Life coaching is the practice of assisting an individual (known as the coachee or client) through the process of achieving specific personal or professional goals. The various methodologies and approaches used by coaches are varied, but are predominantly facilitating in style (wherein the coach uses questions and exercises to challenge the coachee). Life coaching is commonly conducted one on one, in groups, over the phone, or on the internet.
Life coaching techniques can be employed across a broad spectrum of applications such as executive coaching, emotional intelligence coaching, and wealth coaching. Many renowned motivational speakers also call themselves life coaches as their speeches tend to motivate or inspire audiences. In many businesses, motivational speakers use their expertise and knowledge to strengthen individual employees and create group cohesion within companies.
Many motivational speakers have also been called inspirational speakers. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, they do not always denote the same thing. Most inspirational speakers excel at delivering encouraging messages, using anecdotes, personal experiences, humor, or spirituality to inspire other people. Motivational speakers, on the other hand, tend to deliver messages that are more energetic, with the desired outcome of provoking people into creative action.
Many organizations and Fortune 500 companies see the value in motivational speaking, inspirational speaking, and life coaching. Many companies, educational institutions, and personal development programs now consider coaching to be a key part of personal and group learning development. Coaching values are often instilled in managers to assist them in creating high performance teams that will improve company performance.
Once managers are taught life coaching skills, they can use these same skills to improve their management and leadership abilities. Coaching leaders to be the best they can be often merged with mentoring (wherein a leader or manager is instructed by a more knowledgeable teacher). Life coaches mentor their coachees by helping them shift their perspectives and discover alternative solutions to pervasive dilemmas. When managers apply these same strategies to their employees, it can help improve company performance.
Life coaches can also help their coachees identify and create feasible plans to achieve their dreams. Life coaches should not be confused with therapists or psychologists, as these professions are outside the scope of their work. However, life coaches draw inspiration from psychology to help their leadership coachees create a high performance team.