Coaching and Leadership FAQs

Answers to our most popular questions.

What Is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching is also called “self development consulting”. Life coaching has been around for thousands of years. Mentors, teachers, guides, advisers, gurus, and wise men and women have helped people for years. Actually, it is said that Buddha, given the choice between a library full of books and sitting across the table from a wise man, would choose time across the table from a wise man.

As a profession, coaching is gradually gaining prominence and has now spread worldwide. Coaching is now estimated to be over a $5 billion/year in the U.S., and about $400 million/year in Canada. 60% of American companies use or have used an Executive Coach. Studies have indicated that 70% of the participants in coaching relationships reported significant increases in their areas of focus.

Several participants described immediate beneficial changes, and 95% cited the process as worthwhile. Ken Blanchard said this: “I believe providing feedback is the most cost-effective strategy for improving performance and instilling satisfaction.” In other words, the cheapest and most efficient way to improve your performance is to get a coach. Life coaching is a supportive relationship in which a coach helps a client identify and achieve deeply important goals in his or her personal or professional life.

Life coaches use tools of perceptive listening and meaningful questioning to help clients identify the vision they wish to achieve. They help clients discover and remove obstacles that may be in the way. And, they partner with clients in taking action to achieve their desired results.

What Is a Life Coach?

A Life Coach is someone who seeks to build rapport with you, gets to know you well, helps you stay focused, accountable, and on course. A Life Coach is a non-judgmental support, a trusted role model, an adviser, an ally, and a guide.

Life Coaches are generalists in that they tend to be trained in a variety of life skills related issues, and yet many develop specialized areas. When necessary, Life Coaches refer clients to someone with a more relevant area of expertise. General qualities of a Life Coach:

  1. Perceptive Listeners: they have a deep and empathetic listening – and hearing – ability.
  2. Skilled Re-framers: they have developed the ability to help clients re-think and re-frame a situation or difficulty or limiting belief, turning problems into opportunities.
  3. Sensitivity To Suspend Judgment: Life Coaches have generally “heard it all”, and so they are not easily shocked. It is fundamental to the Coaching process that clients have a place to vent, unload, and pour out. The client can find this liberating, empowering, and that it clears their head space and emotional space to begin seeing solutions and options and opportunities.
  4. Integrity, Discretion and Principled Values: Life Coaches align themselves with integrity and careful judgment, and maintain strong ethical and confidentiality guidelines.
  5. Capacity To Offer Possibilities and Solutions: We all have un-tapped potential and near limitless capacity. A skilled Life Coach will recognize this, and work to draw upon this innate potential to partner with the client towards higher levels of living and being. Life Coaches work to support and assist clients on their journey to discovering what it is they truly want in life. Coaching is about helping clients unlock their own brilliance. It’s about helping people learn to look inside to generate their own answers by realizing they already hold the key, and that their power is in taking personal responsibility. It’s about empowering people to do something they have never done before, think something they have never thought before, and say something they have never said before. “You see things and say, ‘Why?’. But I dream things that never were and say ‘Why Not?’”, George Bernard Shaw.

Is Being Coached a Complicated Process?

Like anything, what we put in determines what we get out. Life Coaching is no different. If the seed we sow is small, we will have a small harvest. If what we invest is significant, we will have a significant return.

Life Coaching is simple:

  • connecting with your Coach
  • clarifying priorities
  • removing barriers
  • taking action
  • reaching goals

More than anything, your Life Coach will work with you to identify your potential, your goals, and priorities, and help you get there in as short a distance as possible.

Do Successful People Need a Life Coach?

Andy Stanley said: “In the world of leadership, we operate under the misguided assumption that because we are leaders, we don’t need to be led. We have a tendency to measure ourselves against the people around us. They become our point of reference. A good coach will evaluate your performance against your potential. A coach helps you measure your performance against your strengths instead of against someone else’s.”

Even leaders need to be led. This is where a skilled Life Coach or Business Coach comes in.

See, we all need a Coach. George Burns Had A Coach – Gracie His Wife. Terry Fox Had A Coach – His Brother. Muhammad Ali Had A Coach. Tiger Woods Has Had Several Coaches. Wayne Gretzky… Michael Jordan… Babe Ruth… Every Olympic Athlete… All Had Coaches! Everyone Who Has Had A Mentor, In Essence, Has Had A Coach. Most of the time the Coach is not as talented or successful in a given field as their client; however they see things that will enhance the client’s performance and success.

