If Life Coaching is the Answer, What is The Question?

By Suzanne James  – Life Coach

The question I hear most often is, ‘Why does coaching work? I don’t get it. It is too simple.’ I hear this from clients, and people who are new to coaching. It seems that nothing happens except a bit of journaling and brainstorming in many sessions. It doesn’t look like the coach invests a lot of effort, but the results are measurable, and there is ample evidence to support the successful approaches to coaching.

This article is designed to help people understand the fundamentals of coaching. This brief introduction to coaching may help you determine if coaching is right for you, and help you find a coach.

Collective Wisdom
The relationship between the coach and coachee is unique. No other discipline creates a parallel interaction. Most other disciplines use the mentor and the disciple, the teacher and student, the doctor and patient. These all create a pyramid or a Vertical relationship. The relationship in the life coaching interaction is even different from sports coaching. There is a two tiered approach to this strategy.

In coaching the coach assumes a relationship position that respects the brilliance and self-preservation instincts. The coach allows the coachee the freedom to build their own development strategy. There may be things wrong in your life, things you want to change. There are also a lot of good things. Some people are not aware of their strengths, but given the freedom to develop them, they quickly learn that they are stronger and more proactive than they once believed.

The second tier is the collective community among many ‘good’ coaches. The strategies utilize the wisdom of thousands of masters, and incorporate new strategies and the successful techniques of multiple therapies. This is combined with ‘competencies’. A coach does not get accreditation merely by earning their degree. They must prove their skills and abilities.

Coaches have influence over the coachee. This means that they how the power to effect another person’s life through indirect means. They teach people problem solving skills, and help them take a new look at their lives. This role is taken seriously in the coaching circles. Unlike therapy or counseling where a person can graduate and then work for years, coaches are forced to continually be coached, learn, and improve. This alters the mindset of a coach. By continually being coached they are less aggressive and authoritative. They posses many of the same skills as their colleagues, but their approach is different.

This word is used to reflect the coaches’ goal of bringing out the possibilities in someone. It is a progress, a journey, to cause to grow and increase. It includes elaborating and highlighting. A farmer plants a small seed, and it grows into a big plant. But the farmer only planted the seed. The plant grew on its own with help from the farmer and weather. In the same way, coaches plant seeds and then watch that seed grow to make sure it doesn’t wither or fade.

In many therapies, the therapist will teach the patient a set technique, or coping skill. They may help the person become aware of something and help them learn to deal with it. Coaches start with the same concepts, but instead of teaching people What to do, they work with them and help them learn How to do it. This leaves the coachee stronger and able to manage their own problems, identify opportunities, and avoid bad relationships.

The skills learned in coaching will bleed over into other aspects of a person’s life, strengthening their entire being, and creating a balance and sense of wellness. This is because coaching creates a catalyst relationship that accelerates performance. This is done by creating a partnership where the coachee defines what needs to be done, when, and how much effort to invest. This mimics the support that should naturally come from friends and family.

The coach wants to help people let go of what they have been doing all their life, and try something different. Instead of healing — think evolution. Instead of coping — think mastery of a skill set that empowers you.

The Session
These two elements explain why it is easier to work with a coach than to change behaviors by reading books, or by the DIY method. The coach may only brainstorm and it may look like you did most of the work. But the coach is constantly seeding new thoughts and new skills. They are coaxing out new possibilities from within. They are establishing a healthy relationship that you can model in the future.

Coaching is a by-product of today’s society. It is the result of our busy lives. We no longer take time for ourselves. The coach is here to help people take time to improve their lives, but also to help them focus and get the most out of the time invested. And to help them develop the skills needed to succeed. This is why the coaching session may not always be invested on the goals. Reaching your goals is only half the battle. Developing a strong sense of self worth is needed to keep the momentum flowing — even after the coaching relationship ends.

The Results
The session is about the process, the journey. However, the entire coaching relationship has one focus, the results. The ultimate objective is emotional maturity, transformation from a lesser to a greater state, and a more fulfilling state of being or doing. To repeat this in non coach language, the goal is to create a sense of wellness and balance, to empower coachees and increase their inner strength, to give them the problem solving skills to succeed, and to help them change destructive behavior.

Coaching only progresses as fast as the coachee can ‘get it.’ And it only focuses on the areas the coachee wants to focus on, at this particular moment. This is the secret to the success of coaching. To walk side by side with a coach until the coachee is strong enough, and is equipped with the tools needed to live a happier, more successful, healthier life.

The important thing to remember is that coaches are people too. It is important to find one with the mindset you want to develop. Make sure they feel like a friend and are open to your possibilities. This may require a few trial runs, but finding the right life coach is the first step to a better life.


About the Author:
Suzanne James has 10 years experience as an online life coach and using the telephone to facilitate her coaching strategy. She has vast experience helping clients reset their core values, make changes in their communication and relationship styles, and take back control of their lives. There is a wealth of information on her website: http://www.suzannejames.com

Executive Transitions: The Importance of Relational Intelligence

This guest post is by Dr. Patricia Wheeler of Leading News.

The rate of change has never been so intense as we have experienced over the past few years. Business is no longer “business as usual”. A recent Booz and Company report shows that companies across many industries and geographies are hitting the “reset button,” making changes to their portfolios, their business and operating models, their processes and infrastructure, all through a lens focused more closely on what truly creates value for their companies and their customers. Most companies acknowledge that their executive pipelines need to be more robust; indeed, this is seen as their Number One challenge as they move forward.

