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Life Coaching Unraveled: What Do Life Coaches Do, Exactly?

Table of Contents

a female life coach is engaged in a conversation with a client

Life coaches are professionals who help people reach their goals and improve their lives. They work with clients to identify what they want, set goals, and create plans to achieve those goals. The demand for life coaching is significant; the industry is worth $2.849 billion, according to the International Coaching Federation (ICF).  Furthermore, a survey shows that 99% of people who have utilized a life coach were satisfied with the process. 

If coaching is calling your name, we’re here to help. Life coaching is more than just changing lives overnight; instead, you should be aware of a few major roles, responsibilities, and assignments before jumping in!

Life Coach Definition

Life coaches help others navigate their personal and professional growth. By providing support, accountability, and wisdom, they help clients chart a course through life’s challenges toward their desired destinations. Whether it’s career advancement, personal development, or overcoming specific hurdles, life coaches use tailored strategies to empower individuals to realize their full potential. In essence, life coaches are the catalysts for transformation, turning dreams into attainable realities with each coaching session.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

Between all the fantastic work coaches do, there’s very seldom a dull day on the job! But what do life coaches do, exactly?

Roles and Responsibilities

Productive coaching relies on the collaborative client-coach relationship. While the client is expected to bring a rough idea of their goals and willingness to follow through, life coaches can be expected to:

  • Goal Setting: Help clients define clear, achievable goals.
  • Develop Action Plans: Assist in creating step-by-step strategies to reach those goals.
  • Accountability: Keep clients accountable to their commitments and progress.
  • Offer Support: Provide emotional and motivational support throughout the client’s journey.
  • Identify Obstacles: Help clients recognize and overcome personal barriers to success.
  • Enhance Decision-Making: Guide clients to make informed decisions that align with their goals.
  • Improve Personal and Professional Relationships: Advise on ways to strengthen interpersonal connections.
  • Time Management: Teach effective time management skills to maximize productivity.
  • Stress Reduction: Offer techniques to manage and reduce stress.
  • Career Guidance: Provide advice and direction for professional development and career transitions.

Potential Life Coaching Jobs and Specializations

Job Title

Specialization

Career Coach

Professional development and career transitions

Health and Wellness Coach

Physical health, nutrition, and wellness plans

Relationship Coach

Personal relationships and communication skills

Executive Coach

Leadership skills and organizational development

Financial Coach

Budgeting, financial planning, and debt management

Life Transition Coach

Navigating major life changes like retirement or relocation

Spiritual Coach

Personal growth through spirituality and faith

Performance Coach

Enhancing personal and professional performance

Parenting Coach

Strategies for effective parenting and family dynamics

Confidence Coach

Building self-esteem and overcoming self-doubt

What Do You Need to Be a Life Coach?

Sound good to you? Let’s look at what it takes to become a successful life coach.

Education and Certifications

To become a life coach, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all educational path, but pursuing relevant education and certifications can significantly enhance credibility and effectiveness. Many life coaches start with a foundation of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field, though it’s not strictly necessary. 

Certification from a reputable coaching organization, such as the Coach Training Alliance or the International Coach Federation (ICF), can add a layer of trust and professionalism, ensuring coaches meet industry standards. These certifications often require specific training hours, practical coaching experience, and passing an examination, preparing aspiring coaches to make a meaningful impact in their clients’ lives.

Skills and Qualities Needed

Strong interpersonal skills are paramount to becoming a successful life coachincluding listening deeply, communicating effectively, and empathizing with clients. A life coach must also possess a high degree of emotional intelligence to understand and manage their own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of others. Additionally, a good life coach should have a genuine desire to help people grow and achieve their goals, combined with a positive, motivating attitude that inspires clients to take action and persevere through challenges.

a life coach enthusiastically talks to a table of people

What Does a Life Coach’s Daily Schedule Look Like?

Perhaps one of the best parts of being a life coach is the “be-your-own-boss” aspect! Whatever hours you choose to work, your day will largely comprise of the following tasks:

Life Coaching Sessions

A life coaching session is a collaborative meeting between a coach and a client designed to empower the client toward achieving specific personal or professional goals. During the session, the coach employs techniques such as active listening, insightful questioning, and goal-setting exercises to help the client explore their desires, identify barriers, and develop strategies for overcoming them. The culmination of these sessions often involves the creation of an actionable plan that the client commits to pursue, with the coach providing support, accountability, and guidance along the way.

Administrative Tasks

Life coaches often perform administrative tasks such as scheduling sessions, managing client records, and handling billing and payments. Additionally, they may spend time on marketing efforts, including maintaining a website, managing social media profiles, and networking to attract new clients.

