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Red Flags: What Coaches Should Never Do

A common misconception about Life Coaching is that it is just like therapy…. And the concept that therapy is incredibly “touchy-feely” is pretty pervassive. Just as there are many different types of therapy, there are different types of coaching. We will dig into that more on another blog but for the moment, let’s talk about Coaching Style and Red Flags.

Things a Life Coach should never do:

1. Give advise.

Giving advice is a natural response to the question “What should I do?” It is also generally thought that if a person gives good advice, they would make a good coach. While this is true to an extent, the reason the person gives good advice is not the fact that they give it, but more the fact that they listened. The entire goal of coaching is for the client to do the work- determine their goals for themselves and how to achieve them.

2. Give oppinions

Clients ask me what my opinion is all the time. Frankly, I hate this question. “What do you think?” A life coach should never offer opinions about a client’s goals, achievements, personal life experiences or where you are in your journey.

3. Diagnose

Life Coaches are absolutely NOT qualified to make any sort of mental health diagnosis. They can not diagnose you with depression, ADHD or any other diagnosis. Diagnoses can only be obtained through qualified clinicians using qualified tests.

4. Prescribe medications

Health and Wellness coaches may recommend suppliments to assist in a diet or nutritional goal. However, coaches are NOT qualified to prescribe medications such as antidepressants or stiumlants.

5. Therapy

There will be moments when coaching can feel like therapy. When you work with a coach and you deal with the aftermath of a traumatic event, you will come across moments of therapy. However, they will be short-lived. Coaching is always goal oriented and forward moving. If you find you need therapy, your coach may be able to assist you in finding appropriate support services. And remember- coaching and therapy can run hand in hand. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive as they serve different functions.

6. Failing to track progress

Every coach should have some way to track your pgress as you work to meet your goals. This helps keep you on track and can help determine if more time is needed and when it’s time to create new goals.

7. Dead air during sessions

There will be moments of silence on occasion while you are processing answers to questions or thinking of ideas or goals. However, lengthy periods of awkward “dead air” shouldn’t happen. Just as coaching is always moving forward, there should always be conversation to move you toward your goals.

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