What to expect from coaching
Personal development coaching is probably best understood as a halfway house between counselling and training. It’s that grey area that overlaps both, as your goals are essentially practical, and involve cultivating new skills and habits. But the pathway toward success is often full of obstacles which are generally psychological in nature, or involve social dynamics that you need to learn to navigate.
Most people attending coaching would probably agree that the closest thing to it that’s immediately recognisable is having a personal trainer. A trainer knows the pathway you’re on and how to get where you want to be. Your trainer also needs to be intuitive and able to work at a pace and in a style that suits you. It’s exactly the same with coaching: your coach knows your pathway, and works in tune with you to get you to your destination.
Investing in your personal development
The biggest concern most people have with coaching, just like with personal training, is making the choice to invest in your personal development. Those who do eventually bite the bullet and hire a personal trainer to help them meet their fitness goals often end up asking themselves why they didn’t make the investment sooner, as it paid off so much more quickly and effectively than their attempts at going it alone. I can certainly vouch for that experience myself. I’m eternally grateful to Alicia, the personal trainer who worked with me through not only my weight loss journey, but also my messy divorce! Those who invest in personal development coaching report a similar experience. They end up wondering why they didn’t place themselves first and foremost in their own lives sooner.
When you decide you’re ready to invest in your personal development pathway, your first port of call will be to make initial contact with me by booking in for a free initial consultation. We’ll start by discussing your needs and what you’d like to achieve through coaching. Once we’ve agreed that I can help you get where you want to be, and that you’re comfortable working with me, then we’ll book in our first formal coaching session. I’ll provide you with a formal contract that makes sure we’re both on the same page.
Designing a course for your personal development needs
Most clients usually decide on a course of between six and twelve coaching sessions, usually on a weekly or fortnightly basis, although some prefer to attend monthly. We will spend the first session identifying your needs and goals in as much depth as possible. Then we’ll sketch out a strategy for how we will go about making the changes you want in your life.
In most cases this will involve identifying bad habits you’d like to let go of, new habits you’d like to cultivate, and the skills you’ll benefit from learning to help you move forward with the life you want for yourself. Often these are communication skills, assertiveness skills, self-confidence and mindfulness. But many clients also find they benefit from meta-skills like goal-setting, planning, and holding themselves accountable. Some of the tougher skills clients learn that help them navigate their pathway toward the life they want might involve impulse control, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. These are all ways of dealing with the curveballs life throws at you so you can keep on moving forward.
Once we have a clear plan of action, then we get to work with the nitty-gritty of learning new skills, cultivating beneficial habits, and letting go of old habits that don’t serve you. Each session will usually focus on one main area of need in accordance with the strategy we co-developed in your first session.
No pain, no gain: personal development is hard work!
While all this might sound very straightforward, coaching, just like personal training, involves come hard yards. Learning new skills is challenging, and you’ll be flexing some psychological muscle to get you to where you want to be. There is also an emotional aspect to coaching because many of the obstacles in our paths stem from psychological challenges we set for ourselves. Many clients need to overcome perfectionism, self-criticism, and shame, while cultivating mindfulness, self-love, and a sense of unshakeable self-worth.
That’s why working with a professional is crucial. Your coach is able to support you through the emotional turbulence that sometimes arises during the hard yards of coaching. We’re equipped to hold space for the hard stuff while you lean into it. And when it comes to the skills, we’re trained in how to help you learn at a pace that works for you, in a style that suits you.
Making coaching work for you
Between sessions I like to touch base with my clients, either by email or phone, in order to see how you’re travelling. If you’re having any difficulties sticking with your plans, or if something’s come up for you between sessions, this is the ideal time to tackle it. We’ll try to get you on track or change course before our next session so we can really make the most of our time together. I also often recommend mobile apps for my clients to use between sessions to keep you on track with your work, as there’s nothing like electronic devices to hold us accountable these days!
Because coaching can be emotionally draining and practically quite challenging, I usually recommend to clients that you clear some space in your schedule after our session. This enables you to process, unwind, decompress, and put some energy into self-care. Your self-development journey extends well beyond what we do in my consulting room to the time you spend working on your goals in your everyday life. You’ll need to be prepared to do some homework, and work hard on sticking with any changes you’re making.
So when you’re ready, get in touch, and we’ll take it from there!
If you’re interested in investing in personal development coaching, fill in the form below to get a clearer idea of what you want to work on.