Saturday, June 11, 2011

Life Coaching Is...


"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living."
Anais Nin

 Life coaching is... about adding choices to life.

I had a call through the week from someone looking to get help with some issues that they have been challenged by for some time now and affecting their relationships at home and at work.

It gave me pause to reflect that I write so much from the perspective of business that it may not be apparent that I work with clients on life issues too. Indeed, our way of being in the world personally and the interpersonal skills that we have can be very closely tied to and affect what happens within a business and every other facet of life.

So what are some areas that I see relate to life coaching as a means of developing and making progress?

Some examples that illustrate for you.

The person who feels like they have little to contribute and so hold back from engaging as fully as they might, and whose voice is seldom heard, but often is drowned out by those around them. This can act as confirmation of them being 'less than' when in reality they have much to contribute but lack the skills to be able to stake a claim on the space to do so.

When someone damps down that part of themself so as to fit in with other people, leading them to spend their life according to what someone else values ... without exploring what is meaningful in life to them.

When faced with information that doesn't meet with their approval, the person 'shuts down' and refuses to acknowledge what is happening, choosing instead to close down any opportunity for meaningful discussion and thereby adding stress within relationships..

Feeling 'stuck' in a problem with no choices being apparent. This is usually less a case of no choices than it is of a lack of appreciation or way to connect with more choices - or could even be that the choices available are not ones that the person wants to face.

Too many ideas and nothing followed through to completion.

Clutter in the person's surroundings and relationships.

Lack of purpose and focus on the things that are important  - or even being able to determine priorities in life.

Tolerating bad situations and relationships that are not empowering the person.

Anxiety when faced with challenge and without a good strategy to move forward.

We can easily fall into the trap of believing that the past can only show us the future. That isn't so. Yet we can lack the skills to unpack the past and take from it the learnings that will help us create the future in line with the life we prefer to lead, while letting go of the pain from the past.  Just as we can forget to recalibrate and notice all the resources that we have at our disposal that we lacked in the past when we were children.

When considering life coaching look for a coach who can help you learn new strategies to develop more flexbility in the way you think and analyze situations. Your coach should be working with you in ways that support your development and let you function and with more understanding of your options and behavioural flexibility.

A good life coach will help you to identify, check ecology and conditions of well-formedness, to achieve your goals, not make you strive to reach theirs. 

When working with a coach you need to feel that there is respect there - even thought the questions they ask may be challenging.

There is no place for coaches to be asking you to divulge personal issues that don't relate to your coaching relationship, so if you ever feel that this is happening, mention it and if it persists, consider if your coach is acting appropriately.   At all times you should feel safe working with your coach. If for some reason you don't and if you have any reservations you may want to terminate the coaching relationship with that indivdual.  Your coach should be there for you to help you progress. Period. Your role is to help yourself and your coach to create the environment where you can do that.

Have you used a life coach?
What was that like? What did you experience from your coaching?
Please share your observations in the Comments section.

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