What comes to mind when you think about life coaching? Do you believe the job of a life coach is to kick your butt, crack the whip, and make you accountable for what you said you’d do?
Life coaching has a bit of a distorted reputation because one aspect of the field has been overrepresented in the media. Like overzealous fitness trainers, life coaches have been portrayed as completely focused on results and accountability.
Good coaching respects the balance between content and process. Sure, you bring your goals to coaching, and a coach supports you in attaining them. But it’s not a matter of ticking off action steps on a list—it’s much more like a treasure hunt.
Bringing your curiosity, passions, and goals to the table launches you on an adventure. A good coach supports the process by collaborating with you to design experiments, observe results, and make course corrections to get you where you want to go. Coaching isn’t a cookie-cutter technique—it’s an organic process that harnesses your unique passions, values, and style in service of your dreams.
The bottom-line job of a life coach is to meet you where you are and support you in moving forward at a pace that works for you. A good life coach respects where you are and allows your internal rhythms to determine appropriate coaching goals. If you’re feeling stuck, a coach will assist you in identifying obstacles and moving through them. If you’re not stuck, a coach will accompany you as you move ahead, supporting you to fully extract the wisdom and growth in each step.
Either way, life coaching is quite a bit different from getting your butt kicked. A good coach won’t breathe down your neck and hound you to push through the pain. Instead, he or she will support you to bring greater awareness to where you are while also helping you keep your eyes on the horizon.