There is a lot of confusion about coaching. Many successful people see a coach regularly because they recognise that having someone offer an outside perspective and ask them useful questions allows them to take their endeavours to the next level.
I am a coach and I use the services of a coach to keep me working well. I coach using mindfulness practices to help people untangle worry and confusion, pain and suffering and rediscover clarity, inspiration and confidence. Coaching is not counselling and I'm not a qualified counsellor. The main purposes of coaching is:
The difference and similarities between Coaching and Counselling
Both approaches can be useful, and when I coach I may at times take more of a counselling approach, but I see coaching as an effective way to encourage clients to improve their self-connection, become happier and more successful in achieving chosen goals. The big question is...
DO I NEED A COACH?
No. 'Need' is a strong word. You don't need - you are a capable human even if you have lost your way a little. You can work on yourself and you will arrive at the right place. A coach will facilitate that process to make it smoother, faster and easier. It's a choice. But here are 7 clear reasons you might choose a coach to help you, even if you feel fine:
1. COMPLACENCY: When you think you’ve tried everything you get complacent and can fall into the trap of belief that “it’s hopeless” or "I know what I’m doing." This is a stagnation. Coaches challenge knowledge, and will encourage you to learn, by asking “what may I be missing?” If discovered this can shift your entire worldview and help you enjoy and acheive more than ever before.
2. BLIND SPOTS: The longer you live and work the more blind spots you develop. Coaches point them out and help you plan to clear them.
3. UNBIASED HELP: Unlike friends and family coaches are unbiased, honest and skilful communicators. Coaches say it as they see it and try and remove their prejudice. They're not invested in your choices, so they won't be tainted by them. They’ll just aim to help you find the right path for you.
4.EXTRA ENERGY AND COMPUTING POWER: You haven't always got the energy and courage to ask pertinent and difficult questions of yourself. A coach will. With the energy boost comes another human to direct it at solving issues - two heads are better than one!
5. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: A coach supports you to manage conflict effectively - to walk the line between empathy and boundaries, from a detached perspective, and with the skill of their training and practice.
6. OPENING UP: You can be more open with a trusted coach than any other business relationship, and at times, even more than intimate relationships. This is helpful, to get stuff off the chest and stop wasting energy holding it. It can also be helpful to encourage us to open up vulneraby with those you’d like to be more intimate with; to build real connections.
7. EXPAND OPTIONS AND FOCUS DECISIONS: The Coach helps you significantly expand your options, and also your decision-making ability, by facilitating you to remind yourself of what is important and what isn't.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A COACHING SESSION?
Ok, you like the sound of that, yes? Confused about what will happen in the session?
Ok, here are 6 questions for you to consider, if you are thinking coaching might be helpful:
1. Do you have the courage to acknowledge that you may need or could be helped by a coach?
2. Are you ready to question your limiting beliefs, biases and assumptions that may be stopping you from achieving your full potential, or your organization’s full potential?
3. Do you and/or your organization/relationships lack a clear vision of where they want also lack inspiration and motivation?
4. Do you need to be shaken up out coasting and slumber, to get excited and refreshed?
5. Are you working hard, and yet not achieving all of your desired results?
6. Are you ready to make a learning commitment, and then build a learning culture?
If your answer 3 or more as 'Yes', then time has come for you to get yourself a skilled coach.
WHAT SHALL WE WORK ON?
Next, ask yourself - “what areas do you want to be coached on?” or even better "what is the outcome you want from these sessions?"
Often this is straightforward, as you are aware that there is unhappiness or ineffectiveness in certain areas or situations of your life. But remember, everyone can benefit from a coach so even if life is going pretty well, we can still use a coach to iron out blind spots and improve connections.
DETAILING THE INTENTION
If I’m a little stuck I can choose to look at my lifestyle in more detail. For me I think of 10 core roles (I call them roles, because I choose to act them, and put on a slightly different persona and set of values for each). I look at each and decide how I'm doing and what issues I'm facing.
10 Roles to consider:
1. PERSONAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER
2. SPIRITUAL BEING (connected to something larger than can be understood)
3. FINANCE MANAGER
4. CAREER/ BUSINESS MANAGER
5. A ROMANTIC PARTNER
6. A JOYFUL PLAYER OF RECREATION
7. A CONTRIBUTOR TO COMMUNITY
8. A FIT AN HEALTHY HUMAN
9. A CARETAKER OF MY HOME/ENVIRONMENT
10. A FAMILY MEMBER AND FRIEND
TRY IT NOW!
Take 15 minutes now to rate yourself out of 10 and then go through the issues on the ones that are lowest. Make two lists:
Positive (+) = All the things I'm doing well in (Generating well being)
Negative (-) = All the things I'm avoiding, have resistance or confusion about (Depleting energy)
here's my one to show you how it might be done:
1. PERSONAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT MANAGER: (7 /10)
+ I'm reading loads and writing.
