The Purpose and Fundamentals of Life Coaching.


"In life, it's not what we find that dissapoints us the most. It's just when our expectations aren't met."

You need to be fully aware of yourself to understand why you do what you do. Therefore the number one priority of life coaches is to get your own "house" in order. After you've grown yourself, you are able to guide other people through the same process.

When you have a faulty set of core beliefs, it's going to be difficult to achieve any goal. Everyone has more or less the same set of core values. It's the order in which we prioritize them what separates us from each other.

It's not always what we say that makes impact, but how we say it.

We become competent in a skill when we put it into practice. Practice makes us permanently better than what we've ever been.

Ideas are built upon ideas, knowledge is built upon knowledge.

Life coaches are facilitators of change.

A good life coach teaches its clients how to take responsibility for themselves. Clients should not become dependent on their life coach.

When people take ownership of their lifes, they are able to make the changes they want.

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Show him to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

Three Levels of Impact

Attitudes of Effective Life Coaching

Trust is developed over time.

What life coaching is not:

  • Advice giving: telling people what to do, unsollicited advice
  • Teaching or lecturing: teaching people how to live
  • Professional consulting: offering a high price service
  • Counselling or therapy: trying to fix people or heal them

What coaching is: looking at someone's life from an objective perspective.
Goal -> Reality -> Options -> Action -> Outcome

Coaches do not have to have any answers whatsoever.

  • That's why coaching is mainly about asking questions.

What to understand in a coaching conversation: why does someone not already do what he wants? What is holding this person back? What are the limiting beliefs?

Let people talk about what they DO want, not what they DON'T want.

  • So, go for a positive mindset (as a negative one does not inspire).

when speaking with someone, are you responding to what the other person said, or are you mostly speaking your own (unrelated) thoughts.

  • Something to keep in mind during conversations.

Barriers that get in the way of Effective listening

  1. We have preconceived ideas, expectations or bias.
    Are you really hearing what someone else says, or just passively listening behind your "barriers"?
  2. We are more interested in being 'right' than learning.
    Are you willing to set aside what you think is right and learn new things instead?
  3. We are listening to reply instead of listening to learn.
    Are you interrupting people halfway through their stories, or are you really listening to what they are saying?
  4. We find the communicator attractive/unattractive.
    Are you listening to the content of what people have to say, or only because you are attracted to them?
  5. Having a closed mind.
    Are you asking questions to understand someone's perspective, or do you directly jump to conclusions?
  6. Other external distractions.
    Are you focused on what someone else says, or are you distracted by something else happening around you?

Book tip: The Skilled Helper by Gerard Egan

A standard for effective life coaching

  • Is your client OPEN to hearing new ideas and are they ready to change?
    People who are merely want coaching because then want to feel good, are probably not ready.
  • Is your client RECEPTIVE and willing to apply that which they're learning?
  • Is your client APPRECIATIVE of your time, energy, insights and efforts?
  • Invest yourself into the YOU'S of the world - those who're ready to grow!

Past, Present & Future
Example question to ask in this exercise:

  • "What has led you to this point in your life?"
  • "What are the main lessons you've learned from your past?"
  • "What are the main challenges you've overcome in recent years?"
  • "What are the main strengths you've developed along the way?"
  • "Where are you in life today (compared to the past)?"
  • "What is good about your life today?"
  • "Where do you see yourself at some point in the future?"
    • "How does the person you want to become excite you?"
  • "How should you continue to develop yourself in order to move forward?"
    • "How can I help and assist you as a life coach?"

Identifies four types of learner:

  1. Visual
  2. Auditory
  3. Reading/writing
  4. Kinaesthetic

As coaching is partly about teaching as well, it's important to know about the various types of learner that exist.

To appeal to all people, a course must offer something for each type of learner.

When you sense a disconnection between your client and yourself, mention this observation and ask the client if he feels the same. If so, ask the client what you can change in order to connect more.

  • You have to figure out what style of communication fits with someone.
  • Acknowledge a disturbance in the force.

Perception vs Reality

  • Our perception of reality is rarely the truth. People also respond to their perception of reality instead of to reality itself.
  • Life coaches should not respond to the labels people attach to themselves (and boxes people put themselves in). Instead, they should respond to reality or their own perceptions.
  • Two stories:
    • Paying $100.000 for a job ($100 for the time, $99.900 for knowing where to look)
    • Screaming kids running around the train and a father who just buried his wife