I’m delighted to say I recently graduated as an Executive and Life Coach. Life coaching is an area I’ve been interested in for quite a long time. Over the past few years I looked at several courses but for one reason or another (mainly relating to time and money) it was never the right time to enroll. So after 3 years of researching and thinking about it, I realised the “right time” rarely ever comes along. It was 2016 and I just couldn’t put it off any longer. I decided I had to make it happen and it did. As it turned out 2016 was probably one of the most financially challenging years we’ve ever had. I had to work extra hard to earn the money to pay for the course. My life is already busy and the extra work meant less study time so the pressure was on but I succeeded.
So, what is life coaching?
Traditionally the word ‘coach’ was synonymous with sports instructors, but over the past thirty or so years it has evolved to become associated with the development of a person’s skills, abilities and performance in many areas of their lives. Coaching can be described as a means of empowering people to implement changes and move forwards with their lives; helping to transport them from where they are now to where they want to be. Coaching happens in the form of a conversation between the coach and the client. The client determines the agenda and the coach uses skills such as listening, questioning, observation, intuiting, clarifying, and articulating; while also providing support and accountability, to unlock the potential of the client and evoke transformation.
What are the reasons people choose coaching?
Through interacting with people as a yoga and meditation teacher, it is apparent to me that due to this fast-paced life and ever increasing demands of the hyper-connected nature of the world, many are suffering from high levels of chronic stress and low satisfaction. All the knowledge, information and choices available to us have, in some ways, made life more complicated. People look for balance and fulfillment in life but are unsure how to achieve this and seek coaching for support.
There are lots of reasons why people choose coaching whether it’s health and well-being issues, reducing stress, lifestyle changes, career developments, the elusive work/life balance, family, self-esteem or building confidence. But while the reasons are varied and vast, most relate in some way to growth or change.
Reasons why business or executive coaches are sought may seem different initially. For example: improving performance, developing motivation, expanding leadership skills and correcting behavioural problems. However, again they relate to growth and change, have similar benefits and the coaching process is very much the same.
In my opinion these are some of the fundamental benefits: Clarity and learning; Support and encouragement; Accountability and ownership.
- Clarity and learning: Using effective coaching skills, a coach can help clients to identify what they really want personally or professionally. By evoking the clients’ own wisdom and knowledge, thereby raising awareness, there is massive potential for self-discovery and learning for the client.
- Support and encouragement: Whether dealing with the stresses of life, loss of confidence, low self-esteem, career changes, upskilling, personal development, learning from experiences, implementing changes and overcoming obstacles; a coach offers essential support. The coach encourages the client’s capacity to reach their full potential. 3
- Accountability and ownership: Probably one the most effective ways in helping clients to define and successfully achieve goals, make effective decisions, implement changes and to ultimately, move forwards in their lives.