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A Life Coach: the Antidote You've Been Searching For...

Some of you may have heard of Simon Sinek. His “Golden Circle” model has been used in my training for years now and it never gets old! Sinek says that we should always start with “Why”, then move onto the “How” and “What”. For example, if someone asks me what I do, the easy answer is; “I’m a Coach”. If they ask me to elaborate, I say; “I coach people to help them reach their personal or career goals by exploring their options and enhancing their self-awareness.” Very rarely does anyone ask me why I do it.

I have used coaching techniques since I started my career in HR about 12 years ago, but I may not have realised I was doing it! For me, coaching at its most basic is asking good questions in order to make the coachee think about and explore options. You don’t need to be a subject expert and you don’t need to have the answers. I have been a coach within a large public sector organisation for 4 years or so and I love it so much that I have started my own company.

I have sat with so many people who have a problem they can’t solve. They spend a good 20 minutes (sometimes a lot more!) telling me about this problem and all the bad things that are happening because of it. They tell me what they have tried and what hasn’t worked.

With a handful of great coaching questions, we strip back the problem so we can see it in front of us and almost touch it.

A few more questions and sometimes an explosion of verbalised thought process from the coachee, we have really bottomed out the problem.

Then we turn it around and start to look at the positives. What can you do to improve this? What has worked in the past? What will you do differently in the future? Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer and sometimes we go round in circle a few times but seeing the weight of that problem lift off the shoulders of my coachee is why I love coaching.

So here is my challenge for you:

Bring to mind something that you are stuck on at the moment. It could be; getting the right work-life balance, identifying your ideal client or a big financial decision, anything that you can’t quite get your head around. Now use these questions to help you work through it and see if you are any clearer at the end;

So why bother to get a coach?

You may not have thought about it before, you may think it’s just for big corporate organisations – it’s not! The biggest reasons that I hear are time and money but coaching doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. With the use of technology you don’t even have to be in the same place as your coach! To hire a coach is a financial investment and committing to that can be scary. The return on that investment however, could be great!

This image says it all. Coaching increases productivity, builds self-confidence and helps explore innovative ideas before moving the coachees into action.

Personally, I like to combine coaching with the use of a psychometric tool. The tool looks at behavioural and communication preferences and enhances the coachees self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

For small or large businesses, this can only mean increased productivity, a more effective and efficient workforce, which means savings on time and money.

Everyone could benefit from getting a coach. Whether you run your own company, work for a corporate organisation, you’re a stay at home parent, you’re returning to work or maybe you want to make a big change in your life or career. Getting a coach would greatly benefit all of you.

[If you would like to find out more about Simon Sinek, take a look at this TED talk You can also follow him on Facebook]

About the Author:

Sarah is an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a qualified coach with the Institute of Leadership and Management. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of Portsmouth and is a Clarity 4D Business Partner, with an NLP Diploma. If you think you could develop and grow with the help of a coach, send Sarah an email or message her via her Facebook page and find out how she could help you.

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