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What is Coaching?

Recently, I have received several emails asking me about coaching and what it is exactly. So, I decided to answer some of those questions in this article.

First, of all let me start with what coaching is not. Coaching is not therapy or counseling. Therapy tends to focus on the past whereas coaching is often more future oriented. Also, coaches are not paid friends. You certainly have friends that are all ready giving you advice. Friends are often cautious in telling you what they really think and don't want to hurt your feelings. Coaches hold you accountable for the goals you set and an action plan to meet those goals.

So, what is coaching? For years executives and athletes have had coaches to help them reach peak performance. Now, other people are seeing the benefits of having a coach. Coaches are a listening ear, listening to your goals and dreams. Coaches help you put those dreams into actions. You will find coaches are very action oriented and want to help their clients reach their goals. Coaches also hold you accountable for steps you plan to take. Christian Coaches in particular focus from a Godly perspective. Where is God leading you at this time?

Why would someone hire a coach? People hire coaches for many different reasons. Some people need help with time management. Others want to find a better balance in their lives. Some may be looking at a career change and want to research the alternatives. Some people may say, "I'm not enjoying my life and want to have more fun, how can I better use my time?" Others may want spiritual guidance in their particular situation. The reasons people hire coaches are as varied as the individual person.

What should you look for in a coach? Most coaches offer an initial free phone session. You should see if the coach understands you and really listens to what you have to say. Does the coach ask you what your goals are or does the coach set goals for you? Remember this is about you and your agenda, not the coach's agenda. Often, you can tell in one phone session if the coach is a good fit for you. Most coaching sessions occur over the phone. So, your coach could be thousands of miles away or in your city. Location really does not matter. Some coaches also doing coaching completely over the internet. When you do set up an appointment with a coach, make sure you have a list of questions you would like to have answered.

© 2004 Kimberly Chastain
About the Author
Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping Christian women make the most of their lives. She is the author of the on-line course, "I Can't Say No" and Pearls of Encouragement for Christian Working Moms, a free e-book. If you suffer from "I Can't Say 'No" Syndrome, visit Kimberly's site today for the details on an exciting email course that's sure to set you free! http://www.christianworkingmom.com/online.htm.
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