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Becoming a Professional Life Coach; book review

Becoming a Professional Life Coach (BPLC) covers a huge range of coaching related topics, starting with the broad picture of coaching fundamentals. It gives you the foundation of how to listen as a coach, how to craft a coaching session and understanding the process of how to move a client from chaos to clarity.

One of the things I really appreciated is the practical examples and tools. Under the chapter on Coaching as a Developmental Change Process, we learn about the ladder of inference. This is essentially the process of how we make assumptions about problems (or people!) based on very little information and why challenging those assumptions can lead to creative solutions.

The book concludes this section with a practical worksheet and questions you could use to help a client who is stuck on a problem to challenge their assumptions.

The second section of the book includes 4 chapters on how to work with a client through empowering their awareness, selecting the right type of conversation, creating momentum, and coaching the client, not just their problems.

It also gives specific scenarios of actual coach/client sessions to help apply the learning to real life situations. This is so helpful for people who need a more hands-on, practical example of how the theories work.

The last section goes deep into how to work with clients through specific issues.

One chapter, for example, is Steering Your Life by True North. It’s about identifying and living by your values. The book includes examples of value-finding exercises you can work through with your own clients.

Another chapter is Playing Full Out – saying no to the good in favor of saying yes to the great. Empowering your clients to live by their values and priorities is a game changer for most clients. We all have repressed dreams someone once told us were silly or unreasonable.

You can change a life by helping a client learn to say “yes” to those great possibilities they buried away.

The Big Take-aways

  • Grow in confidence as a coach
  • Develop exceptional listening skills and know the difference between listening to the words and listening for the heart.
  • Learn How to Structure a Session
  • Understand how people grow and change
  • Lead clients to clarity and lasting change because you know how to lead them to their own answers
  • Using empathy, not sympathy, empower people to overcome limitations and reach goals
  • Develop a tool set for lasting business success

One of the things I learned from this book is something I use almost every day. There is a section based on the work of Dr. Robert Kagen in the area of adult development. Understanding the different levels of development and the characteristics of each level has made a huge difference in both my work and my personal encounters.

When you understand why people do the things they do, you can open doors of better communication and cooperation. As a coach, sharing this information with leaders, parents, married couples, or teams of co-workers can completely turn around the dynamics of their relationships.

This is one resource I highly recommend you invest in. Get the hard cover Becoming a Professional Life Coach because you’ll be marking it up and referring to it often.  

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