This Is How Life Coaching and Executive Coaching Are Different

Master and Beginner - Life Coaching

Life Coaching

Life coaching entails a professional relationship between a client and a coach that is geared towards facilitating the client’s growth towards the achievement of desired goals, towards the exploration of one’s mind, and finding a balance in life. Life coaching entails more of pushing clients into the realization of their capabilities, as well as the realization of their ambitions and obstacles that hinder the achievement of their goals. As opposed to medical counselling and the related field, life coaching dwells more on the future and the attributes and attitudes that are useful in the pursuance of a client’s dreams and aspirations. More subtly, life coaching guides a person through different emotions, obstacles, processes, and hoops in life to help them define their purpose.

To a larger perspective, life coaching and more specifically executive coaching is embedded in Socrates’ perception towards life. Accordingly, Socrates’ view was that a neglected and unexamined life is not worth the time of day. As such, life coaching opens up people to the many possibilities in life, by giving them the tools and training needed to invent circumstances that shape their own lives. The strategies, methodologies, and perspectives applied in life coaching are highly facilitative and supportive with the sole aim of building faith, character, and vision among other related features by specifically targeting and building on a person’s strengths. The life calling theory and model has a strong influence on the concept of life coaching in the sense that the three essential life components that characterize the life calling theory and model are salient in life coaching (Gilmore et al., 2012). These three life components, which include personal mission, foundational value, and unique design, are quite central to the life coaching process. More subtly, they are the backdrop against which life coaches derive their inspiration.

Transpersonal Psychology in Integrative Life Coaching Approach

One of the life coaching approaches closely followed in integrative life coaching is the transpersonal psychology approach, which in this case is referred to as the transpersonal life coaching. Essentially, this approach mainly aims at the clients’ growth not only emotionally but also towards the overall transformation of the clients through fostering practices that work more towards overcoming behavioural traits, mindsets, as well as their ego states that are stumbling blocks towards the achievement of their goals. The type of life coaching that is integrated with transpersonal psychology follows a more holistic and integrative approach. This implies that the coach works with the body, spirit, and mind of the individual as a whole. To this effect, attention shifting skills are applied through this approach to steer the client towards overcoming tendencies such as negative mindsets, beliefs that are backwards and discouraging in nature, as well as emotional reactions that are not aimed at finding solutions to the issue at hand but that are rather debilitating in nature.

The techniques and strategies applied to the transpersonal psychology life coaching approach are such that they make constructive use of mindfulness-based interventions. This follows that the coach first identifies the ambitions and goals of the client and then works with the client towards the development of a more expansive sense of self-awareness by shifting attention to facilitate and embrace the transformation process. More subtly, the process entails identifying the psychological, spiritual, social and emotional tools that work towards the realization of their full potential. The transpersonal life coaching approach goes hand in hand with the executive type of coaching in that it is mainly designed for the development of a client’s leadership skills. The nature of this life coaching methodology is such that it not only fosters an expanded self-construct and worldview of the individual but further leverages the transpersonal state to foster self-empowerment and an awakening emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. At the heart of the transpersonal life coaching approach is the desire to foster an irrevocable awakening and sense of self-awareness that makes for great leadership as well as personal and relational skills among individuals.

The Medical Model and Life Coaching

Compared to medical therapy and conventional life coaching methods, the life coaching approach followed by our coaches stands out in that it is uniquely designed to explore the aspects of a person that are beyond the physical realm. Markedly, this approach leverages the aspects of a person’s life otherwise referred to as the transpersonal phenomenon which is either misunderstood or neglected by other conventional coaching methods. Naturally, this life coaching approach is more concerned with the intrinsic abilities of an individual which are limited by a culture of self-doubt, negative attitudes and limited mindsets that when addressed pave way for a higher sense of self-actualization in a holistic and integrated manner. However, this approach is effective in an open coaching environment that is both receptive and emergent. In essence, life coaches apply the transpersonal approach as a conceptual framework that aids in identifying factors that influence and affect the clients’ perceptions, motivation, and capabilities. Such factors include the clients’ vision and mission, the mental and psychological conditions, as well as the triggers in their lives among other related factors.

Executive Coaching

Just like life coaching, executive or high peak coaching is a partnership involving the coach and the client. As such, executive coaching leans more towards addressing the needs of an individual for the ultimate good of the organization. Executive or high peak coaching puts more emphasis on the rediscovery of a person’s authentic self as opposed to merely identifying and fixing past problems. In essence, executive life coaching is life coaching coupled with factors that are central to the corporate world such as effective communication and listening skills, interpersonal skills with emphasis on a person’s ability to make strategic decisions, team building, influence, and self-awareness. Executive life coaching is very particular about leveraging the strengths of a leader especially the abilities that have been neglected and undermined. Central to executive coaching is the desire to build on a broad spectrum of the strengths of the individual ranging from intellectual strengths, physical, and emotional strengths. This not only impacts a client’s personal life but further increases their capabilities and potential professionally through devising ways of navigating through challenging experiences. For this purpose, an executive coach, therefore, serves as a sounding board for the client’s perspectives and ideas regarding leadership.

