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Money Coaching Demystified

By: Steve Demaray

If there's one thing I've learned in my work as a money coach, it's this: Solid life coaching skills are by far the most important aspect of providing an effective service. These are something that people in the financial services industry aren’t encouraged to develop or provide. Despite the obvious need for money coaching, the life coaching community has also been reluctant to embrace this need. So, why is that?

Money coaching is an emerging field that is not well understood by the general public. More problematic, it’s not well understood in the life coaching community either. Regarding coaches, part of the problem arises because it’s assumed that to be a money coach, requires expert knowledge in areas like stock markets, investing and financial planning. This is not true. There are legions of professionals available to provide our clients with advice in these areas.

As coaches, we don't give advice. Our unique value is to use the structure of the coaching conversation to assist our clients to change and grow. To change and grow implies making decisions. As coaches we need to recognize that most of the decisions our clients contemplate will have a financial implication.

So what then is money coaching? I see it as a sub-set of life coaching that assists our clients with building money awareness. Think of it as another set of tools to add to our coaching tool kit. To emphasize this point, in my typical money coaching engagements, these are the coaching elements that tend to recur:

  • Clarifying values
  • Examining beliefs
  • Building awareness
  • Crafting a vision
  • Weighing options and brainstorming
  • Experimenting with alternatives
  • Deciding on next steps
  • Reviewing results and making adjustments

Beyond these, money coaching involves encouraging our clients to be more aware of how money operates in their lives. This is done by using specific money related tools and exercises. Employing these is a skill that’s well within the grasp of the open and curious mind of a life coach

As coaches, we are expected to exemplify what it means to live a bigger life. To do that implies that like our clients, we must force ourselves out of our comfort zones. To ignore the topic of money in our coaching conversations because it makes us uncomfortable is to do a disservice to our clients (and to ourselves). Enrolling in a money coaching fundamentals course would likely resolve this obstacle nicely, if this rings true for you. It may also be what propels your career as a life coach and your coaching engagements into a richer and more satisfying place.

Steve Demaray is the founder of The Personal Money Coach and an ILCT faculty member. ILCT is pleased to offer Steve's Money Coaching course in early 2016.