Everyone has goals. Sometimes, all you need is the right person to help you achieve them; life coaches do just that. This week, You & I caught up with Satish Govindan, who elaborates on a profession that’s still new to Hyderabad.
Why would someone need a life coach?
People hire life coaches because they want positive results in their lives, and fast. We all desire certain things from life, but it is not always easy to accomplish these goals on our own. Sometimes, it just seems downright impossible. A coach trained to help you get past your stumbling blocks, and to encourage and guide you is a powerful resource. Your life coach will not buy excuses and will hold you accountable for accomplishing what you say you want. Essentially, life coaches give clients the positive kick in the rear for which they’ve been waiting.
How do you help people?
You would never expect an athlete to reach the Olympics without a world-class coach, nor would you expect a cricket team to enter the stadium without a host of them – head coach, batting coach, fielding coach, and physical coach. Likewise, coaching has moved into the business and personal realms to include individuals who have succeeded in your area of interest and can help you traverse this same path, or one far greater. A coach will help you clarify your vision and goals, support you as you face your fears, keep you focused, confront your unconscious behaviour, expect you to do your best, help you live by your values, show you how to earn more while working less, and keep you focused on your core genius.
Is it any different from counselling or therapy?
Life coaching is a profession profoundly different from consulting, mentoring, advice, therapy, or counselling. The coaching process addresses specific personal projects, business success, or general conditions and transitions in the client’s personal life, relationships, or profession. It focuses on examining what’s going on, discovering the obstacles or challenges, and choosing a course of action to make your life what you want it to be. The focus is not on the past at all; life coaching focuses only on the future.
One needs to understand that a life coach is your helper, not your boss. You must be the one to decide what you want out of each session; you’re always in command. Most coaches begin their sessions by asking, “What would you like to work on today?” It is up to you to share your goals and challenges, and request help when and where you need it. If you aren’t clear about what you want to work on, a good coach can help you gain clarity and set new goals. Just be sure that the emerging goals are your goals, not your coach’s goals for you.
Are there a required number of sessions?
The duration varies depending on the client’s goals and aspirations. Some have financial ones; others come with health goals, and some present with relationship goals. Some people end up achieving their goals in two sessions; some need up to ten or more. If you don’t see tangible benefits within 30 days of coaching, you should ideally not continue.
What makes the coach better at this job than the person himself?
It is unlikely that most coaches are much smarter than most of their clients. In some situations, the coach has specialised knowledge to impart; other times, the main value of a coach is to remind the client of his commitment to take action. The real value of a good coach is his mindset or world view. A coach can look at a situation and see possibilities that the client cannot. And what enables the coach to do that? His beliefs about the world are different from the client’s. Our assumptions about the world severely limit our possibilities; not everyone sees the same thing, and coaches usually don’t see the same world we do.
When is a good time to hire a life coach?
If you have a fair idea of what you want to do but are having an unusually hard time getting it done, get a life coach. Perhaps you’re getting bogged down by obstacles instead of making steady, forward progress. You may imagine that there are other people who’ve already solved your problem, or at least know how to solve it. Would it be worthwhile to pay someone to help you solve this problem once and for all? Consider the lifelong benefits before you decide.
Perhaps the most important factor in successful life coaching is the willingness to change. If you aren’t willing, a life coach can’t force you to grow. You need motivation and drive to work with a coach, usually on something you care about deeply. Think of how the coach of a professional sports team would respond to an unmotivated, underperforming player. He might try a pep talk or motivational techniques. But if those don’t work, the player will likely be cut from the team, replaced by someone who’s more motivated and driven to succeed. You must provide the drive, and your coach will steer you toward your goals.
Who stands to benefit from this?
Life coaching can help anybody. It essentially works on every facet of your life, but it might be especially fruitful for self-employed or independent professionals. When your income is performance-based, a good coach may be able to help you boost that many times over. If you have your own business and you hire a coach to help improve your bottom line, you can deduct your coaching fees as a business expense.
Tell us how it all works.
It’s a minimum of one 60- to 120-minute session per week, face-to-face or via Skype, plus unlimited e-mail and SMS support and occasional yet brief check-in calls. We are highly trained and can coach superbly on any aspect of life. However, you may choose to specialise in one or more of the following areas: finance, weight loss, relationships and intimacy, spirituality and personal growth, entrepreneurial and small business development, career planning and development, motivation and time management, creativity (for artists, musicians, and performers), budgeting, health, ageing, lifestyle, self-care, family and parenting.
Are the sessions confidential?
The client signs a confidentiality agreement with the life coach, and all that is discussed stays between the two.
Why does life coaching work?
The main reason is because you’re hiring someone with more experience than you. Your coach can quickly identify patterns that may not be clear to you, and help you devise and implement solutions. When this works, it becomes a high-leverage relationship and one of the fastest ways to solve challenging problems. Businesses often hire outside consultants to help solve important problems, and life coaching is the individual equivalent of business consulting.
A good life coach will have superior knowledge and experience in the areas in which you want to improve. A coach can use this expertise to help you efficiently solve specific problems. Something that may seem daunting to you might be a fairly simple matter for an experienced coach. The real challenge of life coaching is to help your client implement these solutions; coming up with them is easy. Your coach will probably identify some good ones during your sessions, but making them happen is the hard part. That’s where good life coaching really shines. Your coach can work as a guide to help you stay on track, leading you safely through the quagmire of mistakes, blind alleys and delays.
..... as told to Anahita