I recently spent two days finding out more about coaching and wanted to share this experience. But what is coaching? Maybe it’s easier to say what it is not. It is not; sports coaching, counselling, therapy, navel gazing, self indulgent or new age.
What I’m talking about is a person you don’t know, who is qualified, to help you define your own goals, and work towards these in your own timescales. Someone who will listen to you, with no hidden agenda, expectations, or wanting to get their own two pence in. This is not a conversation, this is coaching, a very different experience. A coach will ask the right questions, to help you find corners of your brain, and connections you may not know were there.
Maybe you know what you want but don’t know how to get there. Maybe you think you have no idea what you want, but have a vague sense of dissatisfaction with some aspect of your current world. This could be parenting, relationships, career, redundancy, finances, health, confidence, self esteem, anything, or everything. Maybe you are lucky and have coaching on offer at your current work. Take it up, you are unlikely to regret it, and what have you got to lose?
Of course there is the Internet, with a myriad of self help sites, find your passion, simplify your life, stop being busy etc. These are great in there own way, especially when you find one that resonates with you. Take what works for you (ditch what doesn’t) and fit it into your life. Try different changes to your routine and see what sticks. This can take time, you might want to change things faster, or you may have tried this and want to try something more.
Qualified coaches in your geographical area, and area of interest (what you want to focus on), can be found on a directory of qualified people. Yes, there are recognised coaching qualifications, and a certification body. This way you know the person you find has actually completed an acredited course with practical experience. Most coaches provide a free introductory session by phone, for you both to see if you can work together. You may only need a few sessions, or longer term, it depends what you want to focus on and what your goals are.
However if you are empathetic, and you like talking to people, you might want to explore coaching as a career. Or add it to your skills for your current role. Would this be something your current employer would pay for you to do as part of your development? The UK’s first, and largest, accredited training organisation, The Coaching Academy, runs two day free, yes I said free, coaching taster sessions. I can vouch that this is not just a two day sales pitch for their courses. It is a valuable taster into what coaching is, if you would like to take it forward, and how to do this. The room was filled with positive and inspiring people. The sessions were interactive and executed to a high standard. It can be done at a weekend, and there are sessions in Manchester and London. What are you waiting for?