There are many benefits to working with a life coach – getting clarity is certainly one of them, so too is sorting your “stuff” out. Over recent decades the number of coaches has dramatically increased and so too has the claims of what they can help you to do. If you are considering coaching, then this article will help you to understand the differences between the typical approaches to coaching.
Why work with a life coach?
Many of us are familiar with the concept of a coach for training athletes or sports people for example. Life coaches do a similar role, but for your life. Coaching is one-to-one time with a trained and experienced individual.
Life coaching might be of use to you if:
- you feel that are not living up to your potential
- you’ve struggled to make the changes you desire
- you have a lack of clarity about what you want to do
- you find yourself in a place of doubt or uncertainty (e.g. through significant changes in life circumstances)
- life has lost its meaning and purpose
- you are ruled by your emotions
When looking for a coach, there are three main approaches you might find (which tend to overlap). They are:
- Straight forward life coaching
- NLP coaching
- Transformational coaching
At La Crisalida we offer all three types of coaching, depending upon your personal situation. Indeed, one coaching session can often include all three approaches, to bring about massive change.
Below we look at the different aims of each of these approaches to coaching, to help you to consider what you might need when looking for a coach. We also share with you the benefits of working with a life coach to move forward in your life with confidence.
The main premise of life coaching is to get clear about where you want to go and how to get there.
The field of life coaching emerged in the US in the late 1970s and spread around the Western world in the 1980s and 1990s. The people who experienced coaching reported many benefits, including allowing them to have a clear sense of purpose and find inspiration in their lives. Since its infancy, life coaches all around the world have been supporting clients to break through their doubts and insecurities to boost their confidence and enhance their sense of well-being.
One of the major benefits to life coaching stems from the fact that authority and accountability sits with the client, rather than the professional (the coach). The life coach needs to listen well and find the right questions to ask to bring the best out of the client. The life coaching process assumes that the client has all the answers and resources to meet their goals.
A typical life coaching session would start with the coach asking the client what their goals are. The session would move on to consider what challenges were in the way to achieving these goals, what could be done to overcome those challenges and finally what the client was willing to commit to take things forward. The goals and targets tend to be written down and the client is asked to keep them in plain view as much as possible, to remind and motivate them. A life coach would help the client to ensure their goals were strategic and congruent. The coach will have no specific agenda apart from helping the client to meet their goals.
In addition to having superb questioning and listening skills, a good life coach will have an understanding of the hidden beliefs and assumptions that could be holding their clients back. An experienced coach will listen to the language that their client uses, to spot the many clues to their level of empowerment. Skillful questioning by the coach can help highlight hidden beliefs and assumptions that may be holding the client back.
As a life coach, one of the biggest challenges is to help the client set themselves up for success by helping them to set realistic goals. The client’s self-belief will be one of the most important determinants as to whether they will be successful and achieve what they want. A good life coach helps the client to set goals which are short-term, medium-term and long-term in nature. Reviewing goals is an important part of the feedback process in life coaching sessions.
As a key part of life coaching is the action the client takes after the session, most clients book a package of coaching sessions. Typically, you might expect to agree an hour’s coaching session once a fortnight for example. This can help to keep you on track, provide encouragement and allow for goals to be adjusted where necessary.
Having an experienced and well-trained life coach can help you achieve what you want in a fraction of the time. At La Crisalida we offer life coaching packages that you can book (read more on our life coaching page). We believe that if you are willing to do what you love any person has the ability to unlock their potential and to live a life of their dreams.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Coaching
NLP coaches look to resolve the underlying issues behind the problems that their clients present with. Pure NLP coaching does not tend to use goals, targets or action plans. By its very nature NLP coaching can involve exploring emotions, beliefs and values, that might be hindering or limiting your life.
The field of neuro-linguistic programming was being developed around the same time life coaching emerged in the 1980s. The two founders of this field were John Grinder and Richard Bandler. They carried out work modelling the practices and language adopted by some of the most successful therapists and psychologists of the time. Therefore, there are strong links between the fields of NLP, linguistics and hypnotherapy.
