Although I loooooove coaching, I was reminded recently that a lot of people still don’t really know what coaching IS. So, I am here to help you understand. A lot of times people say to me – aren’t life coaches really just a paid friend? Well, we are paid, and often we’ll feel like a trusted friend, but…NO.
I love drinking wine with my friends, and I love coaching, but believe me when I say they are NOT the same. My friends are amazing, but they definitely don’t question me like my coaches do. They are not there to ask hard questions and help me increase my awareness. And as much as I love them, most of my friends are NOT focused on helping me create an action plan and providing accountability. Let’s face it – friends are for sharing, empathizing, sympathizing, laughing, cheerleading and so many other wonderful things (like happy hour!), but you shouldn’t expect them to be effective coaches.
So you might wonder, what IS coaching then? Well, let me start by telling you more about what it’s NOT.
Coaching is not mentoring
In coaching, unlike mentoring, YOU are the expert. You hold the answers. In mentoring, the mentor is the expert. Their role is to tell you, from their experience, ‘here’s what you need to do.’ In many cases, there is great value in this. However, in coaching you get to identify your values, what your personal obstacles are, and what you really want to achieve. And since each person is unique, no one can tell you just how to do that.
Coaching is not therapy
Coaching focuses on who you are today, what your life is, and what you want to be in the future. With therapy, the focus is more on what made you who you are, and what healing you need to live a functional life. Coaching assumes you have a functional life and want to get to a more fulfilled life. This does not mean that there’s no room for emotion or acknowledging the past – there certainly is! But, it is always done with a focus on the future.
So what IS coaching?
Coaching focuses first on creating awareness, and then making a plan for action. Whatever area of your life brings you to coaching will be the focus of your sessions, with your coach asking you powerful questions about where you are and where you want to be. You will identify blind spots that are standing in your way and explore ways to overcome them, all while holding YOU as the expert in your own life. Then you will take concrete action steps to move closer to the goals you have identified. Your coach provides accountability, helps you understand what learnings are coming from your actions, and how you can keep moving forward towards creating a life you love.
Is coaching what you need?
Maybe! One thing I know is that if you do not want coaching, it will not work. And please do not send me a list of all the people in your life that YOU think need a coach either! In order for coaching to be effective, you have to be ready to address where you are, where you want to be, and what’s getting in your way. And then you can work with a coach to move through those obstacles to create a life you love.
Still not sure if coaching is right for you? Feel free to schedule a free exploratory session with my team today!
Watch the video to learn even more about coaching.
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