What was once traditionally used in sports and athletics, coaching is now a mainstream service that you can find everywhere. From hiring a dating coach to help you through the subtleties of the dating world, to high-level executive coaches who work with Fortune 500 CEO’s, there is now a coach for just about everything.
So, let’s explore what coaching is all about, why I’ve used coaches and will continue to do so, and how to find the right coach for you.
What is a coach?
Very simply, a coach is someone who helps people make progress in a particular area.
A coach can be considered a guide or mentor that helps you to gain clarity around a specific topic and provides accountability. They also help to identify obstacles and opportunities and help you to create a strategy and set goals.
Many coaches begin their careers because of their strong desire to help others. It is through life experience, training, and on-the-job experience that provide a coach with their arsenal of tools to assist others within a specific area.
Types of coaches
If there is a particular area of life you can think of that people need help with, there is likely a coach out there that specializes in it!
Nowadays, there are coaches for all types of areas in life.
This can include:
- Life coaches
- Business coaches
- Fitness coaches
- Money / financial coaches
- Mindset coaches
- Spiritual coaches
- Relationship coaches
- Career coaches
Typically, a life and business coach will specialize in a particular area.
For example, a business coach may focus on social media marketing, Facebook advertisement, or building organic traffic. A life coach may also specialize and focus on goal setting, productivity, or even life purpose.
What a coach is and what a coach isn’t
A coach first and foremost is not a therapist. This is a very important distinction.
It is important to understand that a coach is not a registered therapist or psychologist unless they have a post-secondary educational distinction, designating them as such.
An easy way to view the difference is that a coach typically helps you move forward with a specific goal or topic. They guide you on the journey to discover your own answers. They encourage you, they support you, and they keep you on track.
Think of a coach kind of like that cheerleader on the sidelines mixed with that football coach telling you to hustle!
A coach is not able to provide medical advice for physical, emotional, or mental health.
If you are seeking help for mental health or trauma, please always seek the advice of a licensed therapist, psychologist, or medical expert. Working with a coach can work hand-in-hand with these professions, but they are very different and provide different support.
What does coaching look like?
Coaching usually comes in one of two forms: one-on-one coaching and group coaching.
One-on-one coaching is done privately between the coach and the client. Usually, a coach will sell a package of sessions that can range from a few sessions up to a year, depending on the topic.
Pros of one-on-one coaching:
- High touch experience because you have private time with your coach
- Can deal with more personal topics due to the privacy of the sessions
- Able to focus in on what you want to accomplish during your time together
Potential downsides to one-on-one coaching:
- Can be more costly than group coaching
- Only one perspective is given during private sessions
A group coaching experience usually consists of going through a program with a number of other clients at the same time. The group then meets on a regular basis to discuss their obstacles and insights, while the coach helps guide and mentor the group.
Pros of group coaching:
- You can receive multiple perspectives from the group
- Typically a program is followed and you have support from the group as you go through it together
- Usually more cost affordable, as the pricing is often less than one-on-one coaching
Potential downsides to group coaching:
- Need to share the coaches time with the others in the group
- Less one-on-one experience
- Sensitive subjects may be more difficult to talk about.
How to find the right coach for you
One of the best ways to find the right coach for you is to ask around. Getting a referral from a friend, family member or colleague is a great place to begin in order to find the right coach for you.
Make sure that you find a coach that specializes in what you are wanting to work on. Just like you wouldn’t go to an ear doctor for a knee problem, finding a coach who focuses on your topic of interest is very important.
3. Do you vibe?
Making sure that you mesh with your coach is very important. Be aware that a coach is going to push you and keep you accountable. They may also tell you things that you don’t necessarily want to hear. But there should always be mutual respect and empathy within the coach-client relationship.
4. You should remain in charge
During your coaching relationship, you want to ensure you are in charge of your experience. If a coach is pushing you to do things their way when it doesn’t feel right for you, that might a warning sign. At the end of the day, your coach is there to guide you and draw out the answers from you.
To learn more about the coaching experience and to expand greatly on the information above, watch the video below.
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