Life Coaching Skills: How to Develop Skilled Clients


Richard Nelson-Jones

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    Welcome to Life Coaching Skills: How to Develop Skilled Clients. The following are answers to some questions you may have about the book.

    What is the Book's Purpose?

    This is a practical ‘how to’ book on the skills of being a life coach. Life coaching is a rapidly growing area. It is based on the assumption that possessing good psychological skills can help everyone, not just disturbed people, to lead more satisfactory lives. Life coaching may be seen as having two main areas: coaching for business and coaching for personal life. This book mainly focuses on how to coach clients to lead their personal lives more successfully, though it includes a chapter on occupation skills coaching.

    For Whom is this Book Intended?

    The life coaching market is still in the process of formation. Coaching does not carry the connotations of disturbance attached to counselling and psychotherapy, since just about everyone can improve their life skills. Here are some markets for which the book is suitable:

    • coach training courses – an emerging area in a number of academic departments;
    • coaching units on other professional courses – for instance, counselling and psychotherapy, school and sports psychology and health-related courses;
    • coaching modules on undergraduate courses, such as behavioural science courses; and
    • coaching courses for those wanting to develop their life skills.

    In addition the book can be of interest to:

    • coaches and others undergoing supervision as part of continuing training and development; and
    • helping service professionals – for skills development and for reference purposes.
    What are the Book's Contents?

    The first chapter introduces the idea of life coaching and discusses some dimensions of it, including how it differs from counselling and psychotherapy. Chapter 2 looks at lifeskills as consisting of communication/action skills and mind skills, with a comment on feelings and physical reactions. Chapter 3 presents a four-stage life coaching model, the stages being relating, understanding, changing and client self-coaching. In Chapters 4 to 8 some central skills of being a lifeskills coach are presented: namely, coaching relationship; assessment and goal setting; presentation; demonstration; and consolidation. Chapter 9 provides an introduction to life coaching in groups and includes material on preparing groups and leading sessions. Chapters 10 to 12 discuss life coaching in three important areas: relationships, occupation and health. Chapter 13 looks at ethical issues and dilemmas in life coaching and in life coach training. The book's final chapter addresses the issue of how to help clients to develop self-coaching skills. Throughout the book there are practical activities whereby coaching trainees can improve their skills.

    What Features Does the Book Possess?

    Textbook Format This book is intended as an introductory textbook. To date there is very little textbook literature in the area of life coaching.

    Comprehensiveness The book contains a description of the present status of life coaching, presents the skills of life coaching and shows the application of life coaching in a number of different areas.

    Recency The book incorporates the latest literature about life coaching.

    Practical Activities The book includes numerous practical activities to help readers develop their knowledge and skills.

    Practical Examples The book contains numerous case studies and vignettes.

    Anglo-Australian Emphasis The book emphasizes British and Australian books, articles and research findings as well as some American sources.

    Readability I have endeavoured to write the book in clear, simple English.

    A Final Word

    I hope the book helps you to develop your coaching skills and that working with it contributes to making life happier and more fulfilled for you and many others.

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