What is coaching?
A life coach works one to one with a client over an extended period of time (usually one hour per week for a period of 6-12 weeks, or in some cases longer). The sessions can take place face to face, over the phone, by Skype or by email. The coach will help the client to set and achieve goals, provide encouragement and feedback and help them find new ways of tackling situations.
Life coaches assist people in all areas of life, where there is a desire to unlock potential and achieve new goals. They may be business goals or personal ones, such as working on job change or professional development, tackling a creative project, finally going on that overseas trip, or pursuing a learning goal. Coaching is based on the idea that the goals will become more achievable with the help of a professional mentor who can help with encouragement, motivation and focus.
Coaching differs from counseling, in that many people who are generally happy and well within their lives may still wish to develop or change in a particular area. A life coach may be helpful to provide support that they initially require for making changes in their lives. Coaching builds awareness of the factors (both internal and external) that cause barriers to progress as well as awareness of the structures, behaviours and information that help. Coaching may therefore focus on the client’s inner dialogue, goals that no longer serve, helpful and unhelpful habits, ways of approaching change, social structures and access to information.
How might coaching help?
A coach might act in several of these ways:
I have worked with clients who are seeking to make change in their career, eg. preparing for change of job/promotion, marketing in small business, professional development; in their personal lives, eg. transitioning to a new life stage, how to reengage in creativity, how to work towards a long held dream.
What happens during a session?
Once we have established your goal for coaching and answered any questions you might have, the sessions will be uniquely structured to address your issues. I draw on arrange of tools from positive psychology, client centered counseling, behavior change theory and the work of Barabra Sher. Through our sessions we will often develop a plan of action together, and you will take one or more small, realistic actions away to do as ‘homework’ between sessions.