What is a life coach?

A life coach is an accredited coach that assists individuals with maximizing life. The agenda for any life coach should be solely that of the client. The client will have goals or objectives and the coach works with the client to create a path to achieve those. It is important to recognize the client has all the answers whether there is awareness there or not. It is the coach’s job to ask questions that bring out a new level of awareness.

Does it matter if the life coach is accredited?

Yes, if you are looking for more than a mentor or accountability partner. Read the coach’s biography or ask about their training. I would recommend looking for accreditations from ICF, which is the International Federation of Coaching. ICF qualifies an individual’s training and requires a specific code of conduct. If there is no specific coach training you may be working with someone who calls themselves a coach, but simply  shares their life experiences and what has worked for them. It doesn’t mean it will work for you. An accredited coach will be able to reference a formal education program and other trainings they have added to their expertise.

How do I find a coach, and the right coach for me?

Google is a great place to start your search. You might also consult social media or seek-out personal recommendations. Once you have qualified the coach you are interested in working with, I would have a conversation with them about what you want from the coaching process. Ask the coach what their style is and what tools they utilize. Every coach, regardless of their training, will have their own personal style. A phone conversation can be best in determining if it is a good match. A good match produces great results. If you don’t feel like the style and fit are right for you, ask for references. A coach is successful when the client is successful. If a match is not apparent, the coach should be able to provide you with 2 to 3 other coaches who may be a better fit.

What is the difference between coaching and counseling?

Individuals who are having trouble functioning today, typically influenced by a happening or trauma from the past, or those dealing with mental health issues are best suited for counseling. Counselors are trained in mental health issues and have resources best suited for these experiences. Individuals functioning well today and seeking to live a better life, or those simply wanting more from life, will find coaching beneficial. Coaching is based on awareness. It is forward thinking versus focused on the past. It is about taking action seeking personal growth. You may benefit from personal coaching if you feel you are living a good life but know intuitively that there is more available for you. A coach can help those looking to push to that next level.

What is the difference between life coaching and executive coaching?

In my opinion, there is no difference outside of setting the intention with the coaching in general. I have found both life and executive coaching will overlap at times.  You are the same person at work  you are at home, although some behavior may look different depending on where you are and who is present. At the core it is the same thought process that will get you there.

How long should I expect to work with a life coach?

I recommend 12 weeks, with an appointment every week to see the change. Coaching is like exercise, it takes a couple of sessions to see muscle definition. If you are seeking lasting change you want the tools and awareness you gain to become habit and a part of you. Clients can chose to stay on after the 12 sessions to further the personal growth.  Some find  maintenance check-ins helpful.  Maintenance sessions are scheduled anywhere from every two weeks to once a month or once a quarter. This is completely dependent on the client’s wants.

What is Energy Leadership?

We are all leaders in life in some aspect.  Some lead primarily from a business perspective and others from a community perspective. Energy Leadership Is the process of understanding how you “show-up” and knowing what is influencing your perspective as a leader. This process of introspection empowers us; we gain information on energy choices and self-control. This program produces leadership functioning at the highest level, whether at work or home. The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) includes this training in their coach program and it is exclusive to iPEC coaches. You will need a certified master practitioner in Energy Leadership to utilize this assessment. Kathy Walter is a certified master practitioner in Energy Leadership.

What is emotional intelligence and how can I improve upon it with coaching?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and control your thoughts and actions. Importantly, it is also an understanding of how our actions and attitudes influence others.  Emotional intelligence is shown to be the biggest predictor of success in the workplace. Your emotional intelligence can be improved upon throughout life. Working with a coach trained in emotional intelligence and utilizing the EQ-i assessment can provide the groundwork necessary to make improvements.