What is a Personal Coach?

As a personal coach, I help you conceive of an even better version of yourself, then I help you get there. 

When we're young, we have parents and caretakers who guide us. As we get older, we have teachers and coaches, sometimes therapists, and eventually, we have a boss or clients.

As a personal coach, I help you with your development without having an agenda for your outcome. I help clients make choices aligned with their values to derive more meaning from their lives.

Together, we will identify what you want to hope for, strive for and ultimately create. We review your values and see where you're hitting the bullseye and where you may have strayed from your desired path.

I will ask you penetrating and provocative personal questions so that you can express new ideas. After an introductory session, one client recently said, “It was amazing to hear myself say that out loud. I didn’t even know I was thinking that, but I am. I very much am. It is powerful to give words to ideas buried inside me.”

As your personal coach, I'm on an excavating mission. I help you connect the dots and then take action on the insights you have.

The focus of my coaching practice is career coaching and life coaching. Since your career is such a big part of your life, many people find their way to me with a Google search for career coach. While I’m eager to support you with your career, the best way I know how to do that is to frame your career in the context of your life.

What this means is that we look at the person you want to be, the impact you want to have on the world, and perhaps the partner and parent you want to be, and the mental and physical health goals you have. We determine the best career objectives in this context; how does your career support your life (not the other way around.

As a personal coach, I work with you to better define your values, meaning and impact, and create a structure for your personal development that leads to greater personal fulfillment.

What’s a Personal Life Coach?

A personal coach is the same as a personal life coach (see above for more).

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What Is a Personal Development Coach?

Again, same thing :-). There are many different titles for the same function – life coach, personal coach, and personal development coach are all the same. And yet, practitioners practice differently. Since coaching in the United States is not yet regulated, anyone can call themselves a coach.

That’s why, when hiring a coach, it’s important to do your research; research the background, education and experience of your coach to determine if that coach is a good fit for you. Then meet with a couple of coaches for an introductory session and determine who is the best fit for you.

What Is the Role of a Personal Development Coach?

A personal development coach like me will provide support and guidance as you strive to reach your professional and personal goals. Not only will we work together to help you make better decisions, but we will also focus on exploring your life purpose and taking steps to achieve it.

What Are the Different Areas of Personal Development?

Areas of personal development include mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical. The first step toward personal development is identifying the areas in which you want to improve and then participating in personal development coaching to reach your goal and succeed in attaining personal growth.

Will a Life Coach Help With a Personal Development Plan?

As a personal development coach, I can help you come up with a guideline or plan for your life. During my coaching process, we will work on improving conscious habits while finding positive ways to enhance your quality of life, defining the kind of person you want to be, and figuring out what you want to achieve.

Taking the time to come up with a personal development plan helps bring your visions to reality. Logically planned actions allow you to keep track of your progress, motivate you, reduce stress, improve balance in life, and increase your overall self-confidence.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want to do with your life?
  • What are your top goals and ambitions?
  • What obstacles are in the way of achieving your goal?

When setting personal development goals, we will focus on a specific outcome while paving the road to success.

What Is a High Performance Coach?

High performance coaching is a specialty within personal coaching/life coaching, although most high performance coaches I know would cringe at the idea of being called a life coach. Let’s break it down:

High performance coaches work with executives and athletes who are driving for their peak performance. They are the best of the best, bringing it to the next level.

Think of iconic athletes like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps or executives like Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. They are 100% dedicated to optimizing peak performance.

High performance coaches study these extraordinary people to determine how they do what they do, then translate that approach to clients so that they can apply it. My friend Steven Kotler heads The Flow Research Collective, a group that is single-mindedly focused on unlocking peak performance.

For me, high performance doesn’t involve peaking in one area to the detriment of other areas. My definition of a high performance life ranks highly in contentment, joy, and contribution. As a practitioner of positive psychology and an avid student of happiness research, that is the peak performance I help my clients find.

For example, I helped a mom of two leave a job where she earned millions annually to spend more time with her children. In our capitalist culture, this is somewhat counterintuitive.

