Recently I was asked how I could be a life coach when I didn’t have a perfect life. It’s something that I talk openly about with prospective clients or with friends who are looking for a life coach. Perfection is overrated and completely subjective. Yes, it is true that I don’t have a perfect life, that I have had numerous failed relationships and also that sometimes my life doesn’t go to plan, but that is what makes me very qualified to work with my clients to find the path that works for them.
It is also important to mention that my brand of life coaching encompasses all aspects of your life which includes career, relationships, personal growth and development and health and wellbeing. All of these are intrinsically linked, and I have found that even when someone wants to focus on their career their personal life can either help or hinder their career progression do a holistic approach is more appropriate.
As a coaching client, you shouldn’t be trying to emulate your coach. Their role is to work with you by challenging you, asking you open and thought-provoking questions and creating a framework to help you find the answers that you need from within.
Coaching relationships are like any other relationship they requite chemistry, empathy and collaboration to work effectively. When I am choosing a coach (yes I work with coaches too) I like to get to know the person to establish three things:
1. Will they judge me
2. Can they be objective
3. Do I respect and value their opinions
If I answer no to any of those questions, then I know that I won’t be able to work with them as my coach.
I cannot work with someone who is judgmental. As I said, I was challenged about not being perfect. Well, my imperfections mean that I don’t judge my clients.
I remember trying to coach one of my cousins once. Even though we agreed to stick to career coaching, we kept referencing how her career would impact on her personal life, and it made the coaching session very difficult as we kept having to step out of the coachings pace which broke rapport and slowed progress. Needless to say, I recommended that she work with a different coach and I went back to being her loving cousin.
Respect and Value
Because I am extremely aware of my values, it means that I can quickly tell if a coach and I will be in alignment. A lack of alignment with a life coach leads to difficult and contentious conversations and a lack of chemistry and rapport this stops the relationship from growing and the client from progressing.
When YOU are looking for a coach, you need to identify what your three coaching relationship values are. I suggest that three is the best number as it forces you to focus on what is important and makes the process of choosing a coach much easier.
So as an imperfect life coach, I have decided to share a blog series during 2018 that helps readers understand more about my experiences and what I learnt from those experiences when I was able to reflect on them and make changes. Look out for these posts which will be called “Confessions of an Imperfect Life Coach” throughout 2018 and sign up to my mailing list so you don’t miss any.
Wishing you all a truly prosperous New Year!