Three Types of Life Coaching Approaches
There are, as you can imagine, various ways to coach. Many use a global approach. That has its place, but I prefer the idea that we could work together in a focused way, using a theme or a specific vocational issue to bring about change in your life, in ways that make you happier with yourself and more effective in the world.
Sandy Vilas from Coach University notes, “The most successful coaches consider coaching to be an art, not just a technique.” For that reason, no two coaching situations will be quite alike. And that’s also why it appeals to me to coach not by using a standard global approach but to coach by exploring themes or vocational issues, for a period of 30 days at a time.
Yes, that makes me work harder for you, as I can’t pull out a standard wheel-of-life worksheet and ask you to complete it. But that is part of the wonder of working thematically or vocationally, according to what resonates with you (even if you’re not entirely sure at the inception of our work why that “way in” feels best). Together, working thematically or vocationally, we can forge something new for you, using an angle that intrigues you or promises to assist you with specific needs in a particular season of your life.
Global Approach (A Standard Approach Many Other Coaches Use)
• You are assisted towards a general new sense of well-being and renewed direction using a “wheel of life” structure (career, money, health & fitness, friends & family, physical environment, romance, fun & recreation, personal growth & spiritual development). This is a standard approach many other coaches use; however, I offer the following approaches as an alternative in a field that is still growing and changing: themed and vocational approaches.
Through a themed approach, we would naturally still touch on some of the elements that are present in the “wheel of life.” However, the goal would be more to explore the theme and see what arises as possibilities for new directions for you. In the case of something like “social media,” the goal might also be to find a way to navigate this media opportunity so it produces less fatigue and more personal growth (with a label like “social,” we’d expect life-giving possibilities, but unfortunately for many people social media becomes a drain).
At present, these are the themes I offer to explore with you. (Choose one for our 30 days of working together.)
• Writing Life
• Vegetarian Life
• Social Media
• Stories & Tales
• Mind Wise (dementia prevention & cognitive rekindling)
Using a vocational approach, we would also naturally touch on some of the elements that are present in the “wheel of life.” However, in the vocational approach the goal would be to help you integrate best-practice in the industry with best-practice for yourself. There is a wealth of vocational and business advice (and a proliferation of advisers and coaches), but they can actually be quite different, and sometimes you can be led to do things that are in serious conflict with your personal needs, your hopes, your tolerances, and your “sweet spots.” Advisers who sell you a blanket approach do you a disservice, potentially leading you to an unsustainable reality (either professional, personal, or financial). Our work together would be careful to put you at the center. Not in a selfish way. But in a vital way.
• Business Building (Online Businesses)
• Career Advancement or Change
• Writers who already have an agent, book contract, or published title: Finding Your Best Approach to Platform and Publicity
• Artistic Jumpstart
Why 30 Days?
Many coaches are interested in keeping you with them for as long as possible. And, a global approach facilitates that kind of time frame. That is not saying that a global approach is undesirable. For some clients, it provides a sense of stability and support over time, and a chance to explore without an end-date in mind.
While that has its benefits, I offer to work with you for a 30-day period, as a way to create more focus and keep the process moving at a good pace. It also fits with my style of helping people discover tools that they then apply on their own before potentially returning for another session no sooner than six months from the closure of our 30-day work together.
What Might a Typical 30-Day Experience Look Like?
Because you are unique, and you come with special talents, pain points, risk levels, interests, or overall amazing direction possibilities that you may not even be aware of at the inception of our work together, there is actually no such thing as a typical 30-day experience.
However, here are six things you can generally expect:
1. I will customize our opening materials based on some pre-session work we’ll do. (Simple work, like you providing me links to your website or social media sites, so I can get a very basic feel for your style, or at least the style you are living with at the moment, whether or not it’s your best suit.)
2. You may be asked to consider doing some other simple pre-session work, such as creating a literal or figurative space, gathering some simple materials that will help you prepare for and look forward to our time together, or reading a book or several stories.
3. Based on what I perceive and what you clearly state through your completion of the opening materials, I will further customize our time together, around the chosen theme or vocational topic.
4. If you like, you can take advantage of a 15-minute opening phone call opportunity and a 1-hour closing phone call opportunity, the opening call being brief because it serves just a touch-base. The phone calls are not required.
5. You will be provided a personal section in a virtual office, where all your materials and our weekly conversation threads will be stored. While the section will be archived within 30 days of the closure of our work, it will remain accessible to you in read-only form indefinitely (unless something were to happen to the virtual space).
6. Near the conclusion of our 30-day work together, you will be provided with a one-month, a three-month, and a six-month plan for further discovery or goal-accomplishment that you can choose to explore or not. At the six-month juncture, you are also free to sign on for another 30-day session, if that feels helpful.
6 Attributes That Make You a Good Candidate for Life Coaching
1. You are not looking for psychiatric therapy through life coaching, although life coaching may be therapeutic and any good life coach has an understanding of psychological principles (and a sense of how they both differ from and overlap coaching principles).
2. You are interested in discovery, even if you aren’t always ready for what the discovery may offer.
3. You understand that working with a coach will not solve all your problems, though many problems may actually get solved through the coaching process.
4. You are overall responsive to healthy boundary-setting, even if you are still seeking to develop your own skills in setting boundaries.
5. You are willing to work hard or play hard or rest hard—even if the work or play or rest begins in the smallest of places.
6. You are interested in moving forward (and aren’t sure yet what that might look like) or you are looking to find the best ways for you to achieve specific goals.
What Does it Cost?
Many coaches want to work with you over time, which creates an open-ended cost that can run into thousands of dollars and, sometimes, a dependent relationship. I have found that it’s best to work with focus, for 30 days. You work hard. I work hard. You expect results, and you will find them. The flat fee is $2,000. If you want to reserve your slot with me in advance, you can pay a non-refundable $200 fee and even make monthly payments of a minimum of $500 until you’ve paid in full, at which point the coaching can begin. I don’t charge this fee lightly. It’s what the experience—and my time and yours—is worth. If you’re curious about that claim, see what others I’ve coached have to say.