Life Coaching History

When did Life Coaching Start?

Thomas Leonard, an American financial planner, is generally acknowledged as the first person to develop coaching as a profession in the 1980s and the concept and history of life coaching today really starts with him.



-The First Specific Life Coach Training

In the early 1990’s Leonard founded the first formal coach-training program. He called it Coach university.


ICF International Coaching Federation

Leonard was also instrumental in founding the International Coach Federation an important component in the history of life coaching to this day. This worldwide body was the first to set and publish industry standards and ethics and provide independent credential of coaches and accreditation of coaching schools.

The ICF is still the benchmark for coaching excellence though there are now many other associations that provide accreditation of courses and credentialing of coaches


What is Coaching?

Through a properly delivered and understood process, life coaching takes the client from where they are to where they want to be.”

One of the most important answers to the question What is life a Life is that Coaches generally don’t evaluate a situation or come-up with solutions unless they are specifically asked for or given permission to make suggestion.

The well-trained life coach simply uses careful questioning and feedback to guide a willing client to identify and achieve their goals or the outcomes they want to get from being coached.


What is a Life Coach compared with Mentor, Counsellor or Therapist?

Pure coaching, where only questions are asked and no advice is given, is becoming combined with therapy consulting and mentoring

Life Coach vs Therapy

Therapies such as psychiatry psychology or counseling mainly focus on healing the past whilst Coaching is possibilities and building the future

Coaching doesn’t depend on resolution of the past issues to move the client forward although a skilled professional may use information volunteered from the client’s past to clarify where the client is today


Consultants are usually employed to identifying and guiding role



A mentor is usually, but not always, defined as someone skilled specifically in the area where the clients need directions and advice. Someone who “been there- done that”.

The Mentoring would be limited to the field of expertise and would generally not get into anything deeper unless the mentor was also a coach and felt comfortable and qualified to do so.