The International Coach Federation 2015 Client Study confirms that Professional coaching brings many wonderful benefits and can impact people’s lives through: fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence.”1
Practical Roles in Coaching. Life Coaches believe that clients are the source of their own solutions and use the coaching conversation and powerful questions to expand awareness and insight. There may be times though, when your clients will be well served if you can share the benefit of your experience or knowledge in a way that helps them move forward. My friend Pegotty Cooper, who trains Divorce Coaches, shared four pragmatic roles that include Educator, Thinking Partner, Resource, and Champion. I believe these also apply to the specialty area of Recovery Coaching.
As Educator. If your clients are working within a specific set of challenges or goals, you may be of service in helping them to see the bigger picture. To help clients get better outcomes in a difficult process, at times you may educate them about options or pitfalls of going through the process or system, example caring for an elderly parent or making a career shift. You may know of services they can check into. But, we are coaches, we are not advisors.
As Thinking Partner. When you are working with clients over many months or longer, they may be impacted by crisis situations or undue stress. They may be operating from their reptilian brain. They need a voice of reason and reminder about where they are going when they get overwhelmed; in other words, a Thinking Partner. We help them to think through options including how to maintain relationships with important support people and track the steps in their process, such as dealing with loss of a job or death of a loved one. Many times, a valued Life Coach is the trusted professional who can bring stability in the mist of life’s instability by believing their clients are capable and resourceful. And by helping them to remember who they are as their ‘best selves’.
As Resource. Life Coaches can help clients relate to other vital people. We identify and screen professionals such as mental health professionals. We make Referrals to these people who have specific roles in a difficult process or situation our clients encounter. We also curate resources like books, blogs, support networks, etc. which can inform and inspire.
As Champion. Our clients need a person who is “in their corner” helping them to explore how to make happen what they want to have happen, to celebrate wins big and small, and to help them gain clarity, confidence, and courage for the journey. Life Coaches have tremendous capacity to help our clients to find the inner resources to press through their stuck places when their goals seem unattainable.
1 Benefits of Using a Coach ICF website http://coachfederation.org/need/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=747