Executive coaching is a three-pronged learning process that entails the development of approaches, techniques, and skills that will influence a person’s ability to learn even post executive coaching. The second process involves tactical problem-solving learning through which the individual can identify the necessary resources central to problem-solving. The third level entails the development of attitudes and behaviours such as self-reflection that are central to building a client’s capabilities as a leader. In essence, executive coaching is mostly concerned with the assessment of key areas that are central to the organization’s success such as the development of competency among workers, the implementation of strategic planning and the development of both operational and leadership skills. One salient characteristic of executive coaching is the ability to bring about learning that is entangled with a sense of self-improvement for the individual that is advantageous to the organization in the long run. With executive coaching, the client identifies a specific mission or objective and the coach devises the techniques and approaches to be used by the client that will guide them towards committing their time and resources towards the achievement of the specified goal.

Self-Discovery Is One of the Results of Executive Coaching

In essence, when executive coaching applies the archetypal psychology approach, an individual can gain mastery over emotions and reactions. Different emotions are triggered by different archetypes and as such, an executive coach with the ability to instil such understanding knowledge is equipped with the skills and strategies that can enable executives to gain control over their emotions regardless of the situation at hand and further tap into their inner emotions to find the meaning of the circumstance.

An archetypal approach to executive coaching is further important in understanding the human mind. In essence, this approach allows an individual to gain mastery over the motivations behind a person’s behaviour, decisions and reactions. As such, an executive coach can instil the skills and techniques that can enable a person to experience the freedom of the mind. The implication here is that a person is thus able to understand and control the power of the human psyche.

When an individual can control the human psyche, it is easier to take charge of the other emotions from the unconscious mind. Coupled with the integration of the fundamentals of depth psychology, which entails the ability to recognize the blind spots in a person’s thinking process, executive coaching provides a backdrop against which an individual can identify and control certain patterns and behaviours. To this end, the application of depth psychology in executive coaching is mainly geared at influencing a person’s mindset towards a more positive trajectory. In essence, through this approach, when surrounded by negativity or challenging circumstances, a person can tune the mind into finding opportunities within the presented challenges.

This approach further enables a person to put things into perspective as opposed to reacting on impulse. In essence, the archetypal approach in executive coaching has more to do with a person’s ability to control irrational behaviour and reactions. As such, with this approach, one can easily take control of their lives and stimulate personal growth through self-awareness. To this end, an executive coach is better suited to identify and develop a coaching system for an individual through psychosynthesis. Notably, executive coaching combines archetypes and depth psychology to enable a person to connect with the sub-personalities thus gaining a sense of balance.

Principles of Executive Coaching

Executive coaching is governed by certain values that act as a guide for the coach, the executives, as well as other members of an organization. These principles commonly referred to as overarching values help the involved parties in setting and maintaining the vision and making sure that they remain true to their commitments.

Results Orientation of Executive Coaching

This is one of the guiding principles of executive coaching in that the coaching is geared towards the achievement of a specified goal/objective for the organization, the executive and other members of the organization. Under the results orientation principle, every party in the partnership has a role to play in the achievement of the specified results. 

To this end, the executive’s responsibilities in results orientation include identifying the pressing areas that need coaching, creating enough time and committing to the coaching process, as well as monitoring the progress of the process to ascertain whether or not results have been achieved. Similarly, the coach has a responsibility to the executive and the organization by extension. In essence, the coach should ensure that the executive and the organization have established the goals/objectives and results they wish to accomplish before commencing the coaching process. In the same vein, the coach should ensure that each coaching session is designed and structured towards the achievement of particular results. Also, the coach needs to monitor the progress of the executive and the organization about the achievement of results. Other members of the organization also have to oversee that both the coach and the executive hold out their end as pertains to the achievement of the specified results.

Systems Perspective Within Executive Coaching

The system’s perspective approach is also an essential principle that guides the executive coaching process. In essence, while executive coaching leans more towards the betterment of the executive; it takes into consideration the bigger perspective, which in this case is the organization as a whole. To this effect, therefore, the coaching must be structured in a manner that ensures the development of the organization in general. As such, the executive is obliged to ensure that the coach understands the dynamics and complexities of the organization concerning the structured coaching sessions. Accordingly, coaching from a system’s perspective allows the coach to restructure the coaching in a way that emphasizes the interdependence of the executive and the organization as opposed to the separate entity mentality. To this end, therefore, the executive coaching fosters the development of critical and strategic thinking skills that are quite instrumental to the executive’s ability to be objective and impartial.

