Life Song Christian Coaching

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Webster Defines Life Coaching and Gets It Wrong

Recently, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary added the term “Life Coach” to their dictionary. While this is gratifying to have this level of recognition, they added a bit that true Life Coaches don’t do. Care to guess what it is?

Here is their definition of Life Coach: (noun) an advisor who helps people make decisions, set and reach goals, or deal with problems.

What’s wrong with that?

Basically, it’s the word “advisor”. A true Life Coach doesn’t give advice, they don’t know enough and they’re not smart enough. And the bottom line is that people don’t take outside advice anyway — all permanent, lasting change comes from inside.

Christoper McCluskey is President and CEO of Professional Christian Coaching Institute and he wrote a great article on the difference between Life Coaching and other things where the “advisor” word is acceptable. I encourage you to check it out. You can find it here.

Full disclosure: I’m working on my coaching certifications through the PCCI, but that’s not why I’m passionate about solid definitions. I have seen way too many arguments that turn out to be “much ado about nothing” when you get people to actually sit down and define what they are talking about. Language is a wonderful tool, but just like most tools, it also defines a lens for how you view the problem. “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nails.” Make sure that before you hit something with a hammer, that what you’re hitting is actually a nail!

About Coach Dale

"Coach" Dale Young specializes in Executive, Leadership, and Teamwork coaching and has a passion for helping people figure out their purpose and passion -- and then how to pursue that. Dale holds a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC) credential from the Professional Christian Coaching Institute (PCCI) and is actively pursuing accreditation with the International Coach Federation (ICF). See the About page for more information.

One Reply

  1. Chris’s post is now available on the International Coach Federation (ICF) blog at

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