People pay coaches to help them reach their goals by encouraging, celebrating, and listening to them on a regular basis.  Sessions might be individualized or in a group. A coach is an empowerment expert who challenges, stimulates, questions, and holds his or her client in positive regard. A coach takes the side of the clients and helps them set long and short-term goals, and holds them accountable to take necessary steps to achieve the goals from week to week. The coaching process enables people to lead lives that are more effective, and to achieve what they want more quickly. Here is what two top coaches say about their field:

   “You have to have a plan and it has to be a plan that works.  You should not settle for the mediocre in life.  Coaching helps you set goals.  I collaborate with my clients.  I am on their side.  As a coach, I help and strategize with my clients so they can achieve their goals. [bctt tweet=”Coaching is about personal evolution, vision, what’s next, what’s now, and moving forward. It’s about having standards, not settling for the mediocre in life, but looking and feeling your best.” …Annemarie Brown” username=”parent_coach”]

“Coaching is about listening, empathizing, asking questions and sharing love. It is very personal, very individual and case-by-case. People can turn their problems around.  They can be whatever they want.  They can have whatever they want. Coaching is about that process.  You help them and it is an incredible job.”    …Peggy Alvarado

Coaching Started In Business

Coaching as a profession started in corporate businesses, but also takes its models from counseling and psychotherapy. Business managers have always been “coaches” in that they helped people clarify their goals and choose roles in the corporation that best suited their talents and strengths.  Many life coaches, if they do not come from a background in psychotherapy or counseling, originally worked in business.

   I worked in management for thirteen years in a Fortune 500 company. Human resource management is very similar to coaching.  I didn’t know I was coaching back then, but I was!  … Peggy Alvarado

Businesses paid the first coaches to guide new hires as they climbed the corporate ladder.  A coach could be internal, someone who works for the same business as the client; or external like someone who is hired by the business as an outside consultant.  These first coaches were called business mentors. A coach or mentor is an older person with a lot of experience in the same field of the beginner.  The coach guides the new hire to set career goals, interact with other people, and choose the right projects to advance themselves. In the 1980s, businesses started routinely to hire and pay for more outside coaches.

Today, a business coach at the top of his field can earn as much as $700 tp $1000 per hour, or well into six figures per year.  Some large corporations keep coaches on retainer, paying them so much a month to mentor a constant stream of new hires.  A new trend is to hire a coach for a specific job, such as “Improve morale in the accounting department within a three- month-time period.”

Because business coaches work with each person on a one-to-one basis and take into consideration each individual’s personality and style, they are very successful in helping people achieve goals and move up in their careers quickly. A coach expert listens within, has only the best interest of that particular client in mind. The relationship is confidential and trustworthy.

The coaching model was so successful on a business level that a demand arose for personal “life coaches” as well.  A life coach or personal coach is a person who helps a client set goals for his or her future, determine steps to reach each goal, and cheer the person as he or she moved toward his or her definition of success. The goals do not have to be about money or career, but can be goals like “To become closer to my husband,” “To make time for painting,” or simply “To have more fun.”

Unlike business coaches, a life coach often works over the telephone instead of face-to-face in an office setting.

The average personal coach charges above $100 per hour, but the range of fees is from a low of $25 to a high of $300 or more. A personal coach at the top of the field can make in the six figures per year range, but the vast majority of coaches earn about $40,000 to $80,000 annually, depending on their part-time or full-time focus in the coaching field.

Coaching Moved away From The Medical Model

In 1992, Thomas Leonard started the first training institute for coaches.  His “Coach University” trained people through teleconferences.  In the same year, Laura Whitworth founded The Coaches Training Institute in San Francisco, which provided training through weekend universities.  Whitworth’s association, the Personal and Professional Coaches Association, merged with Leonard’s International Coach Federation (ICF) in 1997. The ICF certifies coaches and develops standards of ethics and practices for the profession.

Yet from the beginning of the coaching profession, there was a lot of overlap between psychotherapy and coaching.  For one thing, many people entering the new field of coaching had backgrounds as therapists.  Yet in time, coaching has moved away from the medical model.

Dr. Caron Goode

Dr. Caron Goode

Founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents

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