Most of the time it is not even what a Coach knows that makes him valuable. It is what he sees that counts. Andy Stanley, “A good leadership coach will do everything in his power to close the gap between your potential and your performance. That may entail brutal honesty. Why? BECAUSE THE PAINFUL TRUTH IS THE FAST TRACK TO INCREASED PERFORMANCE.”

How Can Life Coaching Help Me?

In your personal life, life coaching can help you:

  • Gain clarity around what is important to you
  • Understand your life purpose and how to fulfill it
  • Gain the confidence to achieve what is important to you
  • Transition to a new job or career and greater productivity
  • Establish greater work/life balance, and have fun doing it
  • Get organized and manage your time more efficiently
  • Make a major decision or step out or take a leap
  • Manage your priorities more effectively and to not be constantly derailed
  • And even more…

What Is Life Coaching Not?

For clarity, Life Coaching is not…

  • Therapy or mental health counselling
  • A place to treat mental illness

What Is the Difference Between a 'Counselling' Focus and a 'Coaching' Approach?

The role of a counselor is to help an individual resolve issues of the past in order to operate more effectively in the present. A Life Coach, on the other hand, helps us assess the present so that we can operate more effectively in the future. Although Life Coaching is therapeutic, in that its aim is to enhance an individual’s performance or life experience, there are significant differences between this and psychotherapy.

Life Coaching is short term (generally between 3-12 months) and is clarity defining and solution-based. Life Coaching sees the client as able and functional, and focuses primarily on the present and future, and not so much the past. Life Coaching is a results-orientated systematic process in which the coach facilitates performance enhancement and life skills development, rather than treating dysfunction. This difference means that a Life Coach can be far more engaged and challenging and can hold their client accountable for their commitment to change to a greater degree than the therapist can. Life Coaching supports personal and professional growth and development, with an aim toward specific actionable outcomes and creating momentum.

These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Life Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy often deals with healing pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or in a relationship between two or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways.

Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of Life Coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a Life Coaching relationship is on action, accountability, and follow-through. “Getting There”.

What Is Business Coaching?

Business coaching aims to help a business person or business enhance their level of performance. Using different tools, Business Coaching generally follows a process when coaching a business, group, or organization:

  1. Needs Analysis, group and individual – based on interviews with key leaders in organization and random selection of employees. Core values based, vision based, strategy based, results and outcomes oriented.
  2. Organizational Profile, based on info the organization provides, combined with actual market performance.
  3. Intuitive Client Centered Proposal, What do the key leaders want to get out of this? Parameters and context are set up in terms of mutual expectations.
  4. Coaching:
    • Workshops, Selected in partnership with the organization’s leaders, based on mutually agreed to organizational needs.
    • The “LIB” Tool – “Leading In Business” Tool…
    • The “GAAC” Tool – “Growing As A Coach” Tool…
    • The “LFL” Tool – “Leadership Factor Locator” Tool…
    • The “ELFL” Tool – “Essential Life Factors Locator” Tool…
    • One-On-One Coaching Sessions
  5. Leadership Development Report
  6. Meet With Direct Reports and Leaders, primarily around 2-way feedback.
  7. More Coaching As Needed, based on mutually agreed to parameters.
  8. Written Review To The Organization
  9. Follow-Up Schedule, schedule set for bi-annual follow-up.

How Do I Get Trained and Certified to Coach?

If you have the requisite life experience, prior education, and work experience, the Certified Coaches Federation (CCF) can facilitate your training process as a coach.

Contact Me for more info on being trained and certified as a Life Coach, or check out for more info.

Or, you could call 1-866-455-2155. What differentiates CCF from others is that we certify people in a shorter time frame, costing less money, because we recognize the value they bring in terms of life experience, work experience, and prior education. Please consider the Certified Coaches Federation.

We will help you not only coach people, but build your business in a people focused and profitable way. If you have specific questions, I would be more than happy to chat. I am the Master Coach Trainer for the Certified Coaches Federation for the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.