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Sorry, Ain’t Buying No “Life Coach”

Here is a thought provoking post on Adele and the power of “no”.  I believe it worth a read, review and reflection.  I believe and contend that it is all about knowing who and what you are and who you best Strengthserve.  It is about knowing your strengths.  Indeed, it has spurred me to address a question lingering in my head and heart for some time.

What is a “life coach”?

Personally and professionally, I get the notions of basketball, football, hockey and soccer coaches.  I also get the idea of financial or investment coaches.  I get health, wellness and fitness coaches… academic and business coaches.  I get team coaches, performance coaches and study coaches.  I get music and vocal coaches, spiritual coaches and social media coaches.  I get all of these and that.  They each imply an expertise in a given field.

I, myself, am a professional educator and a coach.  I do not believe that great teachers or coaches are based on certification specifically; though I do not deny the value of same and have achieved my own.  Still, great coaches and educators are made up of that combination of expertise, education, experience, enthusiasm and engagement… and even genetics maybe; that body of (as is known in human resource development) knowledge, skills, abilities and “other” ( I say the other is character and temperament).

And, please hear me.  I certainly get that great coaches have that balanced combination… but in a clear and specific area of expertise.  They have demonstrated both skill and accomplishment in their chosen field of expertise.

So, what is a “life coach”? Are there truly people who are skilled in life and all its myriad arenas?  How does one develop that experience, education and expertise?  Clearly, I seriously question this idea.  I do not question an individual coach’s (or educator’s) expertise in a given field.  Business educators and coaches have their expertise.  Health and wellness coaches… their own.  But I suggest that there is no one out there that has the answers to “life”.  No one.  We are all figuring that out, one area at a time.

So, what am I ultimately suggesting?  Stop using this term. 

I am not suggesting that you stop calling yourself a coach.  I am suggesting that you clarify and specify.  As Jane Atkinson, the great speaker coach, might say; choose your lane or define your empire.  In other words, examine your sum total body of work.  Ask yourself  “What area of life or work do I have the greatest expertise, education, experience, enthusiasm and engagement?”  Ask, “What area am I best and most hard wired to engage?” Get as clear and specific on that as you can, including who is your best customer, client and/or audience with that body of work.  Find the word that best describes that expertise… and run with it.  But, please stop using the term “life coach”.  It speaks to jack of all trades and master of none and I don’t think that makes for any great coach.

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a strength coach.  His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths of character and building upon them through practical and powerful unity Educatorand resourcefulness.  That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™.  EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.

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