Coaching: Helping you to help yourself!

If this is going to be another year of inaction, why not consider being coached to help you get more out of the life you want to lead, writes Keith McCarthy.

The start of any New Year, brings with it the usual list of wishes, wants, desires and plans for the year ahead. The reality is that many of the plans we make/think about, will dilute over time; that’s if they were even constructive in the first place. Many of our aspirations at the start of a year are tied into a desire to change something in our lives, whether that be dealing with a complex work related challenge, being stuck in a rut, a relationship issue or our health and well-being.  The list can go on. Often,  what we lack is clarity around what the issue is, the solution to resolve it and then the impetus and action to implement it. An intervention that can help is coaching. A coach can help you to gain that understanding and drive for action that you lacked in getting things done.

Keith McCarthy
Keith McCarthy

According to the Irish Lifecoach Institute, coaching is defined as “a professional relationship designed to assist a client to identify, and work towards, achieving their personal or business goals or aspirations”.  It is based on the premise that each person has all the answers to all their questions, and the role of the coach is to facilitate the client in gaining clarity, setting goals, and taking action. This applies in all areas of life, whether it is personal, business or executive coaching.

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Through coaching, values, needs, desires, goals and visions are clarified. Coaching is about achieving balance in one’s life. It facilitates change and progress in the client’s life enabling them to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life, congruent with their core values, priorities and sense of integrity.

Coaching is about personal responsibility. The client has more control over their life than they think they have. Coaching helps to create determination, dedication and commitment within the client to achieve her or his full potential. Self-belief, positive attitude and a willingness to engage fully with life to achieve one’s goals are emphasised and enouraged. The Coach will put a high value on honouring commitments in terms of action plans agreed at the end of each session.

Coaching is also about self-awareness. To know what you want, you must know who you are. Coaching assists the client to identify their limiting beliefs, which may be holding them back and to replace those beliefs with ones that will help the client’s progress. Coaching aims to help people clarify what they want out of life, set goals to achieve what they want and meet challenges effectively along the way. Coaching is future oriented and action oriented. It focuses on individual growth and development.

You dip in and out of coaching, depending on what issues come up in your life over time

Coaching is not counselling, therapy, consulting or mentoring although there are similarities in terms of structure and benefits. In consulting and mentoring the consultant and mentor are the experts who provide advice and solutions – in coaching you are the expert and you provide the solutions. Counselling and therapy deal with issues from the past and how they are affecting your present. In coaching we look at the present and work on how to achieve your future goals.

Coaching works on the client’s agenda – you decide what you wish to work on and how fast and far we go. The goals are goals chosen by you. The coaching process is similar no matter what area of life on which you wish to be coached, for example, work, family, relationships etc.

Each coaching experience is driven by the needs of the client, so the number of sessions you will require will depend on your needs. Typically clients will agree to a number of sessions (possibly four) and then after that the client and the coach can agree future sessions. Remember, you are in control, so what you say goes! You dip in and out of coaching, depending on what issues come up in your life over time. Your relationship with a coach is based on trust and integrity, ensuring that you can go with confidence  to your coach regularly or irregularly over time.

So if it is going to be another year of inaction, why not consider being coached to help you get more out of the life you want to lead! Remember this is about helping you to help yourself!!