What Is Your Number One Job As A Life Coach?

What is your number one job as a Life Coach?

Be careful before you answer the question because in my experience most coaches get it wrong.

Very wrong.

Don’t just scroll down, really give it some thought.

Seriously, think about it.

Your ability to think and not just seek the answer immediately is paramount to your learning and ultimately, your success.

Ok, if you really have taken time out to consider your response, we’re good to go.

Is This Your Answer?

If you answered, to hold my clients accountable, you flunked the test.

If you responded, to motivate my clients, get ready for the red marker because you too don’t get an ‘A’ and I’m, itching to ink a big fat ‘F’.

If your clients need you to hold them accountable, then you probably haven’t done your job very well.

If your clients need you to motivate them, then equally, you probably haven’t done your job very well.

Not being accountable and lacking in motivation are symptoms of a deeper problem.

As such if you deal with the symptom then you’re doing a massive disservice to your clients.

What do you do if you get a headache?

If it lasts for longer than a couple of hours, personally I’ll take  a couple of ibuprofen and hope it goes away.

If I get another headache the following day, then I may do the same.

By day 4 or 5 however, I’ll sure as hell want to find the cause and not keep attacking my liver with Advil.

Ibuprofen doesn’t treat the cause, it deals with the symptom or symptoms.

You may have a headache because you’re stressed.

Or it maybe because you need glasses and your eyes are working too hard.

Or it may even be because, unbeknown to you, you’re breathing in noxious fumes.

Treat The Cure Not The Symptom

The pain killers doesn’t fix any of those issues, the merely manage the symptoms whilst the body heals itself.

Being there for your client to kick their ass when she is slacking isn’t offering a cure to the problem, it’s merely dealing with the symptom.

Similarly, offering your client words of support isn’t a solution either because a solution shouldn’t rely on you being around all the time to cheer lead or kick ass.

Why does your client lack accountability?

Why does your client lack motivation?

If you don’t know the answer to those questions, then you haven’t gone deep enough and you probably haven’t done effective values work.

Your job as a coach isn’t to create a dependent relationship in which you get wealthy and your client can’t get shit done without you standing over them with a big stick.

That is the antithesis of good coaching.

Your Real Job As A life Coach

You’re a change agent.

Your primary responsibility is to help your clients think differently.

If you can’t do that, then you have failed.

The reason why people pay us hundreds and thousands of dollars to help them rather than buying a book, is because a book cannot ask great questions dependent on the situation.

A book cannot read body language.

A book cannot spot momentary hesitations.

A book cannot answer back or check we got something right.

You job is to ask killer questions that shift your clients thinking and open up a world of opportunity and possibility.

Everything else is gravy.


  1. Marc

    Great post!

    The answer I came up with was to hold space for our clients, so they have time to answer the questions they haven’t asked themselves. When I do a good job of that, the result is that the think differently.

    I really appreciate your focus on moving clients away from dependence on their coach. I’d rather work with a referral from a happy client who has accomplished their goals than a long term client who is stuck. If I’m not serving them well, I should be big enough to recommend they try working with someone else.

    • Tim Brownson

      I don’t disagree with your first part Marc, but if you don’t ask killer questions, do you need to make space?

      Thanks, and agreed, on the second part to your answer.

  2. A cause for beeing stuck can be elsewhere. Sometimes a coach is not in a postion to lead a client out from being stuck. Maybe a part of a solution is also a psychotherapist.

  3. What a relief I passed!- seriously a really good post Tim – as always 🙂
    I think that great coaching comes down to listening and asking the right questions and not being afraid of silence while the client processes his answer and gets to his Ah ha moment. This of course is the skill that practice turns into an art form

  4. Ah! Just opened this email today and I was about to skip down to the answer and I’m glad I didn’t. I took a deep breath!!! And said,

    “My number one job as a Coach is to widen the clients perspective enabling them to identify the root causes that influence their beliefs, motivations and choices.”

    Great article, Thank you for the killer tidbit of info! I’m sure this helped focus those who are not on the right track and empower those who are!