After you begin your career in life coaching, you might be asked a common question by those who are unfamiliar with the valuable services that you can provide. Potential coaching clients might ask you this question. People interested in becoming a life coach might ask you this question. Just about anyone who is interested in any aspect of the life coaching profession might ask you this question. This question can vary a bit, but it always starts something like this: “What’s the difference between a life coach and a….?” You can fill in the blank with therapist, mentor, consultant… or some other type of helping professional. There are so many helping professions that seem to overlap in their methods of providing services, but their roles, goals and rewards are very different from each other.
So, What Makes Life Coaching Different?
One of the main things that differentiates the role of a life coach from other helping professionals is that a life coach strives to take on the role of an equal partner with the client. Through this partnership, the client and coach work towards reaching the clients goals. A life coach does not attempt to fix anything or anyone. A life coach seeks out the greatness that is already within and around a client and helps them to realize it, use it and become empowered by it. A life coach isn’t the answer man or woman or the latest advice columnist. A life coach guides the client toward his or her own answers and helps the client to turn those answers into tangible realities.
Standing Out From the Rest of the Pack
Want some examples of how coaching can effect a client’s life compared to other helping professionals? Let’s have a look at a few other professions and how they size up against life coaching.
- Life Coach vs Consultant
-Consultants want to evaluate a situation to find the problems and then tell their clients how to fix those problems.
-Coaching can be like a form of consulting. But, coaches differ from consultants because they stay with their clients to help them to implement new skills, changes and goals. When clients comes up with answers, coaches stick with them as they turn those answers into realities.
- Life Coach vs Mentor
-Mentors want clients to walk in their shoes so that the clients can duplicate those steps within their own lives.
-Life coaches want their clients to overcome personal and impersonal challenges while working towards their goals and remaining accountable until they reach them. Good coaches don’t expect their clients to be like them or do things the same way they do things. They expect their clients to find their own paths, after considering their options.
- Life Coach vs Therapist
-Therapists and other mental health professionals have the goal of helping their clients to heal from past hurts.
–Life Coaching is not therapy. Life coaches do not work on issues or get into the past. They let clients figure out the best way to work through past issues. Coaches help clients to move forward, and set personal and professional goals that will give them the life that they really want, instead of focusing on fixing the past.
- Life Coach vs Sports Coach
-Sports coaching focuses on many principles such as: teamwork, going after the goal and being your best.
–Life coaching includes several principles form sports coaching. But unlike sports coaching, most professional coaching is not a competition or based on winning and losing. Life coaches focus on strengthening the client, instead of focusing on beating another person or team. Coaching is built more on a win-win type of philosophy.
- Life Coach vs Best Friend
-Best friends are absolutely wonderful to have. But, can you really trust your best friend to professionally advise you on the most important aspects of your life or business? The best scenario is to have a best friend and a coach.
-A client’s relationship with a life coach is like a hybrid relationship. A life coach is close enough to care while keeping enough professional distance to serve the client in an unattached fashion.
Now you know some of the things that make the profession of a life coach unique. Share this the next time someone expresses interest in our wonderful profession.
Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!
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