What is Life Coaching?

You have heard of coaching before, in an athletic or fine arts context (basketball coach, voice coach, acting coach, etc.) but what does it mean to have a Life Coach?


What is coaching?

The International Coach Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”

A coach is a collaborative partner, not a hired expert. A coach is not a consultant, mentor, counselor, or adviser because he or she is non-directive. We say that coaching is done “from the inside out” rather than “from the outside in”.

Coaches have no agenda, no personal investment in a client taking one path versus another. Instead, coaches will listen for and focus on the gap between where a client is now and where the client feels called to be.

Coaching is the art of asking powerful questions that prompt clients to think about things they’ve never considered before, or may have dismissed as impossible.

A really good coach is masterful at “staying in the questions”, prompting clients to listen to and express their hearts & minds, their core values.  Coaches then challenge clients to move proactively toward the clarified vision that results from such non-directive exploration.


What is the difference between coaching and counseling?

Counselors and therapists are, like consultants, hired for their expertise. They have specialized training in such things as healthy communication, good parenting, effective social skills, mental/emotional & spiritual health, and the like. They are skilled in uncovering underlying reasons for dysfunction and debilitating conditions such as depression, anxiety, and other mood and thought disorders.

Coaching is about stability and growth rather than dysfunction and healing. Whereas psychotherapy & counseling are primarily about the past and present, coaching is primarily about the future.

A person in need of healing is not yet ready for coaching and should be referred to a therapist. There are more basic issues to be addressed before they can effectively pursue greater fulfillment.

What is the difference between coaching and consulting/mentoring?

Consultants are hired because of their expertise in a given area. They provide information and give direction and advice to clients.

By contrast, coaches do not necessarily have expertise in an area in which a client wants to grow. Their role, instead, is to ask powerful, probing questions which enable clients to discover their own answers.

In a sense, coaches help clients to hear themselves more clearly and gain a greater sense of what God is speaking to their spirits. They then help them develop plans and take action to ensure follow-through

Why do people hire a coach?

People seek a coach because they want growth. The work is not problem-focused, per se. There should be no particular dysfunctions or diagnostic issues that need healing – that is the work of therapy and counseling.

Coaching clients have specific goals/dreams/visions toward which they feel drawn, and they desire to discern these more clearly and then act upon them.

  • People hire coaches to start home businesses, prepare for retirement, switch to living on one income, or carve out more time for their families. Many clients are in transitions such as empty-nesting, or are moving on after the death of a spouse, or divorce.
  • Many work with coaches to improve time management, become more organized, or lose weight and improve health practices.
  • Couples hire coaches to strengthen their relationship and enhance their parenting.
  • Business and ministry leaders hire coaches to strengthen their leadership abilities, improve performance of work teams, establish healthier company cultures, and improve their bottom lines.

Whatever the life issues, all coaching clients hold a deep desire for richer, more fulfilling growth in their lives.


(*based on Professional Christian Coaching website’s FAQ)


Are you ready to take that action to make your dreams a reality? 

Contact me today and schedule your inquiry call!  Call 208-449-9019 or email Sheilamh67@gmail.com

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