With the growing awareness of Life Coaching, more and more people are interested in finding out more. They get bits and pieces here and there but are still left wondering exactly what happens, how it works and how much it costs. As these things can vary quite a bit, one thing that is constant is that coaching is NOT giving advice. It is asking questions, clarifying the answers and accountability.

What is advice and why coaches don’t give it.

Advice comes from personal experience. The things you personally have been through and how you handled them. Giving someone advice is giving someone your own answers to the questions and issues from your own life. These answers, although meant to be helpful, can often times cause the wrong outcome, hurt feelings and possibly a worse situation than when it started. Not only that, but the result will be your doing. This looks to be great if the outcome is positive, but even with a positive end there will be less ownership and self accountability from the person using your advice in the long run.

Why coaches ask questions.

When coaching an individual we want to focus solely on them. Telling our own stories or offering our own advice is really all about us, not them. In order to learn about the client, coaches will ask questions to try to get a better understanding of where the client is at and where they want to be. In addition, coaches ask questions to help the client realize for themselves where they are at and gain clarity on it. Each individual has their own answers; coaches simply ask the right questions at the right time to draw out the answers already within the client. Myself and many others call this the “ah ha” moment, or a paradigm shift.

Why coaches clarify the answers and how they do it.

After asking questions to determine where a client is and where they want to be, coaches will ask clarifying questions to get the client to be as detailed and clear as they can. Having a vague place to get to is like trying to drive to a friend’s house in Texas but all you know is that it’s in Texas. You’re heading in the right direction but probably never going to get there.

Questions like...
“What would that look like?”
“Can you tell me more about that?”
“Describe that in more detail to me.”

These are great questions to get closer to what it is that the client really wants. This is more for the client than the coach. Asking these questions forces the client to understand better their own desires.

How coaches hold clients accountable.

Once you’ve asked all the questions and the client and coach are clear on where the client wants to be, the coach and client work together to map out the path to close the gap from where they are to where they want to be. The client will come up with “checkpoints” along the way with the coach pushing them to go a little beyond what is comfortable while keeping them realistic. At a mutually designated time both coach and client go over where the client is compared to where they want to be in the end and where they wanted to be by then. If they did everything they wanted, the coach will push them to try more. If they didn’t get where they wanted, the coach asks focused questions to help understand road blocks, realistic goals and how to overcome them. Coaches hold clients accountable, making sure they not only hit their goals, but are doing so effectively and efficiently. Not doing too much or too little.

Even people who set up and accomplish goals on their own would benefit from having an outside party help gain even more clarity and being held accountable to obtaining goals effectively and efficiently. Life Coaching is takes many forms but the core of coaching is asking the right questions, getting clarity and holding the client accountable to the desired outcomes.

Author's Bio: 

Kerri Wood is a Life Coach, Internet Marketer, Website Publisher and Adventure Seeker. She has been researching and working in internet marketing for several years. Outside of the world of online business Kerri takes groups on Life Coaching Adventure Retreats in the US and around the World. For information on Adventure Life Coaching go to http://www.AdventureOn.net For more information on Internet Marketing and Online Business go to http://www.Maverick-Money-Edge.com