What is a coach?
A coach (sometimes termed life coach) is someone who aims to help and empower others to make, meet and exceed personal and professional goals - including excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled in the home, exploring the self and the world, and achieving ambitions. By harnessing specialist techniques based on core psychological principals and natural intuition, life coaches provide clients with the tools to confidently face difficult situations, push past emotional barriers and eventually view life with fresh, hopeful and enlightened eyes. Just as sports coaching enables athletes to hone themselves into the fastest, strongest, most tactical competitors in their disciplines, life coaching helps people from all professional and personal backgrounds improve their strengths and build upon their weaknesses to make the most of their lives. A coach will never try to be an 'agony aunt' or dish out advice because, firstly - giving advice is just a way of imposing a personal view of the world onto another person (who may or may not share the same view) and, secondly - it is not a coach's job to become personally involved in a client's life. Life coaching is about objectivity, structure and empowerment, not instruction or indoctrination. At the heart of it all lies the idea that clients must be given the power to help themselves. A coach is an individual who guides another individual from where they are in life, to where they want to be in life more quickly than if they were trying to get there by themselves.
Isn't life coaching just an American fad?
True, life coaching does stem from the 1970s American vogue for motivational talks and self-help books, which have always been notoriously sickly-sweet and upbeat in their mission to motivate the masses. British people tend to shy away from the idea of 'self-help' and 'self-improvement' - mainly because the mantra 'Keep Calm and Carry On' is an intrinsic part of our national psyche, making us a down-to-earth, self-deprecating crowd. Whereas the British are stereotypically stoic and modest in nature, the United States was built upon ideologies of strength, hope and improvement - values that paved the way for a flourishing self-help industry centuries later.
More and more people are starting to realise that 'self-help' is not a self-indulgent fad, it is in fact a way of improving what we already have, utilising what we already know and breaking down limiting preconceptions about who we are and what we're capable of. Even the most sceptical person can benefit from discussing and organising our lives with an impartial stranger
What happens during a coaching session?
Coaching sessions will typically be for a specific duration, often between 45 minutes and 60 minutes. Sessions can be conducted over the phone, face to face, over email, via Skype and occasionally through instant messaging. During the session, your coach will ask you about what you want to get out of life, what areas you're unhappy with and where you'd like to see yourself ending up. Although a coach will work with you, it’s often up to you to challenge or reflect upon certain ideas to help you move forward with your life. You will never be forced to make any decisions you don't feel comfortable with and all sessions will be confidential, allowing you to explore your thoughts and feelings private. Coaching is often seen as a partnership between you and your life coach, who will gently encourage you to explore how to make positive changes in your life. Your coach will also offer support and feedback to help you to stay focused on your goals.
Are there different types of coaching?
Yes. There are many different coaching styles coaches use to address different situations.
How is life coaching different from counselling?
The fundamental difference between counselling and coaching is that counselling usually investigates the roots and causes of problems, whereas coaching focuses mainly on the future to encourage personal-development and self-improvement. Life coaches are not (unless specified) qualified to diagnose or treat any health-related problems, although if the situation arises they may suggest you have alternative support.
What can a coach help me with?
Coaches use effective techniques to help their clients in all aspects of life. If you've ever struggled with anything - whether it be sticking to a diet, learning a language, moving out of your comfort zone, standing up for yourself at work, keeping a stable love life, or achieving those things you always wanted to do (see a whale, go to Asia, climb a mountain and other so called 'bucket-list' activities), then consulting a life coach could help you.
A life coach will approach things pragmatically. Through questions and exercises, he or she will try to get a good idea of how you look at the world. From this they will be able to identify the most effective route to your goal. Some people feel intimidated by the idea of change and so need to take things very slowly to fulfill their goals. In this situation a life coach might divide ultimate goals into smaller bite-sized pieces. Other people get impatient and lose interest if their dreams aren't realised immediately. In this situation a life coach might suggest introducing stronger reminders and incentives to keep them on track.
However you approach life, a coach will be able to tailor your sessions to fit. Subjects coaches deal with include:
Is coaching expensive?
The cost of coaching sessions will depend on a number of factors, including the type of coaching you require, the length of the session and location (you may find that central locations such as London charge a higher premium). On average, coaches charge anything from £40 to £100 per session (business and corporate coaching can be more expensive). With Luminosa Coaching you will get a free initial consultation, some clients may be able to qualify for a discounted or pro bono service
How many coaching sessions will I need?
You can have as many or as few life coaching sessions as you like. Because like many coaches I operate over the phone or via the Internet, the sessions can easily fit around your schedule. Some people hire a coach once every few months, some people have a session once a week. It is entirely up to you to decide. Please call to enquire about the different packages available.
How can I tell if a life coach is any good?
Coaching is currently an unregulated profession in the UK, meaning anyone can essentially design a business card and call themselves a life coach. Because of this, it can pay to do your research very carefully. Still, qualifications and memberships mean little if you don't get on with your coach. Rapport is one of the most important parts of coaching. If you feel uncomfortable with your professional, you are unlikely to gain much from the session. Please get in contact before you book a session. I will never make you feel obliged to continue if you don't want to - it will never feel like you are listening to a sales pitch.
Can I have coaching online or by telephone?
I offer telephone coaching or Skype coaching for individuals who are unable to meet face to face, or who may simply find these services easier and more convenient. Online and telephone coaching can be offered in addition to one-on-one meetings or as the primary method of coaching. I am currently coaching a Headteacher in Rwanda using Skype and Whatsapp.