- I'm avoiding more retreats and investing money in new training, my writing is unfocused and sporadic, I'm indulging in isolating myself, and in addictions like youtube/movies/fb a little too much.
2. SPIRITUAL BEING: (10 /10)
+ I'm meditating and opening up to trust life
3. FINANCE MANAGER: (7 /10)
+ I'm making money and accumulating wealth
- I'm not doing accounts as much as I'd like, I'm not creating systems, I'm not investing money wisely, I'm not planning for my future
4. CAREER/ BUSINESS MANAGER: (7 /10)
+ I'm busy, with plenty of appointments, I'm writing my book and self-learning
- I'm not responding to emails quickly enough (within 8 hrs), I'm not planning for growth, I'm not systemizing enough (invoices for example), I'm not sure where I'm headed and if the sums add up.
5. A ROMANTIC PARTNER: (8 /10)
+ I'm in love and being honest and open, I'm suggesting next steps...
- I'm not sure where it's going / if it'll work, I've not visualised enough to make sure I definitely want it.
6. A JOYFUL PLAYER OF RECREATION: (9 /10)
+ I'm playing guitar sometime, I'm climbing sometimes, I'm playing with slackliners, I'm dancing, playing board games
- I'm taking dancing too seriously,
7. A CONTRIBUTOR TO COMMUNITIES: (8 /10)
+ I'm helping a lot with BM and I'm thinking about putting together more intimacy spaces
- I'm not finding the courage or time to action the intimacy spaces, I'm avoiding social spaces a little
8. A FIT AN HEALTHY HUMAN: (8 /10)
+ I'm eating well, sleeping well, keeping fit, hydrated and stretching. I'm balancing screen and sitting time.
- I'm not as strong or flexible as I'd like, I've damaged: my shoulder blade a little
9. A CARETAKER OF MY HOME / ENVIRONMENT (6 /10)
+ I'm cleaning up efficiently, my room is tidy, my g-drive is in good order, I'm recycling and being mindful
-I'm not staying on top of mobile phone/laptop/car maintenance, I'm still making lots of trash
10. A FAMILY MEMBER AND FRIEND: (7 /10)
+ I'm in regular contact with family, and friends, I'm having dinner with friends,
- I'm avoiding going out in evening, or phone calls, I'm not relaxing and being myself as much as I'd like, I'm not being as generous as I'd like
So when I look at this I see my areas of lower score are Caretaker and Finance, followed by Family/friends, Career and Personal Growth. So to delve in and prioritise by only looking at the lowest ones first.
DEVELOPING MY INTENTION
This analysis has helped me see that a lot of my time is wasted on worry, addiction/ procrastination and not planning ahead for the future. So these are the areas to work on, within the lowest two roles:
Caretaker: I want to get my maintenance items done because they weigh on my mind. To do this I want to make a list of those items and use the 'swallow the frog' method to knock them off one-by-one. The outcome I want is to feel my house is in order and I have routines scheduled to make it easy.
Friendships: I want to be myself more, relax and be honest, generous, and make time to connect. To do this I want to think about what values I cherish, why I want these values and who in my life do I want to see more of. Then to consider how to communicate this and facilitate it happening. The outcome I want is ease, fun and honesty in my friendships.
I can then choose to look deeper at my other items in the same way, but not until I've addressed these two action points with a coach. If I slow down and take one step at a time, instead of tackling everything at once I am more effective and less stressed.
WANT A COACH?
I hope this inspires you to have a think about your life and if you want a coach to help you. If you think this is for you please get in touch - there are three ways I offer this:
1. PERSONAL COACHING: I coach people from all walks of life - some with trauma, and others who want to just enjoy life more and learn to connect to what they love, just like I am showing here. I do this in-person, at my home, or via skype, or going out for a walk-and-talks (which is the most cost effective!) Taster sessions are available now.
2.CORPORATE SESSIONS: I work in offices in groups and with individuals who'd like to improve their flow, their inspiration and their headspace, so they can work happily and effectively. Email me now if you'd like a taster session.
3. GROUP CO-COACHING TEACHING: I also offer courses in co-coaching. Sign up alone or with a friend and over a single session we can teach everyone in the group how to coach, and we can create a network of co-coaches, so that we never have to pay another penny to coach. I have used co-coaching and co-counselling over the last 5 years to help me. If you think this might be for you email me and I'll add you to the email list to let you know when the next session will be.
Ciao for now!
Neil Morbey is a meditation teacher, group facilitator and inspiration guide for Positively-Mindful.com