Client Management

Coaches perform client management tasks that include tracking their clients’ progress through detailed notes and assessments and adjusting coaching strategies to better suit individual client needs and goals. They also maintain regular communication with clients between sessions, offering support and accountability through emails, messages, or calls to ensure consistent progress toward the clients’ objectives.

Professional Development and Continuing Education

Life coaches need to take a little time for themselves, too! Pursuing professional development and continuing education through workshops, seminars, and courses can help coaches stay updated on the latest coaching techniques and psychological research. They may also seek advanced certification programs, participate in peer supervision groups, and engage in self-reflection practices to enhance their coaching skills and ensure they provide their clients with the highest quality of service.

Types of Assignments Given by Life Coaches

We’ve spoken with our insured life coaches to determine the most common types of coaching strategies.

Assessments and Evaluations

Life coaches commonly employ assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and StrengthsFinder, alongside customized questionnaires to understand clients’ personalities, strengths, and life goals. These tools—along with goal-setting worksheets and evaluations— help track progress and adapt coaching strategies effectively. Initial assessments establish a baseline, while ongoing evaluations ensure coaching aligns with the client’s evolving needs. These practices inform the coaching process and empower clients by highlighting personal growth and areas for further development.

Goal-Setting and Action Planning

In the partnership between clients and life coaches, goal setting involves defining clear, achievable objectives that align with the client’s personal values and aspirations. This process typically includes breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable steps, and prioritizing them based on impact and feasibility. Action planning then transitions these goals into actionable strategies, with timelines and milestones established to monitor progress and maintain accountability throughout the coaching relationship.

Mindfulness and Well-being Practices

Although there is a distinct difference between a life coach and a therapist, coaches often incorporate mindfulness and well-being strategies into their sessions. 

They can guide clients through practices such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and journaling to improve self-awareness and reduce stress. These techniques are tailored to help clients cultivate a more balanced lifestyle, enhancing their emotional resilience and overall sense of well-being.

Accountability and Progress Tracking

To track progress, coaching action plans usually include accountability measures and progress tracking to ensure clients remain committed to their goals—using tools like regular check-ins and progress reports. This structured approach helps clients visibly see their advancement over time, reinforcing motivation and facilitating adjustments to strategies as needed for sustained progress.

Skill-Building Exercises and Resources

Clients are often given tailored skill-building exercises and resources, such as communication techniques, time management strategies, and stress-reduction practices. These tools are designed to empower clients, enhancing their abilities to tackle challenges effectively and achieve their objectives with greater confidence and efficiency.

FAQs About Life Coaching

Is Prior Experience in Counseling, Therapy, or a Related Field Necessary to Become a Life Coach?

Prior experience in counseling, therapy, or a related field is not necessary to become a life coach. Life coaching focuses on goal setting, personal growth, and future-oriented planning, distinguishing it from the therapeutic practices that address psychological issues. However, many successful life coaches possess strong communication skills, empathy, and a desire to help others, which can be developed through various professional backgrounds and life experiences.

How Much Can I Expect to Earn as a Life Coach, and What Factors May Affect My Earning Potential?

Earnings as a life coach can vary widely, with factors such as niche, experience, and geographical location playing significant roles. According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), life coaches can expect to earn an average annual income ranging from $27,100 to $73,100+, with those holding coaching certifications/credentials often at the higher end of this spectrum. Additional revenue streams through workshops, books, and online courses and the coach’s ability to market their services effectively can further affect earning potential.

Do I Need Insurance as a Life Coach?

Yes! As a life coach, it’s advisable to have insurance to protect against potential liabilities and professional risks associated with your coaching services. Professional liability insurance for life coaches can safeguard you if a client claims that your coaching services resulted in financial loss or emotional distress. General liability insurance is also recommended to cover accidents or injuries in your workspace. Insurance Canopy offers tailored insurance policies for life coaches, providing coverage options that meet the specific needs of professionals in the coaching industry.

Shield Your Coaching Business From the Unexpected – Buy a Policy Today!

Shielding your coaching business from the unexpected is essential for continuity and peace of mind. Insurance Canopy offers comprehensive coverage designed specifically for life coaches to help protect you against a broad spectrum of risks and liabilities. Don’t wait for an unforeseen event to disrupt your business; take action now and get a quote from Insurance Canopy today to secure your peace of mind and continue empowering your clients without worry!

Get Covered With

Life Coach Insurance

Annual Policies Starting at

$21.08

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