Juhana Tikkanen

Life coaching and mentoring are booming fields.

They are popular professions worldwide and show no signs of decreasing. Certification programs abound, but as you will read, this is an unregulated field. Certification is not required. Testing and licensing do not exist.

Unlike people trained as psychologists or counselors who are licensed, life coaches are not therapists. A life coach could have no, some, or extensive education in almost any field and still hold the title of “life coach.”

Knowing this, why do people hire a life coach? Education does not equal wisdom, but experience often does in the minds of many.

A life coach can help a person to identify strengths, develop them, and identify personal and professional goals. Their role is to assist the coachee throughout the change process. As you will discover, this happens in several ways.

A mentor’s focus is partly on compatibility with the mentee. The mentor and mentee might engage with each other through social or professional events to determine ‘fit.’

Most of the session involves the coach listening, and then asking powerfully focused questions. Moore and colleagues offer several examples. Among them are:

  • What was your best experience with your goals in the past week?
  • What percentage of achievement did you reach for this goal?
  • What contributed to this level of success?
  • What did you learn from the experience?
  • When you think about this goal, what feelings does it stimulate, and what needs does it meet?


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