The basic principles of life coaching are many, but they all point to one goal—to help individuals reach their full potential and achieve a better quality of life.
Life coaches work with those who have healthy, happy lives and who wish to remain that way, but they also work with those who need a little help to get back on track.
Many clients seek out life coaches when they feel things are not going as well as they could be; others call upon them when something goes wrong in their lives, such as losing a job or loved one.
In addition to helping you reach your goals, life coaches can teach you how to become your own best friend and supporter; they’ll walk you through positive thinking exercises and show you how self-reflection can help make positive changes happen. One thing is for sure: A good coach will never push their clients into anything they don’t want to do. Here we look at three basic principles of life coaching so you know exactly what to expect if you choose to work with an expert.
Principle 1: Positive Thinking
This is one of the most important basic principles of life coaching. All life coaches must follow what’s known as The Golden Rule of coaching: Coaches are to treat clients as they themselves would like to be treated. This means being kind, empathetic, respectful, and encouraging in a non-judgmental way.
Life coaches always listen carefully to their clients, no matter how trivial or irrelevant it may seem; if you ask for advice on something that may not directly impact your goals at first glance, your coach will still take time out to discuss it with you without judging or ridiculing you. A positive thinking life coach will also help her client set attainable goals that are based on reality, rather than on what he or she thinks might happen.
For example, a person who has never played tennis in his life should not expect to become an expert after taking just one lesson—he needs many more lessons before becoming proficient. It’s up to his coach (and he himself) to decide when that moment comes!
Principle 2: Set SMART Goals
Setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based (S.M.A.R.T.) ensures that you’re on track to reach your objectives quickly and efficiently; without time frames and measurable goals, you may find yourself getting nowhere fast!
Effective life coaches will help you establish your objectives by asking questions such as: What do you want to achieve? How much money would you like to make? Where would you like to live and why? How many clients would you like to have in one year? And so on.
Asking these kinds of direct questions will get your thinking going in a positive direction—and lead to more success in achieving your goals.
SMART goals also include a way to measure progress toward them. For example, instead of just saying I want to have 100 clients, it’s more useful to say I want to have 100 clients within six months.
A life coach who follows The Golden Rule of coaching will be careful not to tell you what to change about yourself or how you should think about something because that runs counter to treating people with respect.
Principle 3: Listening and Intuition
An effective life coach can help you dig deep within yourself to discover your true needs, desires, and feelings.
Often, people need help uncovering their motivations for things—the answer isn’t always as simple as money.
A good coach will guide you toward thinking in a more positive way about yourself, about your goals, and about what might be holding you back from achieving them.
Listening intently and having an open mind is just as important as guiding your client through his or her journey to self-discovery. It doesn’t matter how much training a coach has had if he or she isn’t listening carefully, because that kind of coaching leads nowhere!
Final Remarks about Basic Principles of Life Coaching
There is no such thing as one basic life coaching principle or coaching practice that’s right for everyone.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to these principles of life coaching is that they should be used only to guide your own self-discovery and journey toward becoming a better person; other people who offer you the secret of happiness may be trying to sell you something, but life coaches help their clients think through their problems without making judgments—one small step at a time.
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community