Life Coaching is profoundly different from consulting, mentoring, advice, therapy, or counselling. The coaching process focuses on the values and passions that you hold close to you. It looks at what drives you in your personal and professional life by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make your life what you want it to be.
As a life coach I will never try to be an ‘agony aunt’ nor attempt to give advice because, firstly, giving advice is just a way of imposing a personal view of the world onto another person (who may or may not share the same view) and, secondly, a life coach’ should not become personally involved in a client’s life. Life coaching is about objectivity, structure and empowerment; not instruction or indoctrination.
At the heart of it all lies the idea that clients must be given the power to help themselves. Offering advice, opinions and judgements would undermine some of the basic principals behind life coaching, which include:
- Subjectivity: we all have different perspectives of the world – no one perspective is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, but some perspectives are restrictive and can stop a person becoming who they want to be.
- Empowerment: it is within everyone’s capability to adjust the limits of their own perspective. With the help of life coaching, anyone can learn to open their mind if they wish.
- Guidance: there is a difference between an instructor and a guide. An instructor shows a person exactly what to do, whereas a guide provides the tools and support a person needs to do something for themselves. A life coach is a guide, not an instructor.