“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”
Several people have asked me recently about the main benefits of life coaching. I have been privileged to be in the role of a coach and a coachee many times in the past 6 years. Since hiring my first coach in 2010, I have seen tremendous benefits in my own life. Some of them were really tangible, and others were the type of inner shifts that changed the quality of my whole life. Regardless of how many coaching sessions I give or receive, each session is still a mystery to me. In the process of a coaching conversation, a sacred space is being created between the two people where the magic happens, creative potential awakens, and transformation takes place naturally and effortlessly. The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” As a result of this intentional partnering, people can pass through any distractions, access a resourceful state, and engage their innate creativity to move further towards their goals.
Before talking about the benefits of coaching, I want to introduce you to a simple and elegant concept that is called the Beckhard’s Formula for Change. I learned this formula while in the Arts and Science of Coaching Program at Erickson Coaching International. It gives a simple description of the necessary conditions for transformation in any area of your life. The formula is very simple:
Dissatisfaction × Vision × First Steps > Resistance to Change
Understanding this condition alone really helped me to gain a new perspective on my own inner process of change. Without getting into too much detail about resistance, which is an interesting topic in and of itself, change tends to be perceived as something uncomfortable and undesirable by most of us. As we all know, it is impossible to build a new habit without a consistent effort. A professional coach can help you to reduce resistance to change and increase awareness of what works and what doesn’t in your life.
Here are the 6 major ways a life coach could help you to improve the quality of your life:
1. If you don’t see clearly what you are capable of right now, the support of someone who went through the same steps before and can hold your hand and your vision for you is invaluable. Everyone works through the same resistance and self-doubt, but we don’t have to do it all alone. A well-trained coach knows exactly how to guide you to overcome the resistance quickly and move forward.
2. Resistance to change can be significantly reduced as a result of having someone in your life who is genuinely interested in your positive transformation. Of course, the more people you have in your life who love and support you unconditionally, the better. A good coach will see your light even when you don’t see it. In this article, Deborah Gaines shares her 10-year experience of working with a coach who literally betted on her success by linking her coaching fees to her monthly income. He could do that because he truly trusted in her. This brings me to the next point.
3. Investment in life coaching is an investment in yourself that pays off. According to the 2009 International Coach Federation Global Coaching Clients Study, individual clients who worked with a life coach reported an average return on investment (ROI) of 3.44 times the coaching fees they paid. The ROI for corporate clients is 7 times the initial investment. Deborah’s investment in coaching has obviously paid off not only in terms of financial goals, but also in terms of self-fulfillment and personal growth. Her coach helped her to visualize “what feels prosperous” to her and reach a new level of success in her career as a writer. Similarly, Ashley Stahl made a decision to sell her car and hire a coach when she wanted to open a business.
Not surprisingly, it is really hard to put a number on increased self-confidence, better relationships, or improved communication and interpersonal skills that over 70 percent of the 2130 total respondents in the study report. The chart below shows some other important benefits of coaching that people experienced.
Source: 2009 ICF Global Coaching Clients Study
4. Determining your priorities and maintaining consistent focus on them can save you a lot of energy and time. You might have heard about the 80/20 rule that says that 80 percent of the results are usually achieved using 20 percent of our efforts. If only we had the time and insight to clarify what to focus on every day! This is exactly what a coach can help you with. As a result, people who work with life coaches report improvement in their work performance, work/life balance, personal organization, business management, and time management overall.
5. Awareness is a powerful transformational force. In general, awareness precedes change. You need to be aware of what is not working in your life and what you really want to create, in order for you to change something. In a busy world that we currently live in, many people simply don’t have the time to stop and ask these important questions.The skills of introspection and self-awareness are not taught in schools and colleges. This explains increasing popularity of the coaching profession. Coaches are trained to ask powerful questions that can provide food for thought and fuel individual or group transformation. In the same study, 99 percent of survey respondents are satisfied with their coaching experience, and 96 percent of people indicate that they would repeat the process of hiring a coach given the same circumstances.
6. Coaching helps to overcome the distractions of everyday life. We are constantly distracted from our goals and intentions by massive amount of information we are constantly bombarded with. Has it ever happen to you that you decide to change your diet or start a new workout routine, make some progress with it, but then lose the momentum or forget about it all together in just a few weeks? An important benefit of coaching is that you are consistently reminded of what is truly important to you.