We’re seeing an upswing in the rate at which executives are moving into new roles; transitions take place as organizations merge or are acquired, reposition their business models, grow into different segments and geographies, and as the previous generation of senior leaders continues to retire. And we’ve been studying these trends since 2007, when our global coaching alliance Alexcel partnered with the Institute of Executive Development to study executive transitions: what makes them succeed, and what predictable obstacles leaders face as they move into more senior roles.

In our research, we examined how senior leaders (defined here as executives within the top five percent of their organization) best navigate these moves, whether they entered a new organization or were promoted internally, as well as how many of these senior leaders did not fulfill the promise of their positions. We gathered responses to an online survey from over 350 leaders and talent professionals across many organizations and geographies consisting of 18 multiple-choice questions plus over 50 in-depth interviews to gain additional insight.

So what did we find? In our second generation of research completed in December 2010, we found that the rate of failure at the top five percent of the organizations we surveyed continues to be unacceptably high. One in three leaders brought into these roles from other organizations were not successful in meeting organizational expectations by the two-year mark.

And the more disturbing finding is that we continue to hear that one in five leaders promoted from within to the top failed to meet their organization’s criteria for successful performance within two years. This means that twenty percent of leaders who were successful enough in their roles to earn a promotion or lateral move to a bigger and broader role did not succeed in their new role. They weren’t necessarily fired; companies tend not to dismiss many of these internally grown leaders; but their lack of success likely meant the end of the road for their upward mobility. And for the organization, it often means wasted time, energy and engagement as these leaders stumble.

So it’s still true, to paraphrase Marshall Goldsmith, that what gets you to one level won’t necessarily be sufficient at higher levels. Let’s take a closer look at our findings.

What derails leaders at the high potential and senior levels? Failure here is rarely about technical knowledge; it’s more about relational intelligence and cultural alignment. 73% of our survey participants listed interpersonal and leadership skills as a significant factor in executive underperformance. For one in three respondents, it was listed as the most important factor. So as individuals move into bigger and broader roles, keep in mind that relationships are an increasingly important factor in more senior roles.

If you’re thinking that this comes as no surprise, you are in good company. It’s a simple idea that we’ve all heard many times before. The truth is, however, that simple ideas are not so easy to execute. So many leaders know this, but neglect the daily discipline and practice of these relational competencies.

Remember that each move up the leadership pipeline increasingly forces leaders to get more done through others. So we always suggest that leaders practice daily actions to address this challenge. Actions include asking how others see you, developing conscious awareness of the culture, and learning to flex your leadership and communication style. In this way your good intentions have a greater probability of being perceived clearly by others, as it’s so clear that interpersonal behavior is the biggest differentiator of success at the senior level.

We suggest that you ask yourself and your team: what regular steps are you taking to increase your relational intelligence to prepare yourself to move into bigger and broader roles?

Copyright 2011, Leading News


Dr. Patricia Wheeler is an executive and team coach who helps smart people become more effective leaders. As Managing Partner in The Levin Group LLC, she has spent 15 years consulting to organizations and coaching senior leaders and their teams. Her work helping executives succeed in new roles is featured in The AMA Handbook of Leadership. Join Patricia at www.LeadingNews.org

Printed With Permission.

Anthony Galie on Programming Yourself for Success

Anthony Galie has been motivating people for more than 30 years and is an expert on teaching others how to achieve even the loftiest of goals. Anthony believes that a person can purposefully rewire their subconscious mind for success. Watch this video to hear Galie discuss some great ways you can program yourself to succeed.

Did you learn anything from this video? Did this speech motivate you to strive for greater success? Do you use any of the methods Galie promotes? After watching the video be sure to share your comments below.

The Divided Brain

A sustainable emotional health solution is vital to human wellness, workplace productivity, and a healthier lifestyle. Never have the prospects been better. People are enthusiastic about the shift to emotional wealth and its potential to eliminate exposure to surges in negative emotion, reduce the impact of stress felt in the body, foster new personal development opportunities and improve one’s quality of life. Corporations are increasingly supportive as they look to strengthen emotional skills and revitalize individual and organizational performance.

In his recent video – The Divided Brain – Psychiatrist, Iain McGilchrist, challenges the notion that the left hemisphere of the brain is all knowing. He asks that we question the left hemisphere talk, which is convincing, and reduce the need to control everything. The right hemisphere doesn’t have a voice and can’t construct all the arguments of the brain’s left hemisphere. He draws us back to what the right hemisphere, the seat of emotion and empathy, knows to a broader context and reminds us that the intuitive mind (the right hemisphere) is a sacred gift.

Working so much with the brain, as I do in my ELPro coaching model, this video offers a refreshing perspective on how the ‘right’ side of the brain – or the emotion side – is so often subsumed as the “poor cousin” of the left. In reality, emotion is the force of real life! What do you think? Please add your comments below.

Deepak Chopra On Releasing Emotion Toxins

Cleansing your body of emotion toxins (what I call emotional constipation) caused by negative thoughts, wrong or outdated beliefs, values, memories and unmet expectations, will help heal your body and bring back vitality, energy and well-being. Emotional health is your responsibility. No one else can make you angry or anxious!

Deepak Chopra, a world-renowned authority in the field of mind-body healing and a best-selling author, gives us seven steps to releasing emotion toxicity…

Deepak details the seven steps to releasing emotional toxicity, which include:

  • Take responsibility for your emotions.
  • Witness the emotions in your body.>
  • Define it: is it anger, fear?
  • Express it: write down what is happening.
  • Share it with a loved one.
  • Do a ritual to release it: write it down and burn it.
  • Bring it to a closure: go out and celebrate.