There is a new phenomenon sweeping the U.K. which is helping people not only to achieve, earn, and do more but also to lead a more balanced and holistic life. It’s called ‘Personal Life Coaching’ and it really does help individuals be all that they want to be.
As with so many things this concept started in the U.S.A. in the late eighties. Following on from the once popular consultants and therapists, it has become the ‘personal coach’ who will now help sort out your personal and professional life. This new type of advisor will strategise with you in weekly sessions, either in person, on the phone or via email.
Coaching started out as a way to help frenzied entrepreneurs and corporate executives cope with a life that seemed to be careering out of control. As reported by the British Journal of Administrative Management coaching ‘takes a holistic view of the individual’ ensuring that work, corporate values, personal needs and career development are made to work in synergy and not against each other. However, what started as a ‘corporate client’ service has now become a valuable tool for any individual wanting to improve their life.
Borne out of the competitive pressures of today’s economy as well as the struggle to find balance in the frantic pace of modern life this Personal Life Coaching is now rapidly attracting devotees in Britain. CEOs, entrepreneurs, professionals, people in career transition and many others grappling with life issues are all turning to this new ‘tool’ to guide them through life’s difficulties and help raise them above the ‘fog’ to the clear heights of peace and self-satisfaction. There are now hundreds of coaches across the country and it is forecast that by the year 2004 it will be as common to have a coach as it is to have a personal fitness trainer.
Coaching is a very powerful, collaborative relationship between the coach and a willing individual, which facilitates that individual, through the process of discovery, goal setting and strategic action-planning, in the realisation of an extraordinary result. It is also a body of knowledge, a technology and a style of relating that focuses on the development of that human’s potential.
More and more people are tired of the frenzied, technological information age that we live in and are interested in a higher quality of life. Life where you have more time for yourself and your relationships, with more energy to invest in your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Whether you are a corporate executive working sixty hours a week, a single parent trying to raise a family or someone who is just tired of feeling stressed out and pressed for time, you have a choice about how to live your life. You can step back, re-evaluate your priorities and make a conscious decision about the future you would like to create.
Just as you would turn to the local gym or personal trainer if your body were out of shape, now you can hire a personal coach to improve the quality of your life. With their help you can shape up your life and overcome all the obstacles that get in the way of living the life you want – like hiring a personal trainer for your soul!
One might ask why a coach is needed, rather than a partner, best friend or work colleague. Quite simply it is because of the qualification, professionalism and experience of the person to whom you are talking – and the FREEDOM with which you can speak.
Most of us have experienced the desire to have a kind of heart to heart with someone who really understands workplace challenges, family demands, the need for love and job satisfaction and the importance of personal space. It is imperative that this ‘sounding board’ is a person to whom you can offload ALL of your thoughts, fears, ideas and aspirations. Often discussion with a loved one or work colleague can be restrained for any number of reasons – concern for their feelings, fear of displaying weakness, reluctance to share good, but perhaps unformulated, ideas or the unwillingness to disclose a secret.
One reason for the high demand for coaches and coaching comes from the increasing number of entrepreneurs, infopreneurs and self employed people seeking to be successful in an extremely competitive market place. It is now recognised that the right coach gives the professional or business owner a major and competitive advantage. It is estimated that over the last ten years well over a quarter of a million people in the United States have been coached. This phenomenon is now here and running in the United Kingdom and any businessperson or entrepreneur who wants to get ahead, who wants to have a major and dramatic competitive advantage will have their own personal coach.
The value and success of this ‘tool’ has been seized upon by hundreds of corporations worldwide including IBM, Ernst and Young, Deloitt Touche, Lucent Technologies, AT & T, Phyzer, Dupont, Delta Faucet, Kodak, Rodale, the FAA, Globe Business Services, Caterpillar Financial, JC Penny and Telus. All of these corporations have recognised the key differential between training and coaching – they each have their value but are distinctly different. A very interesting article published in the Public Personnel Management in the winter of 97 revealed a study done by the International Personal Management Association where training alone was compared with coaching combined with training. The study showed that training alone increased productivity by 22.4% while training plus coaching increased productivity by a massive 88 %.
Coaching contracts vary to some degree but generally a client will work with a coach for between six and twelve months for a monthly fee, which covers four weekly sessions. There are no additional charges and the coach does not take a percentage or a contingency- type fee or award.
Very simply, people hire a coach because they want MORE of something (money, time, happiness, success, freedom) or LESS of something (frustration, toleration, delays, procrastination). A coach is trained to work with a client on both personal and business goals as opposed to a therapist who works on issues- there is a huge difference. Having set those goals the coach will help you implement them and stay by your side until their completion. So the question is “Would you like to change your life? Do you want more time for yourself? Would you like to take better care of your health, reduce stress and create more balance in your life?”. The answer is to hire a coach.
Very soon the question will be not “Do you have a coach?” but
“Who is your coach?”

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