Have you noticed that everyone is a "coach"? It seems to me that every boss, every consultant, every advisor at some point refers to themselves as a "coach" or refers to their work as "coaching". I remember walking into a store at one point where every employee was wearing a shirt that said: "I am your entertainment life coach" on it. I am not sure what they meant by that but it sure as heck isn't what I do.
My approach to coaching is very straightforward and yet difficult to do well. My approach is NOT about telling you what you "should do". My approach is not about "nagging" you to behave differently. And my approach is NEVER about telling you that you need to be someone other than who you are.
The truth is - if personal change were easy, we would all be perfect by now...however you choose to define perfection. Personal change is not easy. It requires insight, encouragement, and support.
Similarly, if personal fulfillment, growth and development were all about acquiring more "skills", or more "knowledge", well there would be a school for that. It isn't that simple.
My approach to coaching results in transformative change. Change in how you see yourself and quite frankly, in how you show up in the world. As one of my clients said: "Since I started working with you, everything in my life is better. Is this typical?". My response was, "When you show up in your life differently, then everything in your life changes."
Here is how I work with clients.
Know Who You Are: My approach to coaching is to spend some time helping you discover and understand who you truly are. This is a fascinating process and really a life long journey because our experiences help define or at least expose who we truly are. If you have ever suffered a great personal loss then you have experienced grieving. You undoubtedly have a much greater understanding of who you are having gone through that grieving process. I know I did. Knowing who you are involves uncovering your values, your belief systems, your assumptions and even your aspirations.
Accept Who You Are: Once we have a start at knowing who you are, we work at helping you to accept who you are...warts and all. People are about potential, not perfection. Once you accept who you are, you will learn how to manage your inner critic and you will show up with renewed authentic self confidence. Imagine feeling confident regardless of the situation you are facing...
Be Who You Are: Accepting who you are allows you to be consistently that person. A person of truth. A person of integrity. A consistent representation of your best self. This is where true influence starts to be generated and where your impact starts to increase dramatically.
Once the foundation is well under construction, we will talk about your Direction. Some people are lucky enough to have a "Core Purpose" or "Life Destination". There are a few with that clarity and it is great if you have it or get it. However, for most of us, it is actually having a Direction that is most important.
A Direction allows you to make consistent decisions about your future. A Direction allows you to seek out and find opportunities that are aligned with your future. A Direction means that you are never committed to that "one thing" but rather that you can change the path of your life's journey, guided by your Direction. Amazing things can happen when people start to focus their attention on their personal Direction instead of at any and all points on the compass.
Once the Foundation is under construction and the Direction is being determined, we will spend time focusing on the Connection.
The Connection is a number of different skills, approaches, models and perspectives that will help you stand on your Foundation and make progress toward your future in alignment with your Direction. A lot of people want to start with skills development or behavioural programs but these simply don't work. The core work of Foundation and Direction are critical first steps in determining what the Connection pieces need to be.
If you would like a bit more detailing on the nature of Professional Coaching, please click here.