Can you do it alone?
A few weeks ago, I met a good friend for a meal and a catch up. As we ate, I told her that I hadn’t been feeling good; quite low and lacking motivation. I’ve known Sally for many years, and our lives have mirrored each other in so many ways over that time. However, she looked at me with wide eyes, quite astonished by what I’d said. "But how come you have all this skill and knowledge, that you use to help other people and yet you still feel this way?" she said. That’s a great question! In truth, I had been feeling a bit frustrated about my circumstances, and had tried the tools and techniques that I use when successfully helping other people.
So, why can’t I help myself?
I think there are many excellent tools that have been developed where people can practice self-improvement. I’ve written a few myself, some of which you’ll find on the Life Coach Directory. However, whilst I do sometimes offer these in isolation, I usually use these with clients in conjunction with, or in addition to, face to face coaching.
When I’ve given some thought as to why this works best, I’ve realised that it’s because of one major factor. Without personal contact and interaction, there’s a piece missing. Without another perspective, there’s no alternative view. Without another set of eyes, there are places to hide, without reassurance, there are unanswered questions. In other words, there’s no challenge. Now that makes coaching sound combative and antagonistic, and whilst a good coach will hold clients accountable, coaching should also be supportive and life-enhancing.
Many of these tools work very well, and serve a purpose. For example, when introducing a coaching culture into an organisation where individual coaching would be too prohibitive a cost. Here, they can be used, perhaps, by a group working together to develop their coaching skills. However, in my own experience, and in my own practice, having that element of challenge, that different perspective, that extra support is definitely more effective. The work is precise, specific, tailored, and can deliver excellent results quickly helping clients to move forward. So, dinner with my friend helped enormously as, rather than struggle on, I contacted my coach for a session. Progress at last.
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