A Coach Approach to Personal Growth
I began as a psychology major in college, but my parents were so dead set against it that I eventually gave up and became a dietitian instead. Many years later, I am now studying to become a life coach. Before making my recent decision, I had briefly considered becoming a minister. So what is the difference between a psychologist, a life coach, and a minister, besides education?
In a nutshell, coaching focuses on the present and is oriented to achieve a future result. Psychotherapists on the other hand, focus on the past and on fixing pathology. A minister uses particular rituals and leads rituals that often adhere to a particular set of beliefs.
Coaches ask questions based on what is happening now, questions that move the client where they want to go, not where they have been. Coaches ask questions that are direct but not directive. For example, what would you like to change? What do you really want in this situation? How can you take action to move toward the outcome you actually want? The client must be ready to work on moving their lives forward without delving into the past.
Psychologists often teach clients problem solving strategies. Coaches do not give advice. Instead, they ask questions to draw clients out of themselves, to identify what their goal is and what motivates them to want to achieve it. Coaches help clients by asking questions which guide the client in creating their own action steps for reaching a goal as well as their commitment to a time frame for each step.
A life coach holds the client accountable for each step along the way, within the time frame set by the client for achieving each step, and helps the client identify any potential blocks or obstacles that could arise. If a client identifies blocks including beliefs that may be holding them back, the coach asks questions which cause the client to remember things which enable them to re-frame their limiting beliefs.
By asking clients what they would like to achieve and identifying their core values, coaches give clients something to think about. Without giving advice, they help clients bring out their own wisdom and potential to solve their own situations by focusing on what motivates the client to want this change.
If you have goals you’d like to achieve and are ready to go beyond what the Handel Group has identified as your inner chicken (that voice that tells you, you can’t do something,) your inner brat, (that part of you that wants everything right now,) and your inner weather reporter, (that false belief that tries to convince you of all the reasons you will never change,) coaching may be just the right relatively short term approach for helping you move forward to achieve your goals, and finally realize your dreams.