Is coaching for me? Your questions answered
At this time with the various issues arising from the Coronavirus pandemic and its longer term effects, lots of people are considering life coaching or career coaching for the first time. It makes sense that when we have all been in lockdown or pushing through as a key worker, that we might want some impartial support to help us move forward in the best way.
What do coaches do?
If you are wondering exactly what a life coach does, a good way to think about it is having someone in your corner who has the skill to help you move from where you are now to where you want to be - even if you don’t exactly know where that is yet!
A skilled coach will have a range of techniques that will help you identify what you might want to focus on. This will enable you to work through blocks, confidence issues and anything else that might have been holding you back. They will also be able to assist you in looking to the future in a more positive and purposeful way.
How do I know who to choose?
If you have the opportunity to have a chat to your prospective coach you can discuss what you are looking for and get a sense of how you will be working. Every coach is different and it's good to find someone that you think you will be able to open up and work with. Remember, your coach isn’t there to be your best friend or just say what you want to hear, they are there to gently challenge, to positively identify areas that will help you get what you want out of life and assist you in pulling together strategies that will enable you to do that.
There are so many really dedicated coaches out there that sometimes it can be difficult to choose. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Instead look at areas that they might specialise in or skillsets they have that seem to fit with what you want to work on. Some approaches are quite rigid, using the same steps with each client. Others have a more flexible approach where you and your needs are central to the journey that you’ll go on.
There isn’t one right way, it just depends what you are drawn toward. If in doubt, take a look at articles they’ve written or their blogs and see which feel like they make sense to you.
You will notice that many coaches have specific fields they focus on. Some will work solely in one area (such as a family coach) others will have a broader spectrum that reflects their experience. It is quite normal to find a life coach who is also a business or career coach for example. You’ll find that coaches come from a widely diverse set of backgrounds and although many of the principles of coaching remain the same in different areas, it is this experience that will allow them to identify with your needs in a more specific way.
What if I’m not quite sure what I want to achieve?
Never let the uncertainty of what you want prevent you from starting out. It is of course perfectly fine to turn up with an agenda and say you want to get a new job and want help identifying what that might be and to have the confidence to get it. It’s also just as valid to say you’d like some help because you are feeling a bit stuck in a rut or just don’t feel too great at the moment.
There aren’t any rules as to where you have to start, the bravest thing to do is actually bite the bullet and give it a go.
Will it be worth it?
I believe it's always good to ask whether this is going to be worth the time, effort and money. Coaching works best when you fully commit to getting the most out of it, so it’s preferable to feel relatively positive about your decision. A good way of looking at it is once you have found a coach you feel you can work with, look at the cost of say six sessions and ask yourself, if you could be well on your way to what you want to achieve for the cost of those six sessions, would it be worth it? If the answer is yes, then the you have your answer.
I’m not even sure if anything can help
Coaching can help you deal with all number of challenges, life experiences and aspirations - career, loss, relationships, guilt, a phobia, happiness, confidence, stress, career progression… the list goes on. If it matters to you, then it’s worth spending time on.
Something else that many people worry about is the length of time they might have had an issue for. For some they might feel silly seeking help for something that they’ve only been experiencing for a few weeks. For others it could be something that has been going on for so long, they can’t imagine ever sorting it out. The bottom line is, if there’s something in your life you want to change, then a coach will probably be able to help you to do it. It doesn’t matter how new or old it is, only that you are ready and willing for that change to happen.
One thing is for sure, you should never be afraid or embarrassed to reach out to a coach. I know for some it can feel like a tough choice, but this is what coaches do day in, day out. We are here to be a confidential open space to bring your thoughts and you concerns to. There is no judgement, no expectations - other than providing the support you need to get you where you want to be.
Now, more than ever, people are finding that having some experienced unbiased support is doing everything from helping them get through to the end of the week to starting to make their life aspirations a reality.
Finally, there is no one type of person that comes for coaching, other than they tend to be more successful and happier ant the end than they were at the beginning. Coaching is there for anybody and everybody from the seemingly strongest leader to someone simply trying to make their way in life. The key is to decide to reach out and then follow it through. In time you may be very happy that you did.