Why do I want a coach?

Why do I want a coach versus a counselor or therapist?

It’s a question often asked of someone who comes across a coach for the first time.  Many people still have not heard of a personal coach and even of those who have, many are often still not quite sure what a coach does.

This month I thought I would address that question of how does coaching differ from other modalities.

Many of us have had a coach at some point in our childhood years when we were involved in a sport, or maybe it was choir or drama class. Our coach supported us, mentored us and guided us to become better at our chosen field.  Life coaching is similar but also quite different.

A life coach takes people from where they are in their lives to where they want to be. If you’re at a 6 on a scale of 1 – 10 in your life, a coach works with you to determine, how together, you could take that to a 9 or 10.

So how does that differ from a counselor you may ask?

A counselor or a therapist works on psychological healing and or insight, they focus on pain resolution and coping mechanisms. They often go back in a client’s life to determine what the root cause of the issue was. The client is often viewed as broken, bruised or in need of fixing.  The agenda for each session is largely designed by the therapist and a particular path is followed.

A certified co-active coach holds the belief that her client is not broken and does not need fixing and that it is her job to help the client find the answers within themselves, not give them the answers.  The client brings the agenda to each session, not the coach, and the coach places her focus on going forward, rather than looking to the past. Together they explore current beliefs and patterns; they brainstorm other perspectives and try them on for size.  As the relationship develops  your may find your coach calling you out on certain behaviors, not allowing you to buy into or believe the stories you make up for yourself.  Think of her as your personal BS meter!

Coaching can also at times involve mentoring but there are two major differences between coaching and mentoring:

1. mentors provide advice.

2. that advice is free.

Mentorship is based on your mentor’s personal experience and often comes with the desire for you to do as your mentor has done or take their advice.  When  your coach offers another perspective it is because she has listened deeply to what you have said your values are, what you are wanting in your life or not wanting and then if you find that perspective does not land for you, your coach is capable of letting it go, not holding onto the belief that she is right.

All good coaches also work with their own coach.  Really you say!!

Of course!!  It’s our job to be constantly improving and growing ourselves, if we expect it of our client’s we had better deliver the goods ourselves!!!

I love working with my coach, she knows everything about my life, and I mean everything. She never judges me or criticizes, allowing me to be more honest than I have even been in my life with anyone else.  She helps me to see patterns and repeated beliefs or experiences and helps me to get unstuck in areas where I could really use some butt kicking.  Coaches are humans too.  Dr’s don’t treat themselves, they go see another doctor, and so do coaches.

Coaching changed my life; it gave me courage, strength, the ability to see different perspectives and the ability to start believing more in myself.  That is what drives me to be a coach for others, to help them change and grow as I have.  With my coach I work on my own communication, connections and courage so that I can help my clients do the same.

Coaching is changing the world.

If you've never tried it spend a little time with a coach,  maybe even me!!! You might just have your own awakening.



What a lovely post, Linda! You have articulated the essence of what coaching is in a way that will resonate with anyone! One thing I might add is that as a coach, although my mandate is to be a catalyst in my client's growth, in every coaching conversation I have I experience my client being a catalyst in my own growth. The resilience, tenancy and self awareness present in my client is always a source of awe and inspiration for me. I always come away stronger, focused and just a little bit wiser myself!

Thank you so much for your comment Kristin!! You are so correct as I feel the exact same way with my clients! I have told a few of my clients that I often get just as much learning out of our sessions as they do!! It's why coaching fulfills me. Thanks for reading!!

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