Combining the Integrative Approach to Executive Coaching

The integrative coaching approach is a combination of various life coaching models as well as theories towards the betterment of an individual. With an integrative coaching approach, an individual is propelled towards self-actualization through the development and expansion of their consciousness. More subtly, this approach not only facilitates the empowerment of the individual but further fosters the alignment and control of their being. True to the literal definition, the integrative approach integrates a person’s reasoning, their spirit, and their emotions thus increasing their ability to control their beliefs, balance their emotions and navigate their lives thus promoting a greater sense of self-awareness and self-actualization. To a larger extent, the integrative executive coaching approach mirrors a person’s values without bias or judgment and further empowers the individual into optimizing their full potential.

Markedly, through the integrative approach to executive coaching each individual is empowered towards the achievement of their goals through a highly individualized and tailored learning process in accordance with the needs and aspirations of the individual. In a more general sense, the integrative approach bridges the gap between where an individual is at present versus where they are supposed to be mentally, spiritually, and in terms of optimizing their full potential. Notably, this model follows that a person’s achievements in life are predicated on the factors that foster motivation or lack thereof in their lives such as a person’s emotional and mental state, conflicts and the person’s ability to control such factors. As such, the integrative approach works towards identifying the factors that are most important to an individual, which when addressed can work towards optimizing a person’s potential and self-actualization. Also, the integrative approach further focuses on the core areas that affect the individual’s well-being by having the individual envision his/her life to enable the coach to determine the suitable course of action.

Why the Need for Life Coaching?

Life presents myriad challenges, some of which we can circumvent and resume our day to day living. However, some of the challenges presented prove to be beyond our ability to find workable solutions and as such, they inhibit our ability to live to our fullest potential thereby limiting our achievements in life. At this point, the need for a life coach becomes inevitable. A life coach will in most cases come up with a highly structured approach tailor-made according to the individual’s needs and aspirations. Notably, a coach works with the whole person, including the body, mind and spirit in determining the best approach that will foster a fulfilling life.

Essentially, a life coach is designed to help people live a fulfilling life, realize their full potential, navigate through life’s challenges and complexities, gain a balance in life in terms of the ability to control one’s mentality, attitude, and emotions and ultimately change people’s perspectives towards life. As such, there is no limit as to who requires the services of a life coach since life coaching touches virtually all types of people with different careers, goals, dreams and passions and in need of proper guidelines to facilitate the achievement of the same. To this end, therefore, life coaching applies to entrepreneurs, managers, executives, musicians, artists, and leaders to mention a few. One of the factors that push people towards seeking the help of a professional life coach is the need for fulfilment. For different reasons, people lack a sense of fulfilment in their lives. For instance, some people will feel dissatisfied with their jobs or standing in life while others may feel unfulfilled in their relationships and for such people, the intervention of a life coach more often than not provides collaborative sessions aimed at solving this problem.

The need for accountability and expert guidance regarding crucial matters in life will often push people into seeking the services of a life coach. For instance, some people fail to meet their goals in life because they lack the motivation of people that hold them accountable in factors such as meeting deadlines or hitting specific milestones or goals in life. For such people, a life coach is trained to evaluate their needs based on the issues prompting their need of his/her services thereby structuring appropriate approaches aimed at holding such clients accountable. For clients seeking general life lessons, a life coach can establish appropriate lessons depending on his/her niche.

For some clients, the need for a professional life coach is influenced by a constant feeling of a lack of purpose. This might be about the client’s job, relationship and in crucial matters affecting their lives. In such circumstances, the coach emphasizes the need for self-care and self-empowerment. For others, a general lack of motivation and the inability to channel their inner creativity and decision making prompts the need for a life coach. Stress and depression are among the leading reasons that call for the intervention of a life coach. In essence, the pressures and demands of modern life trigger the advent of stress and depression for many people whether at work, home or in their relationships. A life coach in these conditions can help clients work through these depressive moments by channelling their ability to control both the conscious and the unconscious mind.

Life Coaching and Leadership

Leadership roles also necessitate people’s need for the intervention of life coaches. Essentially, leaders experience unending demands and pressures to deliver and as such, they are more prone to stress, emotional reactions, anxiety and depression. Also, leadership comes with increased duties and responsibilities and the need to fulfil such responsibilities is the reason why most leaders often neglect certain aspects of their lives. As such, life coaching applies the necessary and clinically proven approaches that are aimed at alleviating the consequences of such neglect. One of the clinically proven approaches when it comes to fostering effectiveness in communication and the mastery of people’s emotions is derived from neuroscience.

