Life coaching is exploding. Is it any wonder why?
According to the International Coach Federation, the leading professional association for coaches worldwide, individuals who hire a coach can expect significant improvement in productivity, satisfaction with life and work, and the attainment of goals. Once limited to high-level executives, professional life coaching is now mainstream, enjoyed by people from all walks of life around the world.
But as with any growing profession, myths about life coaching abound. Below, we debunk the top five professional life coaching myths.
Debunking The Top 5 Life Coaching Myths
Myth #1: Professional life coaches give people advice.
Fact: Inexperienced or poorly trained coaches tell their clients what to do. Good coaches do not. Good coaches, as defined by the ICF, partner “with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work.”
Myth #2: Life coaching is just another form of counseling.
Fact: Coaching is about growth and stability rather than dysfunction and healing. Whereas therapy and counseling are primarily about the past and present, coaching is primarily about the future. A person in need of healing is not yet ready for coaching and should see a therapist instead.
Myth #3: All professional life coaches are basically the same.
Fact: Not true. Because the profession isn’t regulated, anyone can hang up a shingle as a life coach. Some “coaches” attend a weekend training session, calling themselves a life coach after just a few hours of training. Others hear the term in the media or read a book and call themselves a “professional life coach.”
If you or someone you know is looking for a professional coach, choose one accredited by a reputable, ICF-aligned training institute, such as the Professional Christian Coaching Institute. The ICF is the industry standard for coaching excellence.
Myth #4: Professional life coaches are for people with problems.
Fact: While it is true that some people hire a coach because they feel stuck, most people who hire a professional life coach are high-achieving individuals seeking professional and personal growth. They simply want to go farther faster.
People hire a professional life coach for many reasons — to start home businesses, prepare for retirement, or gain clarity around their life’s purpose. Many clients hire a coach for navigating such transitions as empty-nesting, divorce, or finding a new career.
Couples hire coaches to strengthen their marriage and parenting skills. Pastors and ministry leaders work with coaches to strengthen their leadership and conflict management skills. The reasons for hiring a coach are endless, but all clients have a common desire for growth in their lives.
Myth #5: Professional life coaches are expensive.
Fact: While the cost of coaching can quickly add up, the return on investment far outweighs the initial financial investment. While cost varies, most professional life coaches charge somewhere in the range of $100-$300 a session. Executive coaches charge significantly more. For individuals on a limited budget, group coaching is an attractive option to consider.
One study commissioned by the International Coach Federation reported a median return on investment of 3.44 times their initial investment in coaching. Bottom line, coaching can produce rewards that far exceed the cost.