What is Life Coaching?

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Coaching started in an organizational environment as a way of helping people advance in their careers. Business leaders saw the benefit of drawing out a person’s gifts and strengths to be used to advance the needs and goals of the business. Coaching has evolved over time, and is now used outside the business setting as a way of drawing out those gifts and strengths to enable the individual to live a more proactive and productive life. Coaching has increased in importance as our society has moved from a centralized, hierarchical, or corporate society, to one that is more decentralized, flat, or entrepreneurial.

Coaching helps an individual see themselves objectively so that they can access where they are and develop a plan for where they need or want to go. An objective and trained coach can help you look in the mirror to see yourself: good and bad; strengths and weaknesses. Coaching is most effective when you desire a change in your life.

You probably experienced coaching through sports, or had great teachers, or mentors, who saw your potential, challenged you to be your best, and guided you in achieving your goals. They accessed your strengths, capabilities, and unique gifts. They listened to your passions, your goals, and your dreams. They helped you develop action plans to get there, and then provided objective monitoring and motivation to help you stay on course to achieve those goals. As life has become more complex, this same process helps individuals in different parts of their life make assessments, stay balanced, and stay motivated toward the goals that they believe define success in their lives.

Although life coaching is helpful to anyone who has set goals and wants guidance in achieving them, it is particularly helpful when trying to make significant change, like when an individual is going through a major life transition.

Major life transitions include:

1. A change in career,
2. The sale of a business,
3. The loss of a spouse through death, disability, or divorce,
4. Retirement,
5. A receipt of significant proceeds from a legal settlement, or
6. The receipt of a significant inheritance.

A relatively new trend is to combine life coaching and financial planning.