February 25, 2021 by Brittany Salsman
The number one question we get from those considering coaching is, “how do I know that life coaching is the right for me?” Life coaches come from all walks of life, with vastly different experiences and skill sets. You may also be wondering how coaching even works. Here’s what you need to know.
There are many misconceptions about what a life coach does one of the first being that a life coach tells their client what to do.
As a coach, you’ll acknowledge the fact that your client is the expert. Your aim is not to teach your client what they know, but to learn what it’s like to be them. You’ll be the expert in engaging in active, empathetic listening and asking powerful questions to help determine the next steps for your client. A professional coach will find the appropriate balance between how much they share (knowledge basis) versus the client developing their own solutions (empowerment basis).
Coaching is a partnership that enables your clients to trust their own instincts and solve their own problems. It’s a partnership that trusts the client as the expert on themselves and their experience.
As a coach, you’ll be a part of the growth journey of your client as a partner helping them consider new perspectives and challenging their way of thinking and doing. You’ll serve as a source of empowerment and inspiration. You’ll become an expert on coaching through your coach training program but you’ll also trust that the client is the expert on themselves.
As a life coach, you’ll leverage curiosity and intuition to support your client in uncovering their own answers and insights.
Now that you know how life coaching works you may be wondering, what skills do I need to develop to become a coach? Are these skills that I’m interested in developing? In life coaching, there are three skill sets that set the foundation for being an effective coach. The skill of listening deeply, empathizing and tapping into curiosity.
When we listen deeply to another person, we are able to imagine what it must be like to live life through their perspective. We set aside our own assumptions, experiences, and perspectives to empower the other person to tap into their own fix-it instinct. They are then able to solve their own problems rather than looking to others for answers.
This is an important skill as a coach because when you’re working with a client you are actively trying to see the world through their eyes. We don’t do this kind of listening everyday and truly take the time to make the space to see the world through your client’s eyes in an invaluable skill that will lead to deep personal insights.
Empathy and listening go hand in hand. Empathetic listening is the core skill of coaching. The skill of empathizing with the experience of others and to find yourself in a space where you can truly understand the other person will allow you to see the world through their eyes. The beauty of coaching is that this level of empathy isn’t achieved because you’ve had similar experiences but because you’re actively using your imagination to understand them.
This allows the other person to fully step into the conversation without worry of judgement or shame, which ultimately creates a space for safe exploration of themselves.
When you’re in this space of seeing the world from your client’s eyes, you’ll also be able to ask questions from their perspective creating the space for insight. Examples of questions driven from empathetic listening are:
Ask yourself these questions right now, what’s coming up for you?
When you tap into curiosity for the sake of the other person, this is where the real magic happens. You ask yourself, what is most fascinating about what the other person is sharing from their perspective? This partnership of exploration puts the other person in the driver’s seat of the journey and positions them as the expert on themselves.
The combination of deep listening, empathy, and curiosity creates a space for powerful insights and opportunities for learning and growth.
If you find yourself to be a deep listener, an empath with others, and hold a deep level of curiosity about those around you, coaching would be a great fit for you. Or if you’re interested in developing these skills, coaching could be a great fit for you.
You’ll get so much out of being a life coach, these opportunities are endless but we’ve narrowed it down to three major ones for you to consider.
In the process of becoming a coach, you’ll be coached yourself. You’ll experience the same transformations you’ll soon make with your clients making you more self-aware and deepen your relationships.
The Life Coaching industry is booming. There are countless ways to apply coaching whether you want to start your own business, bring coaching concepts to your team at work or apply coaching with your students. You’ll be able to use coaching in whatever you’re passionate about.
According to Market Research, the estimated market value for coaching was $1.02 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $1.34 billion by 2022. With a 6.7% yearly average growth rate from 2016 to 2022, the life coaching industry is growing a steady rate making it a great time to become a certified life coach to join this innovative field.
According to a study conducted by the ICF and the Human Capital Institute, 33% of organizations now offer training for managers and leaders to use coaching skills. Coaching has shifted the work culture to focus on fostering growth and creativity.
Becoming a life coach is the choice to make a positive difference in the world, one person at a time. In the coaching process, your client will be vulnerable with you, grow with you and transform into the best version of themselves. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of someone’s journey. You’ll be glad you came along for the ride.
Want to learn more about what it takes to be a life coach? Schedule a call with someone on our Admissions team to dive in.