Other factors that further foster the need for seeking the intervention of life coaches include the need to overcome certain fears in life, the inability to build and maintain powerful and lasting relationships, the need for gaining emotional stability and emotional mastery, how to successfully transition from previous jobs or relationships, overcoming negativity and navigating through challenging times and situations, the need to re-establish a person’s authenticity and creativity, and the need to overcome beliefs and attitudes that limit a person’s ability to achieve greatness in his/her life.

To ensure that the clients’ needs and aspirations are met accordingly, our life coaches apply myriad approaches that are both psychological and mindfulness-based in their sessions to ensure optimal results. For instance, hypnotherapy is one of the effective approaches to dealing with behavioural change among people. Through hypnotherapy, our coaches can communicate directly to the client’s subconscious mind thereby allowing for the shifting of beliefs, attitudes and mindsets that are debilitating in nature. In the same vein, through hypnotherapy, a life coach can develop clients towards boosting their self-confidence and better understand their inner being among other aspects. Another popular methodology applied by life coaches is the breathwork approach, which is mostly applied when resolving and coping with traumatic experiences, as well as coping with anxiety. This approach entails different breathing techniques that are aimed at releasing energy and opening to the transpersonal dimensions of consciousness.

The Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) approach is mostly associated with the need for understanding how the client’s mind works to ascertain the healing and transformative abilities of the mind. Accordingly, a person’s ability to fully comprehend the operations of the mind is a powerful tool especially when it comes to controlling both the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind. Moreover, with this approach, the life coach can steer the client’s understanding of the knowledge that their perspectives and perceptions in life have more to do with the quality of their lives. As such through this approach aids in alleviating negative mindsets and attitudes among clients. Markedly, this approach is applied in solving phobias, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and self-esteem issues among others.

Other methodologies applied include active imagination, as well as meditation and mindfulness. These approaches work best towards solving issues to do with unlocking people’s inner potential and power, learning how to calm and control one’s emotions and generally understanding the human mind. Popularized by Jung, active imagination is used to associate, interpret and integrate what goes on in the unconscious mind into the conscious mind, which is often in the form of fantasies. Since the life coaching process is experiential in nature, meditation and mindfulness work best towards ensuring that the client can cultivate calmness and an ability to observe situations as opposed to reacting on impulse.

The Benefits of Integrative Executive Coaching

Life coaching is a holistic, integrative and collaborative process that involves the input of both the client and the coach. In essence, while the client notifies the coach of the aspects of his/her life that need to be addressed, the coach structures an approach that is most likely to yield attractive results for the client. It is important to note that the relationship between the two is non-hierarchical and as such, both are equal partners in the process. The coach is present throughout the client’s transformation process and recognizes the potential within the client. In this context, the coach is merely a facilitator and is present throughout the encounter. Markedly, since the client is at the centre of the transformation process, the coach is obliged to structure creative sessions that both are required to work on. This integrative and collaborative nature of life coaching fosters the success of the process.

One of the benefits associated with life coaching is encouragement and motivation. In essence, our coaches can explore the factors that affect the client’s productivity and are thus able to address the client’s core values and their sense of purpose to cultivate motivation in their lives. 

Additionally, through the myriad psychological and hypnotic approaches, our clients can gain mastery of their emotions and thus learn how best to control their emotions and live a free and fulfilling life. Gaining empowerment and focus is without doubt one of the salient benefits of life coaching. With empowerment, a client can live to their full potential by eliminating barriers that inhibit their ability to break glass ceilings in life.

Life coaching sharpens a person’s leadership skills in myriad ways. For instance, when a leader’s communication skills are enhanced as well as his/her ability to guide emotions and control reactions, he/she can lead effectively. Other benefits include the ability to change one’s perception towards life, which further enables one to find positivity even amidst challenges and trauma. Most importantly, life coaching steers a person towards gaining control and balance in life through meditation.

Why Life Coaching Works

One of the factors that foster the success of life coaching is delivery. Essentially, a professional life coach is knowledgeable about what words to use to motivate the client. To this end, life coaches will always put a positive spin on the client’s situation to motivate the client’s commitment to the process. This process of reframing is important for the client to learn to take charge of their perspective and mindset.

Expertise is another factor that fosters the success of life coaching. Trained life coaches have the expertise that helps the clients yield the required results in the part of their life that they seek to address with the least possible input.

With the help of a life coach, the client can see the results within a short period as opposed to when working with conventional therapists.

Accountability is also another factor that fosters the success of life coaching. Since the life coach is present throughout the entire process, he/she monitors the progress of the client and further motivates the client to set bigger goals and commit towards the achievement of the set goals.

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