Friday, October 13, 2006

Personal Coaching - Top 7 Basics and an Important Key

Personal Coaching is becoming more popular in day-to-day living, to set goals, stay on track and achieve goals, while balancing family and work.

Personal Coaching helps a client to realize more of his potential, achieve his goals and enjoy success in many areas of life. Personal coaching also helps a client to succeed in business while maintaining quality time with family and a rewarding personal life.

Coaching is defined as- "a strategy used to help a client reach her fullest potential and achieve her goals. The coach first helps to define the goals, and then supports the client in executing them by mapping out a strategy and helping her stay on track. Coaching helps to balance work, family and social demands as well as leisure and spiritual activities." -by East End Guild of Wholistic Practitioners (

Top Seven Basics:

1) Why Coaching

Even when you have all the facts, it is easy to get distracted and lose focus. If your ambitions and goals are important to you, you need to make sure that you will stay on track. Coaching provides a solid opportunity to achieve your goals fast.

"Coaching can certainly help you strengthen your sense of self-worth, focus on your goals — and get there, fast." - The London Daily Telegraph

People who are already successful in professional sports, in the entertainment industry or in the business world still have a coach because they understand the value that comes from coaching. That is how they keep on winning and make further progress.

2) When to Get Coaching

If I were preparing for a marathon, I would get a coach. If I am planning to start a new business, but do not know how, I would get a coach. I could have used coaching when I was trying to host my first website or when I was trying to learn a new tool. I could use coaching when I want to make progress in life or in business, or live a disciplined life. I could use coaching to set goals, to get support in executing them by mapping out a strategy and to get help to stay on track.

Can I do without coaching? Yes. I can learn on my own and do whatever is necessary to accomplish the desired outcomes. However, it takes longer and becomes difficult and there are pitfalls of giving up. If I can afford, I would get a coach, so that I can focus on achieving my goals and live a rewarding life with discipline. Coaching helps me to keep myself accountable and on track.

3) How to Find a Coach

Searching on the internet can bring you many options. You may also ask around in your personal network. When you ask around, look for the facts, not the opinions. Everyone's needs and goals are different. Choose the one that is suitable and affordable to your needs. See the expertise of the coach below.

4) Competence and Expertise of the Coach

Personal and Business Coaches Daniel Midson-Short and David Wood, PCC note that - coaches do not need to be certified to begin coaching, though it is important for development of the skill and the coaching profession. In addition, that - coaching the clients and helping them to change and improve their lives will give a coach more confidence and marketability than all the certificates the resume can hold. (Independent Report on Coach Training and Certification by Daniel Midson-Short & David Wood, PCC)

There are many successful coaches – some are certified, some are not.

A client should choose a coach with whom he feels comfortable and who is suitable for his specific needs. Client can try the free sessions and see if a particular coaching program is suitable and affordable for his or her needs.

If you are looking for a general life coaching, any life coach may do. If you have specific goals and needs, you need a coach who is competent enough or who has experience in coaching others with similar goals. Example: Starting a web based business, online marketing, investment and trading, learning a new software language, developing and marketing software etc. Coaching is not training but a coach having knowledge of a particular field can greatly reduce your time and efforts.

5) Coaching Relationship

A solid coaching relationship is important for long-term success and ongoing progress of the client in accomplishing his goals with less stress and in less time. James Flaherty notes in "Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others" that the elements in a coaching relationship comprise of - mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual freedom of expression. Confidentiality is an important part of the communication in coaching. Client should open up to sharing the actual situations than what he thinks the coach wants to hear. Coach should be open enough to observe the things that matter without judging.

6) Commitment

Commitment to the coaching process should be from both client and coach. Both should agree about schedules, about what is possible and what is acceptable. Address any obstacles. Client is the one who needs to take action and it is his or her interest in focus in coaching. Coach holds the client accountable and encourages doing more. The schedules and action plans are flexible and can be adjusted based on the new circumstances or possibilities. Coach should state clearly the practical steps involved in accomplishing the desired outcomes, without trying to sugar coat, but at the same time believing in client's ability to achieve them through a practical approach.

7) Coaching Process

Identify the immediate concerns and future possibilities. Set goals, establish a strategy, and make an action plan. The purpose of the coaching is to help the client take action and stay on track. Therefore, it is an ongoing process for the duration of the coaching period. Coach and client communicate on scheduled intervals, anywhere from weekly to monthly basis. Client can be assigned with homework and assignments.

Coaching is a process of observation, correction and improvements. The purpose of the coaching has the client's best interests in focus. The same techniques become less effective overtime. That is how so many New Year resolutions fail. Therefore, the ongoing communication is an important key to get the full benefits of coaching. Rather than just a course, coaching is an ongoing, evolving process through questions and feedback.

Coach's goal is to keep the coaching sessions and the process as practical as possible for the client to succeed, as the client may already be busy with his own tasks.

When you establish goals and create an action plan, the progress should be measurable. Ex: If a client is struggling to stay motivated and disciplined to exercise regularly, with the help of a coach, if he is able to exercise regularly for 60 days, then this is identifiable. Coach's goal is to make the client take action towards the attainment of desired outcomes.

* Important Key: Commitment, Communication and Hope

Understanding the fact that coaching is for client's own benefit helps him stay committed to the coaching relationship. One's own resolution to continue the process is what keeps it going. It is easy to get bored and give up. Client and coach keep the communication going and address any obstacles and hindrances, and implement the required solutions and plans.

There must be something worthwhile that you (client) are trying to accomplish. Never lose sight of the HOPE - there is always a hope of getting to where you want be, as long as you do not give up.

To learn what the successful people and the media are telling about coaching, see - why coaching.

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