Peak performance is often seen as earning that multi-million dollar paycheck – but at what cost? When this client examined the cognitive dissonance she experienced despite her double comma annual earnings, she reoriented around her values and realized that the money wasn’t delivering the meaning or contentment she was craving.

Money couldn’t buy her more time with her children. Only her active, values-driven choices could give her the freedom she desired.

That’s the kind of high performance coaching I practice. I help clients optimize their life to better align with their values so that they can make a more meaningful contribution to the world, increase their contentment and happiness, and lead lives in synch with their values. And then I help them transition to that life.

High performance coaching? Not exactly. And yet, precisely.

What Is Your Personal Coaching Background?

I received my personal life coach certification from New York University in 2005. See below.

Has my maiden name and everything; I became Allison Fishman Task when I married in October 2011. So we’re turning back the clock back with my certification.

Allison Blue Ribbon Hunter 2

I started coaching during my training, so that makes 15 years. At first, I ran my coaching practice part-time while hosting TV shows for TLC (The Learning Channel, part of Discovery Networks), Lifetime, and Yahoo. My shows included Home Made Simple, Cook Yourself Thin, and Yahoo! Blue Ribbon Hunter.

This, of course, has nothing to do with coaching, but it sure was fun!

I ran my coaching practice part-time while hosting these shows because:

1) I loved coaching

2) As a TV host, I found myself in a contract that prohibited me from working on-camera outside the show. This is called a lock-up agreement, and as a result, after six weeks of working on a show, I was prohibited from appearing on camera for the next 10 ½ months!

Not complaining; just stating a fact. This gave me the space to open up my coaching practice part-time. I worked as an on-camera host when I had the opportunity and built my practice the rest of the time.

After I moved to Montclair, NJ, married, changed my name (to a far more appropriate coaching name, as “Coach Task” really has a ring to it!) and started a family, I decided that the feast-or-famine on-camera lifestyle was no longer for me.

It was a blast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and now I was ready to hang up my makeup bag, create a coaching practice and commit to that practice full-time. In October 2014, one year after my third child was born, I launched Allison Task Career & Life Coach with a sweet little office in Montclair, NJ.

I knew I loved coaching, but I could not have imagined how much more I would enjoy the work when I committed to coaching as my full-time career.

You can read more about my personal coaching background here or scroll down for more specifics in “Who Is A Personal Coach.”

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Do You Have Personal Coach Certification?

Yes, I do! New York University bequeathed me a personal coaching certificate upon me (see the photo), and believe me when I say I earned it.

I also hold a PCC (Professional Certified Coach) credential with the International Coaching Certification, the second-highest coaching credential one can earn, with the most prestigious coaching organization in the world. For more on that, read on.

NYU Personal Coach Certificate

Who Is a Personal Coach?  / Who Is a Personal Development Coach?

As mentioned above, the unfortunate truth is anyone who wants to call themselves a professional coach can. It is a completely unregulated industry.

You can call yourself a love coach, a relationship coach, a divorce coach, a personal coach, or a personal development coach without any training or confirmation that you are actually a coach. At this point, the industry has a bit of a “wild west” vibe.

I can also call myself a pickle or a giraffe, but you’d realize pretty quickly I am not either of those things.

While the coaching services industry is unregulated, I  hold myself to the highest coaching standards available. I don’t have to; I choose to.

In addition to the Personal and Life Coaching certificate I received after one year of training at NYU, I am also a member in good standing with the International Coaching Federation.

I attend biannual meetings globally and have taken (somewhat grueling, definitely rigorous) exams to earn an ICF credential at the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) level. I found getting into an Ivy League school and Mensa easier than passing that challenging series of exams!

The PCC is the second-highest coaching level; the only higher level is the MCC (Master Certified Coach). There are fewer than 1000 MCCs around the globe; I intend to sit for the exam in the next two years.

In addition, I have been coaching clients for almost 15 years. I have spent more than 4,000 hours coaching clients, plus another 6,000 hours in learning, training and development over the last 15 years.

So simply put, anyone can be a personal coach. Anyone can be a personal development coach. But not everyone is as committed to excellence in the craft as I am. Don’t take my word for it, do your research.

