Just as each person has their unique personality, each coach has their unique coaching style. While various qualities, such as excellent listening skills, optimism, and open-mindedness should be evident in all coaches, one’s life coaching style varies as per their mission and background.
Depending on the clients you want to work with, your degree of involvement and control will differ. Your approach may also differ in terms of focus, for example, whether it’s placed on one specific area or multiple areas of a client’s life (holistic approach).
As you explore the option of becoming a life coach, it’s important to consider which style or approach you want to employ.
In this article, we highlight five life coach archetypes to help you recognize which style might be the most fitting for you.
What do all these coaching styles have in common?
In one way or another, all life coaches work through the following steps:
- Assess your client’s situation: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? What are your goals? Objectively examine your client’s situation and objectives.
- Set clear goals: Do you have goals but don’t know how to reach them? Or are you at the crossroads, looking for guidance to determine new goals? As a coach, you need to apply goal-setting strategies to help focus your client’s time and effort.
- Create an action plan with defined milestones: How does the client want to achieve these goals? In what timespan? What are the milestones? You will co-create a personalized action plan with your client.
- Keep your client accountable: To hold your client accountable, you also need to track their progress and adapt the action plan if required. This will help your client stay on the track.
Understanding the 5 Life Coaching Styles
- The Sergeant
- The Warrior
- The Cheerleader
- The Wizard
- The Sage
The Sergeant is a coach who makes decisions with very little input from the or client. This is sometimes referred to as autocratic-style of coaching. The approach is highly structured, with little space for tailor-made programs. A coach takes complete control of the session, encouraging the client to follow their lead.
This coaching style is applicable for clients who require structure or need to learn a tool or technique quickly. The Sergeant archetype allows for the coach to identify a client’s obstacles, provide them with suitable skills, and guide them to achieve these results in a linear fashion.
This coaching style is most often used in business coaching, sports coaching, and military training. In these environments, goals and broad strategies are predefined by the company or organization, meaning there is very little wiggle-room for flexible goals or unique approaches.
The Warrior coach champions the client’s cause, or in other words, offers encouragement and supports them in reaching goals. This style is also known as motivational or inspirational coaching as the coach motivates their client to examine core issues affecting their motivation. They don’t throw meaningless affirmations their way but offer objective advice and help clients find a balance between who they are and who they want to be.
These coaches tend to be charismatic (and sometimes dramatic) speakers who can easily boost their clients’ moods. Coach and speaker Tony Robbins is a well-known motivational coach who utilizes his skills to see the bigger picture and give his clients faith in themselves in challenging times.
If your coaching style is more democratic and collaborative, you lean towards the Cheerleader archetype. These coaches are very attentive and supportive as they place their clients’ autonomy and choices at the forefront.
The coach’s involvement depends on the client and the stage in the process. Yet, a supportive coach’s approach can range from democratic to more laissez-faire coaching. Laissez-faire coaching allows the client to reach out when they need guidance, encouragement, and support; otherwise, the coach takes a backseat in the decision-making.
The Cheerleader encourages clients to make their own decisions and ultimately developing decision-making skills and self-efficacy. In this style, clients are encouraged to develop learning loops from their own mistakes as they progress towards their goals. This curbs fear and self-judgment while fostering a resilient mindset and self-confidence.
The Wizard Coach takes an intuitive approach to identify the client’s blocks. They are often equipped with alternative healing skills and can help clients honing their intuition as well. They might also focus on the client’s mindset to uncover limiting beliefs for more clarity. They ask powerful questions which reveal clients’ true selves and possible self-impairing habits. The Wizard doesn’t want to influence their client’s path but instead empowers them to choose their own goals and journey.
By integrating spiritual and secular principles, intuitive coaches provide resources and tools in seeking connections between body, mind, and spirit. The client’s personal achievement after using their intuition also encourages qualities such as self-love, creativity, confidence and allows them to discover their true passions.
The Sage Coach looks at clients as a whole, creating a balance between all aspects of their lives. This holistic approach equally examines professional, spiritual, and social areas and recognizes the interconnectedness between these multiple domains. The Guide usually has extensive life experience and coaches from their wisdom, enlightening the client’s conundrums.
A Sage coach co-creates a safe space where the client can share problems from any part of their life and increase awareness to illuminate various solutions. By looking at these correlations, the coach can identify barriers and areas of potential growth and enhance well-being across the whole person (mind, body, spirit) and multiple areas (family, work, home, health).
It’s not a quiz but a toolkit.
While it’s essential to become more knowledgeable in one approach, you don’t need to follow one style strictly. As coaches and human beings, we evolve and change, which means coaching is also an iterative process we adapt to.
With each new coaching relationship, you’ll assess your client’s individual needs. Therefore, you may adjust and employ techniques from each of our archetypes: as a Sergeant, Warrior, Cheerleader, Wizard or Sage. Stay curious about your coaching approach and remember to mix coaching styles only as they serve both you and your client.
We at New York Life Coaching Institute believe holistic life coaching leads the way. At NYLC, we are interested in the client as a whole person and approach their goals in an integrative manner. Our balanced approach helps cultivate resilience to embrace all that life has to offer, and we explore the frontier between their comfort zone and their true potential.
Have you wondered how to become a life coach? Visit https://www.newyorklifecoachinginstitute.com/intro to register for our FREE TRAINING to learn how you can get paid while serving others and making a difference!