How coaching can actually help people

After nine years as a coach, one question I regularly get asked is how coaching can actually help people. Here's what you need to know if you're becoming a coach or are curious.

I’ve been a coach for nine years now and one question I get asked regularly is how coaching can actually help people.

Great question.

Coaching is not just useful for the client but also for the coach, especially if you’re just becoming a coach. That’s a major takeaway—you can learn how to coach another person while at the same time learning about human behaviour and about yourself and how to empower others.

When it comes to helping someone there are two major categories of coaching.

Generative—which is helping someone move forward—and regenerative coaching, which is helping someone rebuild a life foundation if theirs has become a little shaky.

So regenerative coaching is about utilising human behaviour, understanding codes and patterns of what makes us do what we do. How to manage our thinking, how to get our mind working for us instead of against us.

At this level we look at things like communication. Relationships are based on communication and a lot of people aren’t trained in communication—for instance, how to validate someone, how to talk about your emotions with another person, how to use the language of love.

That can all be taught in coaching.

Another major part of how coaching can actually help people is to guide them to find more purpose and meaning in their lives by making better decisions. This happens through aligning their goals with their strengths.

That means working out what you’re really good at, then matching your career and lifestyle to it.

Generative coaching involves discovering what your values are as a person, and really getting clear on what drives you. When you know that, you’re really able to achieve your goals consistently, instead of what a lot of people do—they consistently yoyo in their lives because they not really sure what their values are and they don’t know how to make great decisions.

Sometimes you’ll need to use coaching in what is called a regenerative sense.

Think about it like this: you need to regenerate something. Something is kind of off. Something is missing.

The way I like to imagine regenerative coaching is to imagine it’s the foundation of a house. You build everything on that from the ground up, so it needs to be strong to support your relationships and career.

The foundation is made up of your identity, the relationship you have with yourself and the amount of self-esteem you have.

When some of these things are off, coaching is a great way to establish a deeper and more loving and a higher quality relationship with ourselves.

I find the regenerative style of coaching is life changing because there’s so much coaching can share with someone that maybe they didn’t get in their childhood or their culture or community when they grew up.

How coaching can actually help people is to bridge that gap—so much that sometimes I like to call coaching reparenting. As a result, they start to feel like they matter more and they start to create a stronger sense of self.

I think we all need a little bit of that from time to time, and coaching is a phenomenal vehicle for you to learn how to help someone.

Anyone learning to become a coach can start to apply these ideas for themselves to live a greater life and pay it forward to their clients.


One of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend

Matt Lavars life coaching
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute