Life coaching helped me make a big life decision in 2012. Should I continue in my full-time employment at a national non-profit, or should I become a self-employed? It was a decision that kept me going around in circles for months. Having gotten to the point of getting annoyed with myself—make a decision already! — I sought out a career coach, Michele Martin, to help me move forward. This involved some hard work on my part, creating collages from an online set of images that Michelle provided, and then writing about it in response to a series of guiding questions. She then responded to my comments, sometimes pointing out my strengths and resources, and other times asking new questions to help further clarify my thoughts.
The process took a while. It might have gone faster, but there were weeks when I couldn’t find time to work without rushing. When she realized I was in part hung up by my fears, she suggested I read Do The Work (Pressfield, 2011). It’s images about resistance and combating it made a powerful impression. This combination of helpful and clarifying questions, highlighting of strengths and encouragement without pushing or judging helped me get unstuck. I got to the point of being very calm and very clear about my next steps, and I have moved forward. Keys To Change opened for business in December 2012, and I am actively coaching, consulting and building my new business.
So how did Michele help me?
- She paid close attention.
- She gave me useful homework and readings.
- She reflected back to me what I was saying but could not see clearly for myself.
- She provided practical suggestions based on her own experience.
- She encouraged me to keep moving forward, yet allowed me to set the pace.
- She was respectful.
- She was there for me as I found my way forward.
These things helped me tremendously. I use these same skills and similar approaches in my coaching and consulting work. One of my own next steps is to learn to use the imaging approach, VisualsSpeak, with my own life coaching and consulting clients.
Have you worked with a life coach? If so, what did your coach do that helped you?
image (c) StockPodium