These studies developed a framework for getting results with clients by understanding the client’s model of the world (including belief systems and their values). Basic NLP courses now teach the concept of enhancing rapport – improving your connection with someone. The coach would use words and language that reflects the preferred representational system of the client. (Representation systems means the preferred way a client stores and recalls an experience in their mind. This can be visual, auditory (sound or spoken word), kinaesthetic (feeling), gustatory (taste) or olfactory (smell)).
NLP practitioners have a different and usually a more advanced level of training than the typical life coach. Although an NLP coach will usually agree that the responsibility for success remains with the client, the NLP coach can adopt interventional language and run specific processes to help clients release limiting beliefs and emotional blockages. They will also usually also have training in the use of hypnotic language and suggestions which will communicate with the client’s unconscious mind. The NLP coach will typically work with the client to help resolve and release issues that were holding the client back.
As NLP coaches are more interventional, they will be looking to resolve the underlying issues behind the presented problems quickly so that the client can move forward with their lives. This means working with NLP coaches is typically faster at identifying and dissolving the barriers which may be stopping the client getting results compared with life coaching. Some NLP professionals might work with someone for two hours, half a day or even a full day in one block session.
Transformational coaching with La Crisalida
Transformational coaching takes life coaching and NLP coaching to the next level. It integrates the skills from the life coach (listening and focus), with those from NLP coaches and adds on other approaches developed by leading professional coaches. This is a highly specialised type of coaching that is not widely available, so we are delighted that it is offered at La Crisalida.
The transformational coaching offered at La Crisalida integrates with some of the principles of the Demartini Method® to help further balance the client’s psychology and well-being. Some of the key principles of the Demartini Method® include:
- We never truly lose anything, it just changes form in our lives
- Whatever we’ve done or not done in our lives we are worthy of love
- Extreme positive or negative emotions are a sign of an imbalance of perspective
- When we find inspiration, we stop subordinating to perceived outer authorities
- Any presented “nightmare” has an associated opposite “fantasy”. Dissolve one and you dissolve the other.
Transformational coaching provides support in a safe environment. The first part of a session involves asking questions which quickly take you to the core of the issue. The sessions are often quite deep and are always personalised. They can explore past life experiences that might have been difficult, so sometimes sessions can feel emotionally challenging. At La Crisalida, John has worked with many clients from different backgrounds. Some of their challenges have included domestic violence, rape, childhood abuse, death of a child, dealing with suicide, OCD, divorce, trauma etc.
A typical session would start with the question: “if you had a magic wand what would you wish for by the end of this session”. By the end of the session however guests usually feel lighter, calm, centred and even grateful for their past life experience(s).
Transformational coaching sessions typically last between two and three hours. They can be stand-alone sessions or a couple can be booked at the same time, if someone wants to work on a deeper issue, or more areas.
John’s coaching philosophy
With nearly 20 years coaching experience and continuous training, John uses some of the world’s best and most effective approaches to help the client get what they want. John seeks upfront commitment from his clients and has a track record of working with all people from all types of backgrounds.
Some of the beliefs John embodies in his transformational coaching sessions include:
- The client’s presenting problem is not the underlying problem as otherwise they would have already resolved it.
- The underlying problem will show up as a pattern in the client’s life which can be identified with skilful questioning.
- The client already has all the resources they need to be able to resolve the situation. John’s role is to guide the client to those resources and to integrate their conflicted parts.
- There are two things a client can do to change the situation: take action or change their perspective.
- Inspiration comes from within and is our natural state when we are connected to what we love. Motivation is short-term and only required for a client who has not yet connected with their inspiration.
- The preferred result is one of balance and integration.
- The client has resolved an issue when they have clarity and congruency.
Book a transformational or life coaching session
Transformational coaching or life coaching is available with owner and founder, John Brant, either online or face-to-face at the retreat. For more information on how to book a session with John please visit our life coaching page here.
About the author
- John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He is a life and success coach, Transformational Coach and a master trainer in NLP. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.