Life Coaching - from Insight to Action
What is Life Coaching?
Life coaching a way to realise a person's true potential, through a process of uncovering and eliminating one's destructive behavioural and thinking patterns in a supportive, caring and inspirational environment.
It is to do with facilitating people empowering themselves with practical, effective tools and techniques. It is a solution-focussed process of personal development which can lead to lasting change in all areas of a person's life.
"Life - or 'Personal' Coaching is a solution-focused approach to personal development that can help someone to make lasting change in all areas of their life. Coaches facilitate this change for their clients by empowering them with specific tools and scientifically tested techniques that work." - from the New Insights Africa website
The International Coaching Federation web site has the following definition of coaching: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Professional coaches provide an ongoing partnership designed to help clients produce fulfilling results in their personal and professional lives. Coaches help people improve their performances and enhance the quality of their lives.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach's job is to provide support to enhance the skills, resources, and creativity that the client already has.
What is the difference between coaching and counselling?
Briefly, coaching is solution focussed while counselling is problem focussed. Coaching aims to help a person function better towards defined life goals while counselling aims at fixing something in a person's life that might be experienced as "broken" or in need of fixing.
Coaching is future-oriented while counselling is orientated to the past. Both processes are valid and have a place in an individual's life. It might even be that a person needs therapy or counselling in order to benefit fully from coaching, if things in the individual's past are unresolved and holding them back from fully achieving their life goals.
The Life Wheel
The Life Wheel
Balance is important in finding purpose and happiness in life and so coaching focusses attention of all areas of life. The areas focussed on in the New Insights coaching method are represented in the "Life Wheel". Each area of the wheel needs to have an appropriate weight in a person's life and part of the coaching process is to examine imbalances and, when found, to take action to correct the imbalances. (See the diagram of the Life Wheel at right).
The idea is that any part of the wheel which is weaker than the rest causes potential "flat spots" on the wheel, much like the "flat spots" made on the wheel of a Formula One car when the brakes are applied too hard and too suddenly. And the effect on one's life is analogous to the effect on the Formula One car: loss of speed and traction.
The Coaching Programme
The coaching programme that I follow is the 13-session New Insights Africa process. The 13 sessions cover the following areas:
Session 1: Goals - the building blocks of success
Session 2: Resources and milestones - essential stepping stones to your goals
Session 3: Motivation - how your beliefs move you closer to success
Session 4: Beliefs - breaking down negative beliefs and rebuilding the positive
Session 5: Values - adopting a value structure for ultimate success
Session 6: Rules - uncover your hidden rules and always feel good
Session 7: Six Human Needs - which ones do you need met?
Session 8: Projection - all communication is projection
Session 9: Responsibility - the foundation for freedom
Session 10: Questions - the answer to everything
Session 11: Long Term Goals - what would you really love to do?
Session 12: Purpose - true meaning in life
Session 13: Celebration time!
To find out if life coaching would benefit a potential client I use a fairly detailed Life Balance Questsionnaire which I ask potential clients to complete before setting up the first session, which is always free and is exploratory.
The questionnaire probes the potential client's perceptions of their own Life Wheel to try to uncover the sources of any lack of balance, any areas where some action might improve the "roundness" of the Life Wheel. Such areas would then become the major (though not exclusive) focus of the Life Coaching process.
Some coaching resources
Code of Ethics
Since coaching is a new profession potential clients might be concerned about the ethical conduct of coaches.
The International Coaching Federation has drafted a code of conduct to which I as a coach adhere.
Although I am not yet a member of the ICF I nevertheless make the following pledge:
As a professional coach, I acknowledge and agree to honor my ethical obligations to my coaching clients and colleagues and to the public at large. I pledge to comply with the ICF Code of Ethics, to treat people with dignity as independent and equal human beings, and to model these standards with those whom I coach.
Should you want a copy of this Code of Ethics contact me and I will gladly let you have a copy.
Otherwise check the ICF web site at http://www.coachfederation.org for the full document and other interesting information regarding coaching.
Mobile Phone Number: 076 574 5299
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal Address: PostNet Suite 79, Private Bag X927, Pretoria, 0001.
The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.
© Tony McGregor 2008
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