How can coaching nourish your soul?
Coaching is partnering with someone to support individuals on a thought-provoking and creative process to maximise their innate potential, helping set and reach goals in executive and leadership skills, health and wellness, starting a new business or even progressing their career. For broad growth and empowerment, rather than a specific area of focus, life coaching could be a suitable option.
Coaching as it is known today, was largely influenced by a 1960s movement that sought to help people discover their untapped human potential, and concepts of psychology that focus on self-awareness and personal growth. Our rapidly changing work, environmental and personal landscapes, and increasing understanding that our actions can shape our future has led to more people engaging coaches.
While similar to disciplines such as counselling or business consulting, Coaching is distinct in that it has a focus on self-initiated action and accountability. Instead of resolving issues arising from the past, or being given expert advice on how to approach situations, the key element of coaching is that it can generate creative solutions to change the future. The coach may use assessment tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, or ask questions to help clients gain insights and reflect on their behaviour. This clarity, in addition to goal setting can lead to very fulfilling results.
Coaching is not a regulated therapy in Australia, so it is worth checking before commencing if the coach is registered with the International Coach Federation Australasia, which offers continuing professional development and requires its members to abide by its Code of Ethics. Professional coaches usually offer a complimentary ‘discovery’ session during which you can ask any questions and check that they are the right fit for you. Another way to connect with proven coaches is to ask people you trust or admire for personal recommendations.
Popular types of coaching:
- Life Coaching
- Financial Coaching
- Relationships Coaching
- Wellness Coaching
- Health Coaching
- Business Coaching
- Career Coaching
Benefits of coaching
Coaching can positively impact individuals life, career, and wellness to become a dynamic leader, a great listener, or finding a better work-life balance. The individualised support provided by coaches can lead to more sustainable growth and change, as compared to simply attending courses or seminars.
The benefits are expected to align with the goals you are seeking to achieve, whether it be with a specific issue in your life, or simply with motivation. If you are seeking growth on a personal level, a life coach can help to identify your strengths or improve your decision-making skills.
Wellness coaching can also support you to define your idea of optimal wellness, or identify lifestyle changes you need to make. Health coaching has been successful in motivating and changing the attitudes of people with chronic diseases, with a study finding that it decreased ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms in children and improved the quality of life for the children and their families. Another clinical trial found that health coaching by a nurse trained in motivational interviewing reduced feelings of fatigue and increased wellbeing in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Other coaches can specialise in helping you to develop in identified areas of your life such as relationships or finances.
Coaching is not only applicable to your personal life. Organisations are increasingly aware that well-rounded, emotionally intelligent leaders help organisations to succeed, and are using coaching as a way of investing in their high-potential executives. In fact, multiple meta-analyses of available evidence showed that workplace coaching created positive impacts on outcomes such as performance and skill, wellbeing and work attitudes.
Coaching may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Behavioural issues
- Brain fog and clarity
- Circulation and cardiovascular conditions
- Communication and self-expression
- Concentration, focus and problem solving
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Conflict resolution
- Fatigue, burnout and exhaustion
- Fears and phobias
- Love and Relationships
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Stress and tension
What to expect from a coaching session
In your first session, do pay attention to whether you feel comfortable with the coach, and whether you have a rapport with them, as research has found that your belief in the strength of the coaching relationship is an important ingredient for successful coaching.
Before you begin, your coach will ask questions to establish your goals and desired outcomes. They may invite you to consider why your goals are important, discuss potential strategies, and explore any hesitancies that arise. Ideally, you should leave the session with action items you can work towards or put into practice for the next session. Coaching to achieve your goals may last for three to six months.
In order to gain the most out of your coaching session, you will need an open mind and prepare to be challenged. Change is essential to growth, and your coach is likely to ask you powerful and occasionally difficult questions to help you realise different possibilities. Some coaches also recommend that you keep a journal to help you reflect on your sessions as well as record real-life situations for future discussion.
Your coach is there to facilitate your development and assist you in reaching your goals. However, a coach does not take the place of a counsellor or a medical professional. Coaching may involve the discussion of very personal subjects, and if you believe coaching may bring up any emotional distress, do speak to your medical professional before commencing sessions.