Looking at the FAQs
By Maggie Balbaa
High pressure lifestyles can leave us exhausted and confused. Yes, we can become more holistic, improve our diet, get more exercise, but sometimes that isn’t enough. That’s where the role of a lifestyle coach comes into play. But what exactly is coaching? How can it improve us?
Who is “the Coach”?
Many people have coaching in their daily lives without consciously defining it that way. A good trainer in a team is a coach, a teacher who guides his pupils is a coach and a manager who helps an employee develop on the personal and the professional levels is a coach too. However, a professional coach in the field of human development can be defined several ways.
Per the ICF (International Coach Federation), the definition of professional coaching is: “Partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.”
Sometimes our lives become so subjective we are unable to see the bigger picture. It takes someone with a more detached view to get us back on track. By asking us the right questions it is easier for us to see things in a broader perspective again. We can then explore all the possibilities and choices that the situation has to offer.
Another way of putting it would be that a coach is like a torch that can be of assistance in dark times.
What does a Coach do?
In today’s world, with all the stress and distress, it is a fact that actually everyone can benefit from having a coach. People have become more and more aware of the importance and the benefits of being coached. This is becoming more concrete on many levels; from multinational companies that get their executives and managers coached regularly, to the many individuals that have tried or at least heard of the concept.
Coaching sessions are mainly on a one-to-one basis. Group sessions are also available and would more likely take the form of a workshop. The relationship between a client and a coach is a lifetime one. A coach can tackle any subject or point with the client as per the need arising in the session, which means that any challenge that the client is facing can be handled with the coach.
Coaching sessions have no agenda, in the sense that the coach has no plan for how it will go inside with the client. They simply go with the flow of where it is leading. The techniques used in coaching vary from one session to the other depending on the issue, the client and again, the flow of the session.
Self-discovery and Coaching
Coaching has proved to be very beneficial when it comes to self-discovery. During the sessions, the client is confronted with both the hidden and known aspects of himself, which constitute the way he thinks and acts. Concepts like values and beliefs (empowering and limiting) are only a fraction of what the client can discover about himself through coaching. Passions and things you love and hate are a true component of your own happiness and sense of fulfillment. In this sense, coaching can also help in formulating life goals and determining clear outcomes. The more you know yourself, the more you will discover areas that you need to develop and others that you need to strengthen.
Of course a coach often comes up against denial and rejection of suggestions, so coaches must be patient in allowing the client come to his own realizations. This could be considered as a 7 step process:
- Denial: “This cannot be happening to me.” In this phase the client denies having the problem or the issue. They are trying to fully understand what they are experiencing.
- Anger: “Why me?” The feelings associated with this phase are rage and resentment. The degree of letting out that anger differs from one person to another.
- Bargaining: “I should have done this instead of that.” This is the subconscious way of trying to balance things, it is sometimes associated with guilt or feeling of regret, depending on the situation.
- Depression: “I give up”. In this phase, the person’s energy becomes very low and many negativ feelings of hopelessness begin to emerge. In order for the person to move on to stage 5, they need to acknowledge what is happening, own the problem and embrace the situation to be able to release that tension. If the person fails to do that, they might fall back to stage 2 or 3 and sometimes even 1.
- Acceptance: “I am getting to know myself all over again”. In this phase the person takes responsibility of how things are going and of their own life as a whole.
- Rebirth: “I am changing my life and starting all over”
- Creation: “I am moving on”. In this phase the person feels the change that has occurred and is creating his new life that will soon become his new status-quo.
When the client reaches the 7th step, and tastes that new status-quo, it is then when they can feel the result of the coaching. The above stages may seem a lot, yet they have no time frame. One person can go through it all after or during one session while others can take months.
Is it possible to study to become a coach in Cairo?
It is good to note that learning coaching involves time, money and effort. There are several ways to do it. One of them is by learning NLP and getting accredited by the American Board (INLPTA) where you can later on continue the credit hours and become a certified coach after becoming an NLP practitioner. This curriculum is assured by Tamkeen Center in Sheikh Zayed. There is also the ICF accreditation. It is done via the “Enlighten Coaching Certification” program by Enlighten Company.