What Does a Personal Coach Do?

You are the expert on yourself. I am an expert on coaching methodology. I ask questions to help you create new connections so that you can see the opportunities before you with a new perspective. I call this insight.

I am your thought partner, asking you questions and holding space so that you can have fresh thoughts and connect the dots in a new way.

After we develop insights, we create “next steps” lists. This is where the rubber hits the road; this is where you take action. Insight, action; insight, action. And throughout, I am your accountability partner. This happens in each and every coaching session. Every client leaves every session with insights and actions.

Coaching Process Diagram

I am your thought partner as you develop the insights that lead to strategy and your accountability partner as you take the next steps, moving forward with the actions you committed to in our sessions.

Insight, action; insight, action. 

This leads, inevitably, to results.

We work together, gearing up the insight/action flywheel so that you achieve results. That’s what I do as a personal development coach.

Read on for a more detailed description of my process. Or, set up an introductory session and experience the process for yourself.

Insight, action, results. That’s what my coaching program does; that’s what you hire me for. Full stop. I am an experienced coach who can help you get on the right career path or reach a specific goal.

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Why Hire a Personal Coach?

Clients typically hire me as their personal coach for one of two reasons:

  1. They aren’t happy where they are and want to make a change or
  2. They know where they want to be but haven’t been able to get there on their own. As I like to say...

Clients hire me as their personal coach when they are ready to invest in themselves, ready to invest in making a change. They hire me when they realize that the other methods aren’t working and need some support to get from here to there.

It’s like when you’re lost, you’ve tried to figure out the way, and you finally pull over for directions. Sound familiar? Some people pull over sooner than others.

As a client recently wrote in her Google review:

“I used to think there was nothing I could get from a career coach that I couldn't get from my existing network of mentors. Then I was given a copy of Allison's book. It opened my eyes to things about my professional self I hadn't acknowledged before and a new way of thinking about my work, career, and myself. So, I signed up for an intro coaching session and hoped I was making a worthy investment of money I really didn't have to spend.

In that first session, I learned a lot about the way I work, how I want to work and who I am. In subsequent sessions, I began to see opportunities for myself I had refused to open my eyes to in the past and the fears and societal and cultural expectations that I was allowing to limit my possibilities.

With Allison's support, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone and into some of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life. I'm still finding my way, but my framework for thinking about my career and professional decision-making has changed. I am more confident in saying no to opportunities that aren't for me (and that I would have fretted over) and have a much better idea of what it is I want out of work and, by extension, life.”

Who Can Benefit from Coaching Services?

There are many benefits to participating in a coaching session with me for personal growth and development. Each coaching session is highly personalized for a person’s specific wellness needs. Our coaching relationship will be unlike other personal and professional relationships in your life.

My coaching process is adaptable to each person’s individual circumstances and empowers you to find your own answers within yourself. With personal coaching services, you can work on self-awareness, resilience, and self-efficacy while improving communication skills and finding a more positive work-life balance.

What Is the Difference Between Personal Coaching Services and Therapy?

One of the main differences between personal coaching services and therapy is that a therapist often manages mental illnesses and diagnoses. As a personal life coach, I do not.

Instead, I work with each client closely and focus more on the future, while a therapist is used for a much longer term and focuses more on the past.

Therapy is more effective for mental health and emotional healing, while personal coaching services focus on goals and personal development.

Do Successful Individuals Need a Life Coach?

Yes! Even already successful people can benefit from life coaching services. Many like to achieve a specific goal faster than they could independently or want to achieve a goal they don’t think they can achieve on their own. This is where the coaching relationship comes in.

For professional life coaching to be effective, you must be willing and wanting to make the life changes necessary.

Are you ready to talk or learn more about what I have to offer as an experienced coach? I am available! Contact me today about my many coaching packages, and let’s get started!

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Times available (ET): Daytime: Monday-Friday: 7AM, 8:15AM, 9:30AM, 10:45AM, noon and 1:15PM. Evening: Monday-Wednesday: 6:30PM and 7:40PM.

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