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Life Coaching using QMDJ

It is your job as a life coach to assist in identifying and removing the interference. It has nothing to do with giving advice or impressing your clients with your knowledge. Life coaching is about removing obstacles rather than creating new ones. Focus on balancing all aspects of your client’s lives. Believe that your clients have all the resources they need to solve their problems and that it is your responsibility to assist them in removing the barriers preventing this from happening.

Tim Gallwey’s book The Inner Game of Tennis states that coaching can be summarized with the formula “Potential minus Interference equals Performance.” It is your job as a life coach to assist your client in identifying and removing interference. That’s all! Life coaching has nothing to do with giving advice, which can be difficult when you know the answer. And you will almost always see the answer. Your strength lies in allowing your clients to find their solutions. This is good news for coaches because giving advice is more complex. The path of advice-giving entails enormous responsibilities. If you believe you must always provide an answer, you will become very stressed and burdened with unnecessary problems.

To emphasize the significance of this point, let me repeat it: coaching is not about advising your clients. Many of the best coaches have little to no knowledge or experience in the fields in which they coach their clients. This lack of knowledge creates a blank slate for the client and the coach to work with, and it eliminates limiting beliefs about the client’s potential or problems. Interference is heavily influenced by limiting beliefs. Furthermore, coaching does not imply imposing knowledge or information on your clients. It will help you overcome your desire to tell your clients what they should do. A great coach elicits answers from their clients while guiding them to self-discovery. If you genuinely believe that your clients have all of the resources they require, all you have to do is assist them in finding the best path to success. Your customers will always be more committed to ideas and plan that they develop for themselves. So life coaching is straightforward. All you have to do is remove the impediments without creating new ones while focusing on assisting your clients in achieving balance in all aspects of their lives.

Obstacles differ from client to client and from coach to coach. These distinctions are what makes coaching both enjoyable and challenging. An impediment is anything that prevents your clients from reaching their full potential. Your clients’ belief systems will be the most difficult to overcome.

There is no clear vision or mission. Your clients lack a clear idea of what they want and a mission statement (a sentence or two about who they are and what they stand for). Coaching success depends on your clients determining precisely what they want to achieve in your coaching sessions or their lives.

The outcomes are obscured. Some clients may come to you with multiple objectives or outcomes. If they do not appear to be committed to achieving one of the outcomes, it may belong to their partner or another family member and not to them. You must assist your clients in determining what they want and how they will benefit personally once their objectives are met.

Self comes last. These clients are martyrs in my definition of selflessness as “less for the self.” You will have to put a lot of effort into reframing. Inform your clients of the airline rule that requires parents to put on an oxygen mask before putting one on their child to maximise their chances of survival. Inquire about how their entire family will benefit from your client’s health, wealth, happiness, and wholeness. Giving up valuable time to develop and achieve health and wealth goals to secure the entire family’s future is true selflessness.

Age restrictions. Some clients express an interest in doing something but then dismiss the idea due to their age. They believe they are too old (or too young) to begin. That is something you must comprehend. Nonetheless, they have dreams and goals. It is your responsibility to encourage your clients to pursue their dreams. Begin by considering the more easily attained goals that they may attempt. Your goal is to wean them to success and eventually hook them so they will continue to work on their original dream. As I write this chapter, a 90-year-old man is running in the London Marathon. He is not a believer in ageism.

Financial issues Clients may approach you for assistance in resolving economic issues. You must state unequivocally that you are not a financial adviser and that any action agreed upon between you and your clients is done with no obligation or liability. Request that your client spend time identifying their outgoings and income without bias. They will then consult with a qualified financial adviser. Explain that you will be available to assist them once they have a clear plan of action established by their financial adviser. You may face legal consequences if you give them financial advice or suggest solutions to their financial problems. You should be aware that strict laws govern the provision of financial advice, whether gratis or for a fee. The entire area is a minefield; the best coaching position is to avoid it. You can and should assist your clients in finding their solutions.

Family obligations This is your standard cherry. Your clients will use it to opt out of their dreams. Your responsibility is to assist them in balancing their family’s needs and demands with their guilty conscience and true and ultimate destiny. Never allow clients to use this barrier. Help them understand that their dreams can be realised without causing hardship to their families. Show them how achieving their own goals will benefit their families as well.

Hero complex. These customers are always taking on too much work. It would help if you investigated the reasons for this action. Is it because they are unable to say no? If this is the case, recommend some excellent books on assertiveness or suggest they take a short course in which they will practise the art of saying no. Another reason for taking on too much work is a desire to be viewed as a hero. The hero, like the martyr, enjoys the glory of being able to help and will willingly sacrifice themselves for a more significant cause.

