Most professional life coaches use some form of life satisfaction assessment. While the format may vary from school to school, the assessment itself is essentially the same. Significant areas of life are highlighted with instructions to rate the level of satisfaction in each area on a scale from 1 to 10. The tool helps clients identify areas of their lives that they would like to focus on in the coaching process.
Life satisfaction assessment instructions: “This assessment provides an opportunity to consider your level of satisfaction in various areas of your life. Rate each of the following areas on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 means you are completely dissatisfied – this is an area in which you desire drastic change. 10 means you are completely satisfied – you are entirely pleased and can’t imagine a change that would truly add to your satisfaction. Of course satisfaction changes from day to day. However, use this tool to indicate your general sense of where you are in each of these areas right now. Skip anything that doesn’t apply to you. Add anything that makes sense to you.”
Sample life satisfaction areas:
Immediate Family Relationships Career/Employment Extended Family Relationships Financial Recreation/Relaxation/Fun Relationships with Friends Pace of Lifestyle Spirituality Physical Environment (living space) Church/Ministry/Religious Life Physical Health Community/Civic Involvement Mental/Emotional Health Other Marriage/Romantic Relationship
Sample life satisfaction tool: “Graph of Life” on page 355 of Gary R. Collins book Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential into Reality, Second Edition (NavPress, 2009).
Life Satisfaction Assessment
The life satisfaction assessment is useful in a variety of situations:
If you are considering becoming a coach: Assess satisfaction in your own life and identify an area or areas in which you want to improve satisfaction. Then learn what it’s like to be coached by working with a coach on making the improvements you desire. It’s advisable to work with a coach and learn what coaching is from personal experience before you decide to make a career change or invest money on coach training.
If you are now in coach training: Use this tool to help surface issues in your own life that you can bring to your practice coaching labs and class coaching demos for those times you are assigned the role of coaching client.
If you are already coaching clients: Use this tool to help new clients consider what areas of their lives they want to address in coaching.
If you are already a coach and speaking to a group on a life-satisfaction-related topic: Include it as an activity in a presentation when you speak to a group. Have participants take the life satisfaction assessment, choose the area in which they want to make the most change and ultimately identify the next best step that will get them closer to satisfaction in that area. Walk the group through the process and/or work with an individual volunteer as a coaching demonstration for the group.