A career as a personal life coach has become increasingly popular over the past few years in particular. Originally an American phenomenon it has been embraced here in the UK too as people try to seek solutions to issues in their personal and professional lives that they wish to improve upon. These issues could literally be anything from increasing their self-esteem to overcoming their fear of meeting strangers in a work conference setting to becoming more adept at public speaking, how to motivate their staff to making the first move when looking to date a new partner.
Isn’t It Just Another Name For Counselling or Psychotherapy?
On the contrary, life coaching is about empowering people to make improvements in their life. They may already be highly successful in both their personal life and career and just wish to improve upon some areas that they feel need working on. Life coaching is more about finding solutions to questions an individual has about their life as opposed to trying to solve problems. It’s about enabling others to fulfil their potential by working one-on-one with them both over the phone and in person.
Personal Qualities Needed to Become a Life Coach
As yet, there are no strict regulations to stop anybody from setting themselves up as a life coach, although there have been several different diplomas introduced and without undertaking a course and having some level of experience of life in general, you’re not likely to succeed in this area unless you have experience of communicating with people in all walks of life, at all levels and can offer opinions that are valid and which are respected.
You do need to be a ‘people person’ and to have an unquenchable curiosity for what makes people tick. You need to be sensitive and open-minded and have the ability to ask thought-provoking questions of your clients without being intrusive and have the ability to tell clients the truth and suggest ways forward without being critical.
An ability to listen and to build a trusting rapport is paramount as is your desire to help people to reach their fullest potential and to strive towards making a positive difference in their lives. You also need to fully respect client confidentiality as you could be dealing with some very sensitive and personal issues and you need to be able to think intuitively.
What Kind of Setting Might a Personal Coach Work In?
Most personal coaches work as self-employed or freelance consultants and for those who only coach over the telephone, it’s one of a growing number of careers that can be done purely from home, although most personal coaches will usually have some clients who they meet in person too.
Although many are general coaches, others specialise in particular areas. Some may work with clients who are trying to focus on achieving financial success, others might be in specific careers where they need to be able to motivate others and need some tips on how to achieve that whilst other personal coaches may be working with people whose personal lives aren’t going in the direction they want them too and a personal coach might be sought to help with matters such as improving relationships, attracting friends and partners, increasing self-belief etc.
Personal coaching isn’t quite, as yet, accepted as a career as much as it is over in the United States but with many professionals here in the UK looking to gain an edge as they climb the career ladder alongside many ordinary men and women who are looking to break bad habits or negative patterns and who wish to make improvements in their personal lives, it’s certainly a growth area and can be a very rewarding career to those who are people oriented yet who do not wish to follow traditional career paths in related areas such as counselling or psychotherapy.