Life Coaching Definition

Coaching definitions vary, but there is a common thread among coaching professionals and training programs. Life coaches are in partnership with you (the coachee) to help you improve your personal and professional life. Together, you and the coach focus on YOU, to help you to consciously create your life; and on your vision and goals for your life ... to make them happen.

You are the expert in your life!
Life coaching is a process that helps you tap into your inner expert and use your power to create the life you want to live.

When asked for a coaching definition, professional life coaches often start by telling you what life coaching is NOT. They distinguish life coaching from other helping professions like therapists, counselors, teachers, consultants, and even athletic coaches.

Six Life Coaching Definitions

Each of the following life coaching definitions are from reputable, well-established coaching programs and schools (the first is MY definition of coaching). All are valid and useful ways to look at coaching, in my opinion.

Terri Babers, Positive Changes Coach First, I'll tell you my life coaching definition! It encompasses the rest of the definitions you'll find on this page. It is rooted in Core Energy Coaching Process and the empirical research of Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness Coaching.

Life Coaching is a helping field that attracts professionals who are educated and trained to help you "... feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of [your] circumstances. This kind of life coaching focuses on [you], helping you overcoming learned helplessness and depression."

My goal as a life coach is to help you raise your core energy levels, to make conscious choices about your life, to have a greater sense full-fillment and satisfaction in life and to....

  • increase your well-being and levels of accomplishment
  • to connect with your dreams and goals
  • to develop and hold on to an optimistic perspective
  • and to savor your life right now in your pursuit of happiness.

My goal and my passion as a life coach is to help you recognize your "who," raise your energy levels, and find your own solutions to problems, feelings, and life situations ~ and most definitely to help you laugh and smile more!

The International Coaches Federation (ICF). The ICF is the recognized, worldwide credentialing organization for professional coaches. ICF's coaching definition says, "Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. It is an ongoing professional relationship that helps people produce extraordinary results in their lives, careers, businesses, or organizations.”

The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) iPEC is an ICF approved training program and here is their definition of coaching: It is a profession that "... helps people tap into their inner purpose and passion and connect that with outer goals and tasks to bring about extraordinary and sustainable results."

iPEC's coaching definition really resonates with me because my life has long been about helping connect people not only with their outer goals and with their inner personal growth potential, but also to their own passions in life. Once I decided to become a life coach, I did a lot of research and selected iPEC as my primary training and certification program .

Mary Hallgren, founder of Emotionology Coach Institute has a coaching definition focused on developing your emotions. Emotionology Life Coaching “brings together the science of emotions from multiple disciplines and sources and uses 5 models to understand how the different aspects of your thinking and emotions create your relationship to the world. EmotionologyTM teaches you to harness the power of your emotions to make fast changes and gives you the ability to move toward your goals and create the life you want.”

The Emotionology Life Coaching definition is another that resonates strongly with my “who." I have enrolled in the Emotionology Life Coach program of study as an adjunct to my training with the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching.

Thomas Leonard, founder of CoachVille, one of the longest established coaching schools, says that coaches, “Help people set better goals and then reach those goals. Ask their clients to do more than they would have done on their own. Help their client to focus better so as to produce results more quickly. Provide clients with the tools, support and structure to accomplish.”

Thomas Crane, author of Heart of Coaching,one of the definitive texts on coaching, defines it as “a healthy, positive, and enabling process that develops the capacity of people to solve today’s business [and personal] problems. Touching people’s spirits and rekindling what deeply matters to them is what [coaching] is all about.”

A single, concise definition of coaching is tough to come up with because of the diversity of coaching programs and services. The definitions vary depending upon the situation, the coach's emphasis in training, "who" of the clients they serve ... and the "who" of the coach.

If you've started the process of finding a life coach, pay as much attention to the coach's "who" as you do to her coaching definition. That is one reason so many coaches offer Introductory Coaching Sessions at no charge.

An Introductory session lets you know their life coaching definition, and it is a great way to ensure that your "who" and their "who" fit!

What Do Coaches Do? Now that you have several coach definitions to compare, you can go to this page to learn more about what coaches do.

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