This week’s Q&A Monday comes from an assignment for my ICA certification. I know that many of you are considering becoming life coaches yourself and thought this would be a great way to give you all a little taste of what it’s like.
What’s it like to be a life coach?
Being a life coach is probably one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done since graduating from college. It fell into my lap really, after starting this blog and working in career consulting I figured the next logical step would be to look into life coaching. What I have found so far has certainly been a challenge at times, but the idea of helping my fellow millenials explore their career options, get clear about their goals and help them achieve them has certainly been satisfying.
Things I’ve Learned from Being a Coach
Listening isn’t merely hearing what someone has to say. It’s actually paying attention, looking at body language, listening to their tone and at times even reading between the lines. It’s being able to tell when something is bothering them and when something excites them. It’s being able to identify themes and patterns throughout a conversation. It’s being able to tell which issues keep coming up. It’s about realizing when things get off topic and bringing the conversation back to focus.
2. Becoming Present
Yoga may have helped in the department of becoming present, but coaching has certainly helped me put it to the test. Coaching has helped me develop my awareness and remaining in the present moment. How else would I be able to help my clients if I’m not fully present in the experience?
3. Holding People Accountable
One of the key aspects of coaching is learning how to hold people accountable. For instance, perhaps you’ve given your client and exercise or assignment that will help them get clear about their goals. It’s your job to hold them accountable to make sure they actually do it. An assignment is just an example, of course, the same applies to showing up to coaching or adhering to an action plan your client created with your help.
4. Powerful Questions
Part of being a life coach is helping people figure things out for themselves. Believe it or not, this is easier said than done. Our urge is to give advice and consult with our own opinion. However, you quickly learn that what works for you may not work for someone else.
This is where Powerful Questions come in. It’s your job as a coach to provide thought provoking questions that will get your clients thinking and motivated. Powerful Questions can help your clients uncover their underlying beliefs, create action, and see what areas they need help in.
5. Using Visualization
Learning to use visualization to help my clients has been one of my favorite parts of this entire process. I use visualization myself when I meditate at the beginning of the day and find it very helpful in getting me to achieve my goals. I’ve also used it on clients and one client in particular enjoyed it so much she wanted me to keep using it.
It was interesting to note how using a different part of the brain can really help you in creating the kind of life you want to live.
There are, of course, a multitude of other things that I have learned while becoming a life coach – creating structures, creating action with my clients, acknowledgement – but the above mentioned are things that have had the most impact during my experience as a coach. If you think you’d like to explore a career in life coaching make sure to check out the International Coach Academy.