Why I Am Not a Life Coach

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The Coaching Industry has experienced incredible growth.
During the past several years in my capacity as an executive coach, business coach and corporate coach, I have been invariably asked one or both of these two questions:
  1. Are you a life coach?
  2. What is the difference between a life coach or an executive or business coach?
I always remember to smile when I share my response.
No, I am not a life coach, but more importantly may I ask you a couple of questions? (I wait to receive approval before asking these two next questions):
  • What does a life coach look like to your?
  • What expectations do you have for engaging a coach
The questioning individual thinks for several minutes and then begins his or her response.
Responses 99.
9% of the time include the phrase or concept a better life.
Then I need to ask another clarifying question: What does a better life look like?
  • More time with family
  • More financial security
  • Better health
  • Better social life
  • More professional or business success
After listening to the forthcoming responses, I then ask how can that more or better be measured to ensure that the results from the desired expectations are actually achieved? For at this point and time, the focus has moved from the feel good or subjective and qualitative to the I know I have done it or objective and quantitative.
Moving from the qualitative to the quantitative is the main reason why I am not a life coach.
In all honesty, when I hear this statement I am a life coach, my gut reaction is not positive because it is far too touchy feely and subjective.
My observation is that many life coaches tend not to focus on pre-determined measurable results.
In fact one certified life coach told me that there was more than just results in life and that results were not as important as feeling better.
In other words, results are not everything.
For my colleagues who are executive coaches, business coaches and corporate coaches and myself, results are everything.
No matter what people want, the desired results can be measured.
This may be from more quality time (number of interactions) with family to less stress (number of increased sleeping hours to decrease in body weight).
HINT: This is how executive coaches to corporate coaches can determine return on investment ( ROI ).
However to focus on just feeling better or happy to me is a disservice and in my opinion malpractice.
Taking dollars and not being able to deliver measurable results is fraud.
Of course, someone could say that no one can guarantee behavioral change in people.
And that is a correct statement.
Yet, when a proven process is used that creates a buy-in to change and reinforced with proven tools that support that buy-in, the likelihood of measurable success has been dramatically increased.
Finally, we must remember that human beings did not evolve to where they are today because of feeling good.
In many cases, to stretch or go beyond what is perceived as existing endurance requires accepting pain and truly not feeling good.
I have had clients who made good choices and tough decisions that resulted in a short term financial retreat, but the long term goals were achieved.
Did they feel good when they had to change their lifestyle? No, but they knew that the sacrifices were worth the ultimate gain.
And, they now understood that they had far more control over their lives than they had previously thought.
So I guess if you want to receive or to deliver touchy feel good solutions whatever that is, then hiring a life coach or being one may work for you.
But, if you truly want measurable and sustainable results, then you may wish talk to an executive or business coach who can help you achieve those results.
And, that is why I am a professional executive coach whose focus is to develop results driven ethical leadership in people, teams and organizations through proven processes that deliver transformational change.
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