• Kaidi Bowen

How does coaching help you?

Coaching is not just for executives or for when things go wrong; it's not counselling, and it's not mentoring. So, now we know what it isn't, let's explore what it is and what it can do for you.

Let's think about, why you choose a certain mindset? Do you choose excitement over anxiety when doing something new? Remorse over celebration when a great bookends? Do you procrastinate over decision making when you have a unique opportunity to consider?

Whatever we choose to focus on, we feel, but we don't recognise this by ourselves naturally but it's highlighted by working with a coach, clients will learn to make their own resonant choices about what they choose to have as their focus.

We can often spend a long time considering the viability of things, talking ourselves out of trying things because we believe we can't achieve them. We focus inwards, listening to our inner critic - we don't even consider the possibilities of what's achievable if we faced our fear and then just took action and did it, choosing a new perspective or lens to look through.

Overcoming our fears is made more accessible by working with a coach. An acronym often used is 'FEAR', standing for 'false evidence appearing real', which invites a new perspective with a lot less judgement from either yourself or your coach around your fears. "FEAR" also stands for First Action In Learning, a coach will encourage you to examine if the fear is a limiting belief which is no longer serving to protect you.

A limiting belief is one which may have formed while growing up, maybe quite by accident, which may be holding you back from achieving your desired life. A limiting belief is 'limiting', as often these beliefs seem like they are facts, truth even when after further investigation, we could find this may not be the case. Some call it 'playing small' when we fear to expand our horizons and so live a less fulfilling life.

All of us have our inner critic which pretends to be on our side, telling us we are not good enough, not attractive enough, acting to save us from embarrassment. Its essential role has been diminished in modern society; back in the stone ages it saved our lives and protected us from danger, but now it can hold us back. We need to learn when to take notice and when to quieten it, acknowledging when it's just our saboteurs having a party at our expense. When listening to our inner critic, we can miss out on exploring our more comprehensive options and living a fulfilled life.

Coaching can provide tools or management strategies to help keep our emotions working to our advantage. You will also learn to connect with your inner mentor or best self, where all your wisdom and clarity lies, allowing you a greater understanding of yourself, recognising your own beliefs, values, and what makes you feel fulfilled, allowing you to have the ability to make resonant life choices — in turn, making it easier to channel your efforts in the right direction.

Working with a coach is not always easy - you need to want to change. Transformative change comes when you're ready to explore and work on what creates dissonance and what stops you achieving your goals. A coach will help you explore what you want your legacy to be, what impact you want to have, what difference you want to make to others, and the world around you.

How does coaching work?

Coach and client create a close relationship based on trust. The coach asks powerful questions leading you into your thoughts to find your brilliance, reconnecting with your self-belief, helping you to grow in confidence, secure in your authentic self, or maybe just helping you to find your mojo or motivation - whatever is missing for you.

Different types of coaching

The most common type of coaching is 'career coaching', separate from life coaching in that it's usually far more practical, focusing on help with CV's, LinkedIn, and understanding the job market, added together with interview practice and preparation, and support finding your desired career to match your values.

Leadership coaching

Clients also come to coaching to be better leaders of people, to strategise the way forward in business. Leadership and executive coaching centres around enhancing the performance of the individual, thus increasing the performance of the company, in turn increasing the return on the investment made in coaching. Coaches can act as a sounding board, supporting the leaders to create smart plans to move forward in business succinctly. By coaching the whole person in all areas of their lives, they become more connected with themselves, which in turn naturally makes them better people managers and improves work-life balance.

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