Recently I have been undertaking the steps to renew my credentialing with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Part of this journey has been 3 hours of mentor coaching with an experienced ICF coach. During this time I was once gain reminded of the value of having a coach.

Basically, coaching is about taking the client (and that can just mean another person and not necessarily one who pays money for the experience) from where they are to where they want to be.

“Easy”, you might say. But what does that really mean?

We’ve all heard of football coaches like Nathan Buckley and Ken Hinchley who coach AFL football teams but what do they really do. I’m sure they do more than just teach guys how to kick balls through the goal posts.

We all need to have someone in our court to help us lift our game, to achieve our goals, to become better people, to run corporations, to manage family life, to help us hone our skills. None of us knows everything and when we treat our mind like a parachute, it works better when it’s open.

It’s easy to become complacent when we feel we are in a comfortable space. One of the aspects I enjoy most about life coaching is the opportunity it has presented to learn from others and the benefits of getting out of my comfort zone. When we are out of our comfort zone we are challenged and that’s when we grow. Those are the times when I have found I achieved something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could ever do.

So what is life coaching? In the not so distant past when our grandparents were growing up, as now, life had its challenges. Who did people talk to about their issues, how did they sort them out, what did they do then, how did they manage?

Al great questions. Life before computers, mobile phones, work place contracts, consumerism and many of those other things we have come to rely on and enjoy was slower. People had more time and spent time with the people who mattered to them. None of us knows how a child may feel when he finds himself in a certain situation and what that could mean later in life. When the child interprets a certain situation (something was said or done or he saw, heard or felt something) as something negative, that child may grow up believing he is not good enough, he is not loved, he doesn’t belong, he is not worthy. The result of that decision can be catastrophic and limiting.

In the past the little bloke may have been able to have a good heart to heart with a grandparent who could have helped him feel safe and loved and understood and that act of just being there could have fostered the feeling of confidence in that child.

Today most people are goo busy to attend to some of those special moments in life and that’s where the life coach skills can help to make a difference.

Some time ago one of my clients told me he had always felt abandoned because his parents never seemed to have time for him as a child.

Now, who knows what the parents’ needs were and when I suggested to him that perhaps they were so in love with each other they hadn’t realised how he felt, he seemed to feel differently about the situation and took some strength from knowing how much they cared about each other.

Sometimes when we find ourselves in crisis situations, just surviving can be a challenge. More recently my friend Claire and I have started up a group coaching program the purpose of which is to bring some awareness to what life coaching can offer and to know they are not alone. Sometimes in a crisis situation which seems to go on forever, it’s easy to overlook your own needs because you’re so busy taking care of everyone else. It is a b rave and courageous person is willing to give herself an hour or so of “time out” to nurture herself by talking with others in a non-judgment and confidential environment can help. Everything that is said in that room stays in that room.

Apart from the Coach N Chat meetings, we each offer one-on-one coaching sessions and you can always make a time to have a chat.

Our next session on 4 July – the first Tuesday of the month – will be around empowerment. This is a subject requested by some of the participants at our last Coach N Chat and is all about you and how you can help others to help themselves.

Mothers (and fathers) are nature’s unpaid personal life coaches, they are leaders and managers who run strategic units we call families and have one (if not THE) most important jobs in the Universe.

Until next time.