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What Is Personal Development Coaching?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Personal development coaching is the process of assisting another person in identifying and developing his or her personal strengths to live a happier and more successful life. This can take many different forms, but typically involves a single person who acts as a coach and assists a client. A coach works in much the same way as a trainer for athletic events, by talking to and evaluating the actions and understanding of someone else, and then providing guidance on how to make improvements where necessary. Personal development coaching is often intended as a way to improve someone’s personal life, though many of the skills and ideas presented in it can transfer into professional environments.

Sometimes called “life coaching,” the basic idea behind personal development coaching is similar to any other form of coaching. In athletics, for example, a coach is often responsible for overseeing the training and development of a team. If a player has trouble with performing a certain task in the game, the coach can give him or her feedback to guide improvement, and leads the players on the team toward victory.

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A coach employed in personal development coaching similarly watches and evaluates the actions and attitudes of someone in his or her life, and then provides feedback and assistance regarding improvements that can be made. If someone consistently has difficulty with time management, for example, then his or her coach can help by teaching techniques and methods for organization and better scheduling. The ultimate goal of this personal development coaching is for a client to make improvements in his or her life, just like the player on a team. “Victory” comes from someone attaining a happier and more successful life.

Not everyone has a need for personal development coaching, but it became increasingly popular throughout the early 21st century. Many people can feel as though their childhood and adolescent education and upbringing did not properly prepare them for life as an adult. While school children learn about mathematics and science, they do not necessarily receive lessons in managing a household budget or forming more meaningful relationships with others.

Personal development coaching is typically intended as a means by which these types of lessons can be provided by a trained professional. Different types of people can become life coaches, though they often include psychologists, therapists, and individuals with a background in communications or sociology. In the same way that a baseball trainer might set specific goals to improve batting for a player, a life coach typically sets particular achievements for a client to accomplish. The intent of personal development coaching is for someone to develop lifelong skills that he or she continues to use afterward.

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