The Desire to Improve

Finding financial planners and accountants works just fine if you’re interested in financial management, but what if your goals are much more personal? More and more Kiwis have started to hire life coaches to help them out with personal and career goals.

We spoke to all sides in the life coaching business to find out what exactly motivates both sides in this unregulated industry.

ICF (International Coach Federation) is the closest life coaches have to an official organization. Its definition of coaching involves helping clients in a creative way that maximizes their inner potential.

What started as a local project turned into a fully fledged organization, as ICF currently has more than 47 thousand coaches registered worldwide. NZ spokesman for the Statistics office said that they don’t have any data on “life coaches” since it’s not an official classification.

If the officials can’t define life coaches, we should take a look at the services they offer and try to understand what is it that they do. A quick Internet search revealed a Tauranga life coach that offers “intuitive life coaching” and the ability to help clients go through difficult life events. One ad even offered coaching for becoming a successful dog owner.

It’s obvious there are a lot of charlatans in the field. Well then, how can you pick the right one? We’ve interviewed a life coaching client and she revealed that the most reliable way to find life coaches is through the word of mouth.

Trish Stone met Lietta Powell in a business group. Eventually, they started having long conversations over Skype in which Lietta would go over Trish’s problems in the past and help her deal with them.

An occupational therapist we spoke to told us that life coaches fall under the health care service and anyone who defrauds a client can be reported to the authorities.

In 2013, one such case made headlines as a life coach from New Plymouth was convicted for fraud. Since New Zealand has no registration standards for life coaches, anyone can claim to be one. In fact, many do, without having any experience or training. It’s a situation of caveat emptor.

Fees for life coaching vary from $80 to $345 for the top of the line “wealth coaching” service via Skype.

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