The field of personal coaching has evolved over the past ten years, with the goal of helping individuals create the life they want rather than stumble through the life they have.

No top-notch professional athlete would ever dream of being without a coach. Successful corporate leaders and business owners have had coaches for years in the form of business advisors and organizational development professionals. Almost every successful business person I have ever known gets help when s/he needs it. Often successful business people don't even have a life outside of their businesses. The fact is, organizing and leading a successful personal and social life that includes a love relationship that is fulfilling, personal friendships that are satisfying, and a worklife that is enjoyable and fun is an even more difficult task than running a successful business.

Coaching is not psychotherapy. Personal coaching is essentially for healthy individuals who need help bringing success into their personal lives. When an individual has difficulty translating or integrating what has been learned in therapy into their everyday life, the coaching experience often provides a needed bridge between the therapeutic laboratory and life. The first step towards changing the things that are not working in our lives is to identify what they are. A coach gives gentle constructive feedback so that you have an opportunity to change your behavior and your environment to get a different, more positive result.

A personal coach creates a safe environment for you to explore your hopes and dreams. Having a coach is like having someone permanently in your corner, someone who always supports you, encourages you, and tells you the truth in a kind way, even when you don't like what you are hearing. A coach listens to you without judgment or a personal agenda.

A personal coach helps you identify what you want and how you would like your life to be. Then together you craft a plan with a detailed set of goals. Next you agree on regular tasks to move you in the direction of the life you want. When, as it happens throughout the coaching process, you meet your resistances to change, you work with your coach (to approach and engage with the often hidden and habitual factors that have kept you from moving forward successfully. Working together you discover the keys to those doors which have been closed to you. This step of working with resistance is usually an essential element of the change process.

Being coached isn't always an easy process, but it is a rewarding one. There are inevitable bumps along the way, but navigating the territory without a guide at your side is a much more difficult and lonely task. A coach helps you through the rough spots.

The job of a personal coach is not to tell you what to do and force you to move forward. A trained professional coach helps you discover what you actually want and uncover various roads to get there. The coach's job is to make you aware that you can make conscious choices, by pointing out your options, your blind spots, your talents, your goals and your fears. You must have courage to hire a coach because the coach's job is to lead you into the unknown. The process is often exciting, sometimes a bit scary, and almost always a little out of your comfort zone.

Most of my work as a personal coach is done by telephone because it is often not feasible to meet in person. If the client and the coach live in close proximity, coaching sessions may occur in person. At first the coach may set the agenda for each session until the client becomes familiar with the working process. An early goal of the coaching process is to have the client set the agenda for each session. In this way the person gets to work on what s/he feels is essential at that moment of his or her life. The coach will intervene to alter or add to the agenda only when the client's agenda avoids their stated goals.

I work only with clients who are willing to make a commitment for an extended period of time. Real life changes do not occur quickly but over time, and when I work with someone I want us to have a good chance for success.

Those who need or seek a coach have a number of things in common. In my work I've identified twelve common reasons why people seek and need a coach.


© 2013 WorkLife Coaching