What Coaching Is and What Coaching Isn’t
Hi, my name is Brandy Faven and I work with women who feel alone, confused, and misunderstood following a significant change or loss in their life. I help them get clear on what matters most and gain the confidence to move forward with a plan so their life feels normal again.
And what exactly does that mean?
Well, it means I am a life coach who helps women navigate life transitions, and I do this work online. Online coaching/ teaching/ mentoring/ consulting professions are very much on the rise. It allows such professionals to reach a far greater audience than would be possible by serving people only in person.
What is a life coach?
Life coaching is a skillful healing art.
A trained life coach compassionately holds space for another person (the client) to open up and explore their inner world of dialog, beliefs, truths, and experiences, and feel completely safe and accepted doing so. The coach helps the client to bring whatever is coming up to the surface and make sense of it all or challenge it by using powerful questions.
An effective coach has learned (or is learning) to master the art of powerful questioning. The goal is always to help the person they are working with arrive at their own realizations and conclusions based on their unique life experiences, wisdom, and personal intuition – not what the coach suggests or tells them to do.
That is the realm of consulting, and coaching and consulting are not the same.
While a coach may certainly offer tools and tips from their own training or experience, it is only once the client has exhausted their own range of possibilities, that the coach will do so.
How does someone become a life coach?
Many life coaches get certified training from some coaching school. Since there is no governing body for the profession of life coaching, no certification or licensing is actually required to call oneself a life coach. Technically, any person can open a business and call themselves a life coach. If having a certified coach matters to you, ask the person you are interested in working with what their coaching certification background is.
My journey began in 2012 when I really started to get the itch to do something more with my life, to have a greater impact. My search for how I would do this began with looking for a mentor or some sort of spiritual teacher, to help me figure this out. This was when I started running into life coaches and mentors online.
I liked the idea of being that support for someone else and I knew kind of immediately that this was work I wanted to do in the future. And I also knew I needed some education to help me learn how to do that.
I started looking at life coaching schools on the internet.
That was when I found the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona. They had an online program where I could become a certified life coach within a larger degree program that included other specialties as well. This was the school I ultimately chose and began studying in the fall of 2013, finally completing my program in the spring of 2016.
Within my Associate Degree in Mind-Body Transformational Psychology, I received a diploma as a Holistic Wellness Practitioner; I became a certified life coach, clinical hypnotherapist, holistic nutrition specialist; and my concentration in spiritual studies earned me the opportunity to become an ordained minister. And that is how it all began for me!
I have since gone on to become certified through another coaching school called the Life Purpose Institute. LPI is accredited by the International Coaching Federation – the most well-known life coach credentialing body, worldwide.
Credentialing in the coaching industry
The greatest benefit to working with a coach certified through a program accredited by a credentialing body like the ICF (or BCC), is the confidence in knowing that your coach was trained to a standardized skill level. Such credentialing bodies have established professional and ethical standards developed and agreed upon by a board of professional coaches.
If there ever comes a time when coaching certification is mandated, ICF will likely be that worldwide governing body. It made sense to me to get trained from a school through which I can become ICF certified if and when I choose to do so.
Even if a coach doesn’t become ICF certified, but are certified through a school that is accredited by the ICF, they have to pass an ICF level exam and coaching sessions review to get certified by that school.
Why is coach training important?
An obvious skill set shows up with a coach who is properly trained.
They establish a clear distinction of the work to be done between the coach and client. The client always leads the session, never the coach.
Trained coaches are masters at holding safe space for the client to explore their inner world. For many people, the only time they really feel seen or heard is in the presence of their coach.
A well-trained coach has highly developed listening and mirroring skills. They hear the client and mirror back what was just said. They behave as a sounding board for the client speaking their deepest, inner thoughts and feelings for closer examination.
A trained coach knows how to assist the client in identifying and moving through their blocks and barriers. They have the tools to effectively help the client determine and design actions and goals that will help move them forward. They are able to teach the client how to hold themselves accountable in moving their own life forward once they move beyond the coaching relationship.
While it is not a rule: all good coaches have a coach. Most coaches coach because they have experienced the positive, transformational results of coaching in their own lives. Many coaches choose to have a coach at all times to consistently move their own development forward. This is also how we become better coaches for our clients!
A coach who gets coached, coaches even better!
A good coach practices what they teach
One of the main things that attracted me to my current business coach/ teacher’s programs, is how real she is. Jenny gets vulnerable and shares about her own challenges and struggles, and how she still works through them just like anyone she mentors. She knows that the tools, techniques, and suggestions she offers work, because she uses them herself!
Any tool, technique, or practice I share with someone else is one I use or have used for myself. I believe a coach has to do their own work and walk their talk. A coach who is consistently pushing forward and doing the hard work on themselves, every day, is expanding and growing themselves in a way that better serves others as well. We can only take someone else as far as we have gone ourselves!
How can I find the right coach?
Check out their website and read their materials and social media posts. Follow them for a bit. Learn about who they are, where they have been, what drives them, and what their coaching philosophy is. Understand exactly how they can or cannot help you.
Feel into who they are. Picking the right coach has everything to do with feeling good about the person you choose. Notice who their followers are and the quality of conversations and testimonials that are coming from them.
Determine what, if any, certifications or credentials matter to you. Sign up for a discovery call with him or her. Most coaches offer discovery calls or ‘mini sessions’ where you can get to know each other.
Ask for referrals from people you know for a good coach. Put it out on a FB post and see what comes back to you.
Above all else – wait for that inner feeling or knowing that the person you are choosing is the right person for you, right now.
Until next week, Brandy xxx
I would love to hear from you! If you have questions about how I work with women just like you, you can reach out to me directly through my contact page or right here, firstname.lastname@example.org