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January 20, 2010

New Year, New Start, New You!

How many of us set ourselves ambitious New Year Resolutions year after year only to give up on them before even the end of January?

Life Coaching is something you may have heard of but perhaps know little about.  Let me enlighten you!

Coaching’s a relatively new profession – being around in the UK for the past 15 years or so.  It draws on a number of disciplines, including psychology, counselling and sports coaching but don’t let that put you off!  A coach does not “fix” people and is neither a counsellor nor a mentor.  A coach does not delve into or analyse a client’s past or tell them what they should be doing.  Coaching is about supporting, motivating and enabling a client to move from where they are now to where they want to be; clarify what they want to change, plan how to do it and to then achieve their goals.  So yes, my clients have to feel there is something about their life that they want to change for the better and be ready, willing and able to make that change!   A coach works in partnership with their client – confidentiality is assured – and the client controls both the agenda and pace.  A coach sees each client as the the unique person they are – a resourceful individual who despite perhaps thinking otherwise, knows themselves best of all!  The coach’s expertise lies in their listening and questioning skills, raising their client’s self awareness and challenging beliefs – sometimes held since childhood – which are holding them back from achieving what they really want to achieve.  There is no airy fairy language, no scary techniques and it really does work!  The testimonials I have received are proof of that, together with talking to many other life coaches who I’ve come across and from being coached myself.  How does it help?  Well, it gives you time out from the hustle and bustle of Life – time to reflect and decide on what you do – and don’t – want.  It gives insight, understanding and resolution as you receive the undivided attention, support and motivational boost of a skilled professional coach.

I specialise in telephone coaching.  In my experience, clients are more open over the phone, rapport is not compromised and it is much more convenient – for both client and coach!  It means the appointments I can offer are more flexible – I coach clients whilst they are at work or when they are in the comfort of their own home enjoying a cup of tea!  Some of my clients I have never met and yet we have built a very successful 2 way coaching relationship.  My sessions are around 50 minutes long, some clients have several sessions, others considerably more – it really is up to each individual.  In general, clients find it best having a session every week or fortnight to begin with, with sessions often becoming more infrequent as they become increasingly focused, motivated and self directed in achieving their chosen goals.  The average coaching relationship may last 3 – 6 months.

What sort of “issues” can life coaching help you with?  You name it!  Some of my clients have had very specific goals they wanted to achieve – like establishing an exercise programme which will fit in with their busy lifestyle, or wanting to find a more rewarding job.  Others really haven’t known what they want to achieve – they just feel something isn’t right, they’re tired of that feeling and they want to work out what it is and make it better!  Whether it’s achieving a better work/life balance, building self esteem and confidence, feeling more positive about the future or taking control of finances, coaching really can help you – so long as you are also prepared to make a change!

When was the last time someone listened to you for a full 50 minutes, giving you their 100% commitment, support and encouragement, celebrating your success without passing judgement, giving their opinion or constantly interrupting you?

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