The impression of a coach standing in a tracksuit beside the rugby field watching a bunch of sweaty rugby players is one of the past. There is a new breed of coaches assisting people to achieve a more positive lifestyle and reaching their dreams.
What is Life Coaching:
Life coaching is a new profession. Life coaching started in the late 1990’s, and is now popular with people in all walks of life.
Life coaches act as a support base and listening post to assist you in achieving what it is you want out of life. Coaches do not tell what to do, they get you to question your present way of life and attitude to life. Based on your response, they help you set goals whilst providing tools, support and a structure to accomplish more.
A life coach can help you:
• Adapt to change.
• Reassess your lifestyle.
• Simplify your life.
• Reduce stress and have more fun.
• Institute a fitness or weight loss programme.
• Improve the quality of your personal and professional life.
• Live a more balanced life.
However, life coaches are not therapists. They don’t work on the past, or ‘issues’. Coaches believe that the client is a whole person and that everybody has the inner ability to produce, change and grow. Carl Rogers believed that individuals ‘are creators and artists of their lives’.
Life coaches therefore can’t help you:
• Manage depression.
• Overcome addiction.
• Deal with any sort of disorder.
• Come to terms with serious past issues like sexual abuse.
Therapy and Coaching:
A good way to view the foundational differences between therapy and coaching is to think of two cars driving along a sandy, wave washed shoreline.
One car hits a log and breaks an axle, sinking deep into the sand.
The other car swerves to keep from hitting the log, but in so doing sinks into the sand.
For the first car, the only hope is a tow truck and a week in the shop. It is broken and cannot go further. This is a therapy patient.
The second car merely needs a push, a little traction under its wheels, and it continues its race across the sand. This is the coaching patient.
How it works:
Coaching these days is done –
Face to face (Depending on distances).
You will initially have an introductory session with your coach. At this meeting your blocks, goals and the platform for the course is agreed upon. After this, coaching is done over the phone or one of the other electronic means, once a week for half an hour. You may be asked to commit to a minimum number of sessions, after which you can continue for as long as you wish.
Finding a coach
To find a coach, visit the Coaches and Mentors of South Africa web site (COMENSA) at http://www.comensa.org.za.
Before choosing your coach, ask for a free introductory session to see if you click with your coach. Remember that you are looking for someone who asks the right questions, listens and has empathy. Avoid people who make unrealistic promises and ignore your own needs and feelings.
By Rob Lindegger