Of all the things successful people do to accelerate their trip down the path to success, participating in some kind of coaching program is at the top of the list.
– Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Life coaching, often called personal coaching or simply coaching, is a one-on-one, collaborative process in which a trained professional (the coach) helps you, the client, achieve your personal life goals. These goals may include just about anything: more self confidence, weight loss, career change, better relationships, and many more. People from every possible age, background, and occupation get coaching, but they all have one thing in common: a desire to achieve something more in their personal or professional life. Whatever your goals, a professional coach gives you motivation, accountability and support, keeping you focused and taking action from week to week.
One of the most common reasons people report for wanting to work with a coach is the feeling of being “stuck”. They’re stuck in a job they don’t like, stuck in an unsatisfying relationship, or stuck in a life that lacks meaning and purpose. A coach’s job is to get you unstuck, and they do this with a number of tools, techniques, and processes designed to help you find what drives you, where you want to go, and the best way to get there.
The use of the word “coach” is not an accident. A personal life coach is fundamentally no different from a football coach or a tennis coach. A good sports coach will keep you focused on your goal, provide feedback, encourage you when you’re feeling frustrated, and make sure you’re challenged enough to make real progress from week to week. Likewise, a good personal life coach will help you stay motivated, focused, and give you objective feedback to help you get farther and in less time than you could on your own.
More than just life coaching
Although most people are familiar with the term life coaching, the field of coaching actually includes a number of unique specializations. In addition to general life coaching, there are literally hundreds of other coaching categories, capturing every conceivable personal and professional goal. The following list contains some the most common kinds of coaching:
Coaching for Individuals:
Coaching for Businesses and Organizations
The kind of coaching you choose depends on your specific goals.
How does the coaching process work?
Coaching typically consists of a series of one-on-one sessions between you and your coach, usually lasting 45 to 60 minutes each. Most clients meet with their coach once a week, although some clients meet every two weeks or even just once a month.
In the first one or two sessions, your coach will usually go over your goals, establishing what you, the client, hope to achieve through coaching and help you prioritize the goals that will make the biggest difference in your life. During this time, many coaches will also give you a number of assessments in the form of questionnaires, surveys, and other tools to help you identify your strengths, values, and the things that give you meaning and purpose. The primary goal of these initial sessions is to give you, the client, absolute clarity about what you want to achieve, and then help you develop a personalized plan to achieve it.
At the end of each session, your coach will ask you to commit to taking various tasks to complete before the next session. These will generally consist of specific actions which you and your coach have identified as being the most important things you can possibly do to move closer to your big goals. By making a commitment to your coach, you’re not only focused on the most important tasks to achieve to your goals, but you’ll also have someone holding you accountable to make sure you’re constantly following through. Commitment, accountability, and follow-through are some of the most valuable components of the coaching process, and they are a big reason why people who work with a coach make so much more progress than they do when working alone.
Coaching is not Therapy
A common misconception is that coaching is the same as therapy, when in fact they are quite different. Therapy is intended to help people recover from emotional or other psychological disorders such as depression or anxiety. Coaching, on the other hand, is intended to help normal, healthy individuals achieve personal goals such as increased happiness, weight loss, and improved work-life balance. Professional coaches are not trained or licensed to practice therapy. If you are at all unsure about whether you need coaching or therapy, we strongly recommend that you consult with a licensed therapist or psychiatrist.
How much does coaching cost?
Coaching fees vary considerably from coach to coach, and are usually based on the coach’s experience, background, and training. Generally speaking, coaches with more experience and training charge more than beginning coaches. Most coaches, however, typically charge in the range of €100 to €250 per hour. Senior coaches, particularly in the areas of business and executive coaching, may charge considerably more, while new coaches, or coaches who are still in training, may charge less.
As a very rough guide, here is a breakdown of hourly rates you may see based on a coach's level of experience:
How do I find a coach?
The most important thing to remember when looking for a coach is to find one whose training, background and skills most closely match your specific goals. There are many coaches with many different specializations, and your ultimate success will largely depend on finding the coach with the best “fit” for your particular situation.
Because finding the right fit is so important, it’s critical that you do not just hire the first coach you talk to. Instead, we recommend you speak with at least 3, and ideally 4 or 5, to find the one who you’re going to feel the most comfortable working with over a period of several months.
Nikos Marinos Consultancy offers a 1 hour initial consultation to help you determine if we are the right coach for you.