I was sitting in a quaint little cafe in Windsor with friends when the topic of life coaching arose. It started off with the subject of NLP. I do not know much about NLP except that is an acronym for neuro linguistic programming. The sound of it makes me think of hypnotism and mysticism. I mentioned that I had had some experience with life coaching, which I believed relevant to the conversation? Was it really? I don’t know. So if I happened to change the topic of the conversation it was not deliberate at least.
I was then asked to explain exactly what is life coaching. Coming up with a succinct definition was not an easy task. Life coaching can be anything really. The focus can be on your personal life, it can include relationships or your career. Alternatively you can have coaching to focus on your business, or your desire to start and grow your own successful business. I have been contacted a number of times from an organisation in the East midlands who call themselves ActionCoach. They seem to be quite widespread throughout the UK. Then after some research I discovered they are a franchise and originate from Australia where the CEO of ActionCoach, Brad Sugars hails from.
I did some internet research on life coaching just now and the results were interesting as my search brought up pages on NLP in addition to sites on coaching. It seems I must have been right above that they are in some way linked, just how, I do not know. I came across this fantastic little animated movie that I think is a very good overview of how life coaching works.
It is important not to confuse coaching with counselling. Counselling lies on the side of psychology and therefore similar to the doctor/client relationship. Coaching, on the other hand, is more action based and is more like an academic relationship between teacher and student. However the coach is not telling you things, and they do not lecture you. But the coach does set their client homework, and the client is held accountable. In that respect there is more demand placed on the client as they are expected to be action oriented and to plan and execute a series of tasks.
There are a large number and variety of organisations and people who deliver coaching directly to clients, and who run training courses in coaching. I myself had some coaching with a brilliant coach from Genratec, and I found the experience extremely valuable and most definitely life changing – in a good way. I gained so much from the coaching and benefitted to such an extent that I could not have imagined possible. I have felt so grateful for this opportunity that I believe the role of the coach is a very important one. It has been a few years now, and I have often fancied doing some training myself so that I could become a life coach. I was attracted to the idea of being able to help other people like I was. There are many courses out there too. I found that they offer a post graduate certificate in coaching at Derby University. The prospectus makes the course sound interesting, and I would very much like to take the course. The problem at this moment in time is where and how to find the time (excuse the pun). So this project of mine may have to be put on hold for the time being, but it something to think about for next year perhaps?