First of all; What is Life Coaching?
Personal Life Coaching is an interaction or a conversation between one person and another. (The Coach) and the recipient or (Coachee). The relationship is primarily, one of a ‘helping’ nature. One of a motivational kind. One which may focus on, business, music, relationships, personal development? In fact, on ‘any area’ of which the recipient would like help or inspiration with?
Joining up the pieces in Life Coaching.
Basically in Life Coaching, the coach possesses knowledge of how to help the other find their ‘own’ answers to their own dilemmas. Most of all, through inspiration, encouragement and understanding. If the coach truly hears the coachees difficulties and then helps determine why the person feels that they cannot succeed in whatever area of their life they need help with. The aim being, focusing on ‘them’ and helping them attain ‘their’ goals, whatever that goal means for them?
The coachee may be wishing to change an aspect of their life that they are unhappy with. They may wish to change this area of their life but not know how? Or they may just not know how to get started? The coachee might just wish to get ‘better’ at what they already do well?
Where Does Life Coaching come from?
Although life coaching is fastly becoming recognised as being useful in the world of business and personal development. Most people might reference the world of sport if they were asked what life coaching actually was?
Athletes, Footballers and the like have been using coaches for the purpose of Life Coaching for decades to great advantage. The skills of the coach do not have to be equal to that of the coachee.
The coach possesses an entirely different set of skills, related to observation and subsequent ‘feedback’ based on observing the coachees strengths and weaknesses.
Skill Sets required.
A world class footballer does not need a world class footballer to teach them ‘their’ style of play. A coach focuses on helping the coachee to recognise how they may improve their own game, their own energy, their own motivation and working closely alongside them to help them to draw upon their own unique inner resources.
The word ‘coach’ is derived from a French word ‘coche’ originating in Hungary and defined by the purpose being to ‘teach’ or ‘instruct’ ‘motivate’ or ‘inspire’
Also a ‘coach’ … a railway coach, or a bus, are all vehicles used to transport people from one place to another, ultimately helping a person get from point A to point B.
The ‘coach’ is the ‘vehicle’ used for this purpose of transformation or transportation.
What is executive coaching?
How can an executive benefit from a life coaching experience?
Maybe they can acquire skills to enable them to lead by ‘example.’ Which may then; ‘Influence’ the rest of their entire workforce to follow their own example.
In other words by helping the people at the ‘top’ …
We ‘influence’ everyone else in the company to do well at their own individual job. Consequently; the whole company benefits and as a result they may improve their overall standards of workmanship, right across the board in that company.
Coaches can be individually and uniquely trained to operate internally within the company, so that the coach has a greater understanding of that particular business. The drawback to this form of ‘Internal Operational Style of Coaching’ is the ‘power dynamics’ Chief executives
‘external’ coaches are often used to apply their skills within a company for a fixed time period until the work has been carried out successfully.
Coaching can also aid junior executives to make leaps up into more senior positions in the company and they can benefit by becoming more able to apply themselves and to then thrive in their new exciting roles rather than being fearful of the added responsibilities that the new role may first bring.
Why do people choose life coaching?
I think it’s fair to say that the most people, rightly or wrongly wish to achieve some level of ‘success’ at what they do, whether that’s, a sport, a career or a need to make some very important life decisions, to do with their health, relationship, or their life in general.
Some of us come from a place of; “I can and I will” and others from a place of
“I don’t think I can.” That’s what Life Coaching can help you with!
Coaching can help both sets of people to define, just, exactly what’s holding them back from making decisions and to inspire them to take action, prioritising their highest potential, and better still – how to focus on what they ‘do want’ rather than what they don’t want and they may benefit from collaborative direction or suggestion, a new set of trained eyes to help them see from an unclouded lense, this can be useful to most people, so that they may form some sort of clearer evaluation for themselves.
Coaching is predominantly ‘solution-focused’ and ‘motivational’ which helps us to improve or enhance our general performance in whatever areas we are seeking help with.
Counselling or Coaching?
Conversely; Counselling is more problem-focused, focusing on trauma, or mental health difficulties. Both having their own merits and both achieve their own desirable results. If it’s solutions or motivation the person wants help with then they might choose life coaching. If it’s problems they’re seeking help with, they may choose counselling?
When is Life Coaching not the answer?
As mentioned briefly, and touched upon in my answer above. There is a time for focusing on solutions and motivation and a time for focusing on problems. A need to get to the bottom of more serious problems – such as mental health issues. Maybe phobias, addictions, personality disorders, or perhaps, post traumatic stress disorder could be apparent. Maybe as a result of an accident or life trauma situation, to name just a few.
These conditions must be dealt with by a trained health professional, specialising in that particular area, appropriate to that specific condition.
Although coaches act from their own experience and from their own acquired intuition they must be mindful of when to refer a client to a more suitable service.
Referral is important in every service including, being a Life Coach.
I myself am a counsellor and Coach, but i’m acutely aware of my own limitations and there are times when i need to refer to someone more experienced in ’A’ particular area.
The order of the day is “If in doubt seek guidance”
What is Collaborative Life Coaching?
Collaborative means … To ‘collaborate’ with someone else. In other words, make
A ‘joint decision’ Which is made with an awareness of the others autonomy.
We cannot tell a person or coachee (what to do!)
Respect and humility play a huge part in making a ‘collaborative’ decision when formulating a strategic plan of action. The coachee must wish to participate in the plan, if he or she doesn’t – there will be no action or movement and also a lack of trust and respect for the coach could happen, trust is created by being honest and acting with integrity. Also most people do not generally respond well to being told what to do!
Outcome of Life Coaching
In Life Coaching a coach uses his own expertise in ‘enabling’ the coachee to embark on a mutually agreed, guided discovery. Rather than them finding themselves in unknown territory.
Honesty and openness between coach and coachee is imperative for the coachee to approve of the work and to embrace the challenge. Because they ‘want to’ rather than being told they ‘Have To!’ …
What is the difference between directive and nondirective conversation in Life Coaching?
Directive or Non-Directive?
Directive conversation is a conversation which is primarily focused on instructing a person on ‘what to do’ with their lives by suggesting or advising, which of course is your ‘own’ view of ‘what is right for them’ as you see it. Even when a coachee comes along, specifically asking for advice, they rarely respond well to being told ‘what to do’ and ultimately they will do what they want to do anyway, with or without your approval.
As a result; … This is the fundamental challenge in Life Coaching. Understanding how a person’s autonomy works in reality. Understanding this principle, helps us to understand the true meaning of collaboration. A successful Life Coach embodies this deeper understanding so that we can respect the other’s views, with an awareness that the coachee is already managing their own life without you onboard as a helper. We are in the privileged position of being asked for help by another … the coachee.
They have put their trust in us to act in a way that’s best for them, and not what suits us to suggest is right for them.
In Conclusion; …
Non-directive conversation is about being aware of just .. ‘Offering’ suggestions. Almost as a ‘last resort’ … And only if the coachee cannot find their own answer to their own dilemmas. Rather than coaching in a directive way. Otherwise you are likely to find the solution for them. Rather than the coachee being able to find their own solution. Furthermore; It is through non directive conversation, that the coachee discovers how to discover their own ‘Inner Coach’ so that they may pull their own ideas from within. This is also vital from a future maintenance point of view. And Finally; they must be guided towards their own discoveries.
This is just a little bit about Life Coaching from me to you
Steve Haines Counselling and Life Coaching in Stoke on Trent
Many Thanks for reading.
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