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Good vs Bad Life Coach

What do ‘bad’ life coaches have in common?

Bad life coaches believe that they know better. They don’t know themselves, their conditions and needs well and therefore cannot identify them when they arise or come up for them in the coaching space. They might influence the client in an unhelpful even harmful way, project or even take advantage of their role and title they hold. Such bad experiences can happen wherever human beings are at work and clients are encouraged to listen to their gut instincts and feeling, so that inappropriate behaviour or an imbalance of power can be identified and accordingly responded to. Bad life coaches will work with everyone – no matter what the issues are that the client present. They don’t personalise their services but copy paste their tools into any new client collaboration. Bad life coaches do not understand the difference between therapy and life coaching.

And what do ‘good’ leadership coaches share?

Good life coaches on the other hand, assist clients on their own journey towards more self-empowerment, clarity and self-responsibility without interfering with the client’s process by projecting their own narrative and conditions. Good life coaches know where their capacities lay, what they are capable of facilitating and not and where their boundaries are. They also know that the client knows best and it is their shared role to assist their clients in remembering exactly that. Good life coaches are dedicated to the client’s own process and are motivated with them identify and reach their potentials. They are able to cultivate acceptance, appreciation and authenticity in the coaching space. These qualities can assist the client in becoming more acceptant, appreciative and authentic themselves and the client can learn to facilitate those qualities themselves for other (e.g. in the role of a change maker, leader, educator or executive manager).

So, to not end up like the guy from the series 'The Shrink Next Door' in which therapist and life coach Ike Herschkopf manages to slowly take over Martin Markowitz's life over a period of 30 years, it is relevant that your intentions to develop self-empowerment, self-ownership and authenticity are promoted and not diminished by your life coach.


Have you ever felt that your life coach or therapist has intruded into your personal space? Have you made experiences when you felt as if your life coach or therapist was projecting their values and beliefs onto you? If yes, then I encourage you to talk to your therapist and life coach about it and re-establish your boundaries. If it feels impossible to talk to them about it, then contact a counselling/life coaching register body in your country. In the case of emotional, sexual or mental abuse - call the police.

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