Lottery insanity. “One day, my numbers will goes up,” you must persuade your clients of the value of time and the here and now. Inquire about what they could be doing right now to pursue their dreams. If you have a client who likes to own a house with a view of the sea, what can they do today, even in a small way, to help them achieve their goal? They could, for example, investigate the costs of this type of house, inspect the proposed location, or create a long-term plan that includes all the small tasks that must be completed to help them achieve their dream. You could gently point out that they are giving up their ultimate freedom by putting their future hopes in the notoriously long lottery odds. This is the ability to take control of their lives by taking positive action that produces the desired results.

They are functioning on the treadmill. If your clients are stuck and can’t see a way out, ask them to list all the jobs, careers, or professions they could do if they didn’t have any constraints. Explain that they must write down all ideas because you want a long list. Before the next coaching session, they should send you a copy of the list. Their next task is to rank the list in terms of “ease of completion,” “cost-effectiveness,” “impact on family,” and “impact on self.” The client then assigns a score between one and four to each of these four categories, followed by a simple total for each idea. The maximum score for any thought is sixteen, and the minimum score is four. The opinions with the lowest scores are the ones to work on first. You must assist your client in determining their task prioritization. Ask open-ended questions until they decide which ideas to implement. Then coach them on how to make the change. If your client struggles with this concept, copy the form below and give it to them as a reference.

From 1 to 4, mark each idea. The best option has the lowest score.


Priorities in time.These clients repeatedly return without completing a task because they “didn’t have the time.” This is usually not a real-time issue: it is a commitment impediment. Genuine-time management issues can be quickly addressed by recommending that your clients take a time management course or read a time management book. If you discover a commitment problem, you must confront your client about their behavior and remind them of their commitment to themselves and you. Remind them of the benefits they stated they would receive if they reached their goal. Question them about why they consistently fail to deliver.

Adrenaline addiction. Several of your clients may be burnt out due to working too hard and playing too little. They thrive on the adrenaline rush of a crisis. They claim that when they have short deadlines, they perform better. They enjoy the buzz and may be unwilling to give it up. Assure these clients that the rush of achieving their goals through their efforts is an equally powerful but healthy and long-lasting high. Some of the advanced techniques covered in Chapter Eight on Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Chapter Seventeen on the Spiral Coaching model will be required.

The trappings trap them. The client wishes to live a simpler life but is unable to do so because of the material possessions that their current lifestyle provides. Request that these clients write a list of why they want a simpler life and why they want to maintain their current lifestyle. Then, create a priority list similar to the one described in Treading the treadmill. Coaching is about assisting your clients in achieving balance in all aspects of their lives. Their obsession with materialism is tipping the scales for these clients.

Suckers sucker them. Some clients associate with people who drain their juice and energy. These friends, colleagues, sports partners, and spouses dampen such clients’ enthusiasm by creating obstacles or excuses to prevent change. Ask your client to consider the probability that their associates may feel threatened by the planned changes and may require reassurance from the client that the change will benefit all parties. If this reassurance is ineffective, they may need to make difficult decisions about the worth of these friendships. Encourage and support your client in making new friends in areas where they want to go. Explain to them that they should spend their time wisely and with people who will assist them rather than hinder them. This transition may take some time because some clients will be reluctant to give up old friends in exchange for new ideas. A smooth and successful transition is to constantly agree to tasks that encourage the formation of new friendships, leave little time for activities with old, unsupportive friends, and promote the persisting small amount of time to be spent with only old friends who are positive-minded.

Life coaching is about removing obstacles and encouraging clients to push past their perceived barriers to achieving their goals and dreams. It is about using communication skills for your clients and to assist them in identifying roadblocks in their daily lives. The goal is for them to live a balanced and fulfilling life. It’s about being there for your clients when everyone else assumes they’re angry, harmful, or sad. It realises that all your clients have enormous potential waiting to be discovered. It knows that you, as a coach, can assist.

In some instances, many prospective coaches are concerned about the cost of a certification programme. Instead of viewing it as a significant expense, consider it an investment in yourself and your future. By committing to becoming a life coach, you can justify the programme’s cost by focusing on the opportunities it will provide you, the skills you will gain, and future salary opportunities. In addition to these advantages, you will have the chance to make a significant difference in the lives of others. 

For many, these advantages are sufficient to justify the cost of a training programme. However, money is a barrier that many people struggle to overcome. Find a more affordable school if you genuinely want to get your certification. Consider the various ways you could earn extra money. Some coaches have taken on part-time jobs to help pay for their education. Others have devised clever ways to save money. There is a way if there is a will, as the old adage goes.