In the '90s, Beth York, Administrative Coordinator at the USDA Athens, was watching television when something caught her attention: a talk show gifted a viewer with a life-coaching session. "I remember thinking, 'How cool is this? A career where you can help people be successful!'" explains Beth. "God planted a seed that grew over the years." In 2011, Beth completed training and certification through the Christian Coach Institute in North Carolina.
Different than mentoring or counseling, life coaching is the discipline of helping people make changes, achieve goals, improve skills and more. It aids people in growing without telling them what to do in a positive, thought-provoking and creative process. Beth explains that while there are many coaching models or processes that coaches use, the basic process is Discovery and Strategy.
a. What does the client want to accomplish?
b. What's going on right now?
c. What would success look like?
a. Determine the resources needed.
b. Create the action plan with specific action items.
c. Identify and plan for obstacles that may interfere with success.
Since 2011, Beth has helped approximately 50 people as a life coach. "I'm very busy with work and don't have a lot of extra time, but when God is ready, the clients come," explains Beth. "How awesome is that?"
One client Beth recalls well is a woman who was very frustrated, with no clue where to start and scared to death to step out of her comfort zone. "You should see her now!" says Beth. "She realized she was capable of so much more. She started her own business, allowing her more freedom, and made a major move to Colorado, something she wanted to do for years. Pretty fearless, huh?!"
Beth is passionate about life coaching because of the connection with the client. "For many, a coaching session is the only time that a conversation is 100% about that person," Beth says, "where someone is actually listening, engaged and cares about what they have to say."
According to Beth, good candidates for life coaching are committed to the process (time and money), ready to be open with themselves and their coach, and ready to take action. "Follow through is key. Often there are weekly action items, short- or long-term goals, or research," says Beth.
Once engaged in the process, the solutions come from the clients themselves. "There are moments when the light bulb goes off for them and the solution is created, or the fear leaves, and they realize they can!" exclaims Beth. "It is a joy and honor to be a part of it all."