ICF Life Coaching Definition: Does Life Coaching Really Work?

The ICF life coaching definition is the most widely recognized definition in the coaching industry.  It clearly explains the relationship between the coach and the client (coachee). 

The ICF Life Coaching Definition

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”  Coaching is a unique service and differs significantly from therapy, consulting, mentoring, or training.   ICF Coaches specialize in a variety of coaching areas, including Executive Coaching, Life Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Career Coaching, and other skilled coaching fields.

The Future of Life Coaching 

Life coaching is a very multifaceted field because there are coaches that can help people and businesses with an extensive variety of issues. Many coaches specialize in certain areas, which can be helpful when you are trying to reach certain goals. 

The U.S. estimated market value for personal coaching was $955 million in 2015 and $1.02 billion in 2016, compared to $707 million in 2011. It is expected that the market value will reach $1.34 billion by 2022 — or a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022.  Currently, The ICF estimates that coaches have an average annual income ranging from $27,100 to $73,100. Some specialty coaches can make much more, over $100,000.

What is a Life Coach, and Does Life Coaching Works?

According to Merriam Webster, a life coach definition is – an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems.  I see a  life coach as a professional who specializes in assisting individuals in moving forward with realizing constructive goals in their personal and professional life.

According to PayScale, the role and  tasks of life coaches include the following:

  • Interviewing clients and determining coaching needs and individual goals.
  • Utilizing best practices like behavioral and cognitive therapy to work with clients.
  • Documenting all interactions and recommendations, including skill assessments.
  • Researching and identifying certificates, courses, exercise programs, and other tools.

Yes, life coaching,  in reality, does work. It is successful when it is done productively, a way that creates the much-needed results that benefit the coaching client. Research shows that 73% of people who have used life coaches improved their relationships, and 86% of organizations who hired life coaches say they were able to make a return on their investments.

The ICF Global Coaching Client Study shows that most clients reported improved work performance, better business management, more efficient time management, increased team effectiveness, and more growth and opportunities. The same study found that coaching clients noted greater self-confidence, enhanced relationships, more effective communication skills, better work-and-life balance, and an improvement in wellness.

People seek life coaches mostly for the following reasons:

  1.   To achieve desired goals in personal and professional lives
  2.   To find their life’s purpose
  3.   To find fulfillment (happiness)
  4.   To change careers or start a new business
  5.   To improve relationships (for example, becoming better parents)
  6.   To help live a life free of addiction

The ICF life coaching definition is the most widely accepted in the coaching industry and its credentials are highly sought after. Becoming an ICF Credentialed Life Coach is an excellent opportunity to partner with your coaching clients to help them maximize their personal and professional potential.  

Special Bonus – Learn 3 simple ways to become a life coach with the “30-Days to Become a Coach” video toolkit when you fill in the form at the top right and click the “Watch The Videos Now” button. You’ll learn how to change your client’s life in 45 minutes.

Margaret K. Olubiyi
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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