I recently discovered life coaching, or executive coaching. More than discovered it actually, I’m in a life coaching class! It’s a concept or resource for high functioning and healthy people to develop further in specific areas, with a focus on professional skills and some personal as well. Step one, life coach should have a certification and training to go through this process with a client.
What I love about life coaching is that it’s largely solution oriented and the coach is like a guide, not dictating what should be done, but leading the coachee through their own process. Kind of like a gentle guide to the solution, allowing the coachee to come to it on their own through feedback, never telling them what to do. In this relationship, the life coach provides direct feedback and often can say things to an executive or manager that others might not be able to say in the everyday workplace.
A life coach is not a therapist. It’s also time limited, generally about 10-12 sessions meeting once a week to every other week. Who wants to be in ‘therapy’ forever? The life coach and coachee meet before working together to discuss the clients goals and make sure it’s a good fit for both. When it’s an organization that brings in a coach, all meet before and are on the same page as to what the goals are for the individual being coached.
What’s refreshing is that it’s goal oriented, also unlike therapy where you might rehash old memories and go down a rabbit hole of past traumas (that may or may not get resolved). If triggers come up in coaching, they are identified and then brought into the present where they can be resolved or course-corrected in a productive way. Life coaching is unique in that it can also incorporate feedback from a supervisor or peers in a workplace to get a well rounded view of what the client needs to work on.
Lastly, I think this quote by Carl Rodgers, the founder of the person centered approach, beautifully describes the benefits of coaching, “If I can provide a certain type of relationship, the other person will discover within himself the capacity to use that relationship for growth and change, and personal development will occur.”