I heard about life coaching some years ago, and I must admit, I wasn't impressed with the little information I had. I actually developed a slightly negative impression towards coaching, a stereotype I created in my mind, based on ignorance and limited exposure to the subject. As a fan who benefited from therapy for my own issues, it somehow felt like coaches were a new age competitor to therapy. Oh, was I wrong...
I also saw professionals in the area as mostly businesses coaches for companies or executives only, or motivational speakers. Impressive and certainly valuable, but not in my realm of expertise. Or "gurus" with fancy headseats asking people to repeat affirmation sentences out loud. Energizing and effective for many, yet not the way I personally communicate.
Well, what I did no know is that coaching goes way beyond all that. There are many ways and many styles out there. I was alive wrong in my narrow-minded assumption.
It took research, opening my mind and realizing that coaching was a much more interesting field, not related nor competitive with therapy or counseling at all. Not limited to careers and companies. Different professionals for different needs. Or wants. Also, there were different coaches for different clients - and you get to be your own version. Once I learned more and broadened my limited beliefs, I actually got interested in pursuing it.
What's the best way to provide a service in which you truly believe? Using it yourself!
I am coached too!
Coaching is based on a co-creative relationship that includes insight, awareness, encouragement and, often, accountability.
It is simple. There is no magic potion or shake to drink. And it works.
Because Coaching believes in bringing your own insight to the surface, and igniting it into action. You have a goal and coaching helps you go after it.
Let's frame this with some examples, for illustration purposes.
1. Client A is 51, and divorced. He went through the transition from married to single, and after a couple of years of working on continuing being a great dad, living by himself and casual dating - but completely closed to the idea of a new steady relationship - he now wants to explore the possibility of a new partner and companion, for a possible long-term commitment, as long as "he doesn't feel trapped". That's his goal.
With Coaching, we are not going to talk about all that happened in A's past to seek healing or fix unresolved issues. That's therapy's work. Although, of course, he might want to identify patterns and evaluate how certain choices and actions affected who he is NOW, we are more interested in his present feelings and frame of mind, and how to set action plans and practical ways to achieve the future he envisions. The details of his desire to reconnect romantically, what he looks for in a partner - and compromises he is not willing to make - who he is, now that he has learned and grown with his previous marriage and experience. Identifying his fears, possible obstacles and self-imposed limitations, and the paths he feels comfortable taking toward that goal. We brainstorm and he creates next steps by actively looking for places and opportunities where he can find kindred spirits with those common interests - so he increases his chances of finding at least a new best friend out of the effort, for starters. He feels safe, assertive and excited. Guess what type of people he will most likely attract? Those on the same confident wavelength. And I can act as his accountability partner in his re-loving journey, because that is a service he is expecting from his coaching - and one I can provide.
2. Client B is 59, and worked for 23 years in a corporate job for the same company. Now she is getting her retirement package. But she doesn't know if she wants to learn Italian, take up gardening, or start a consulting business to add income to her pension and keep her comfortable financial status. Her goal is to find clarity about what's next for her.
In Coaching, we are going to unveil, through self-awareness and brainstorming, what is driving B. What options she has, her values, how she wants to redefine herself after so many years used to seeing the Operations Manager label as her main mission. What her limiting beliefs are. She fears getting bored. She then realizes that she actually doesn't know how to organize her all new found time. She is her own boss now and gets to make her own schedule - able to achieve balance and satisfaction in this transition from familiar to new. She then sets actions to enroll in a self-paced Italian course and learn slowly, while working on a new consulting business plan. She devotes time to her perennials on the weekends. She feels empowered and energized and busier than ever - but with things she loves. And I can keep her accountable and encouraged along the way.
If you didn't know much about coaching, or had a different understanding of what it is, I hope this post made it a bit clearer for you. Still, the best way to get the potential benefits of coaching is to try coaching yourself, for your goals.
That's why I offer a free sample session, no strings attached. Try, like it, or not. Just don't let a pre-conceived notion prevent you from experiencing it. Book now and see it for yourself. Available in English or Portuguese - or both!