire an ICF Credentialed coach, you can be assured your coach comes with highly recognizable, global coaching qualifications. Coaches credentialed by ICF have received coach-specific training, achieved a designated number of experience hours and been coached by a Mentor Coach. If you are considering hiring a coach, be diligent in asking the coach whether he or she has been specifically trained in coaching skills and currently holds or in the process of acquiring an ICF Credential. Don't be misled into thinking someone is a competent coach because he or she has other professional credentials or sets high fees.
What is Whole Person Coaching?
Whole Person Coaching® is a thought-provoking process coupled with experience-oriented, often transformative learning that assists you to mastermind your life to transition into and/or manifest anything you desire.
Whole Person Design coaching sees the client as an integrated whole, creates awareness of the interrelationship of various aspects of a client’s life, and delves into the deeper levels of human behaviors, capabilities and possibilities, motivations, beliefs, values, self and social identity. Whole person design coaching integrates the power of the mind with the inner knowing of the body. It is based on the philosophy that, when holistically balanced and living the life that suits their individuality, people are best able to achieve their soul's purpose. The beauty of whole person design coaching is its support of clients’ efforts to attain their desired outcomes while providing the tools and techniques to not only realize their goals more rapidly but also sustain the changes for the rest of their lives.
A whole person design coach works in partnership with clients to explore goals, beliefs, resources, visions, values, attitudes, perceptions, life choices, habits and barriers. Whole person design coaches help their clients discover and access their unique talents, abilities, passions, desires and sense of purpose to manifest holistic wholeness, personal fulfillment and life success. Whole Person Coaching works to help to you identify and activate you whole self toward creating and leading a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Isn’t life coaching the same as psychology?
Although life coaches commonly share some techniques with psychology, the two fields are very distinct. Psychologists specialize in diagnosing conditions and identifying causes; a life coach focuses on helping you identify and examine your limiting beliefs, challenges or issues and then design solutions. They may sound similar, but life coaching is primarily focused on defining concrete action steps for improving your life and moving you forward, rather than remaining focused on the root causes.
How long will results take?
The answer to this life coaching question will vary from person to person. The actual time frame for your activities and life plans depends on the complexity of your goals and your willingness to actively work towards achieving them. Some people make considerable progress within a month or two, while others may benefit from working continually with a life coach for several years.
From a life coaching perspective, neither case is more ideal. Initiating change can be very complex; therefore, it’s helpful to remember that the coaching experience is a personal journey, not a competition with others. The important thing isn’t that you realize your goals earlier than someone else, but that you’re motivated to change and continually make the improvements that are important to you. Sustaining these improvements and building on them will require you to keep working diligently to implement lasting change in your life.
What makes a life coach so valuable?
Life coaches are valuable during periods of transition because they are specifically trained to facilitate change. As your life coach, I follow a process that will generate immediate improvements in your life while building a lasting foundation necessary to more easily implement future improvements. Unlike seeking personal advice from a trusted, more successful or better-adjusted friend, a life coach who has never met you can give you an entirely new, objective perspective with which to examine your life. Additionally, numerous coaches regularly utilize life coaching themselves, and as a result of their own continued exploration, make excellent guides along the road to change.