Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Life Coaching

Published in City Times

It’s about knowing where you want to go

Most people today are so caught up in the momentum and activity of their present roles in life that they are not actually doing the activities that give them the most reward, both personally and financially, says Nic Woodthorpe-Wright, Life Coach in Dubai.

Nic is a qualified life coach and has been “actively involved in mentoring Dubai’s future leaders in the Sheikh Mohammed Leadership Development Program.” He has worked with several global and international companies at a senior management level before he decided to commit his skills, expertise and experience in the arena of personal development.

What is Life Coaching all about?
Nic: Life Coaching in essence is really about helping individuals get to ‘get the best out of themselves’. Human beings have a huge amount of potential and Life Coaching is about helping people tap into this huge reservoir of their innate abilities to desired effect, objectives or goals. It is about helping individuals tap into aspects of themselves that either they are not aware of, or, are aware of but are frustrated by not being able to get in touch with.

Is it some kind of a structured or systematic approach to people’s problems?
Nic: No, it doesn’t really deal with problems in that sense. Most people are not in control of their lives – their environment controls them. Most people are not happy with their current career, level of health, current relationships or the extent of their personal wealth. The majority of these people realize that a change would benefit their lives, but they still bury their heads in the sand because they don’t know how to go about bringing this change. Life Coaching is not about any structured learning programme at all. The reason for this is that the client is the key focus, the person I work with. I always work on a one-to-one basis, either face-to-face, through the telephone or even via the email if a client wishes to do so because he is residing in another place.

So how do you go about bringing this change?
Nic: Again, it is not the life coach who brings about the change. In order for the process to work, for it to be appropriate, it is the cline who is going to be driving the agenda. If it was I, the life coach who is driving the agenda, then we don’t develop focusing in the key areas that the individual wants to work on, defeating the very purpose of the process! It is a highly motivational and empowering approach that allows individuals to achieve more in a matter of months than sometimes has been achieved in years.

How does the process get initiated?
Nic: Life coaching operates on a one-to-one basis for individuals who desire positive change. The goals themselves may be related to their career, family, relationships, finance or health. The clients I see, will have an area that they know to be the key area of focus and that’s where we start from. This key area in most instances, will also be inter-related with other areas of lives. Since it is a client-driven approach, the life coach merely acts as a catalyst in terms of the individuals seeking their own solution. Because the life coach does not pretend to know more about the client in terms of the client’s life. So it’s important to understand that I’m not here to tell people how to live their lives. My role is to open up the idea to the client, to look at options, to get a clear understanding of his life, see where he is and to know where he wants to go from here. I do this after getting a little bit of history of the client to understand what has brought him to the present.

How is life coaching different from psychological counseling?
Nic: Psychological counseling involves a lot of psychotherapy which deals with people who have a problem and it predominantly works in the past, wherein the clients are asked to go back in time and recall things. But life coaching is future-oriented – we start with a basic understanding of the individual in the present and then we say, “hey, where do you want to go from here”! The people I work with are not people with problems per se. They are people who are frustrated by their environment and don’t quite know what they want to do from the present, but do know that they would be better off with change. Hence they seek expert advice so that they don’t waste years trying to chart a programme of change for themselves because they have no clear idea themselves about how to make this change.

So what are the broad ranges in terms of area where life coaching would appear productive for a client?
Nic: Life coaching can help you get out of the ‘rut’, get you clarity on what you truly desire, build your vision for the future and help speed up your journey to your desired goal, help you find your balance in life, work less and earn more, enable you to make better choices and decisions, improve your finances, personal and business relationships, make you more effective and productive and through all this help you minimize stress and cope or be rid of health problems.

Does the process work on hourly basis? Is yes, to what extent is the process time bound in terms of the number of hours or sessions required?
Nic: The sessions work on an hourly basis wherein the clients see me once a week, may be for about eight weeks in all. But as I said earlier, the process is entirely client-driven and how many sessions each person requires, is entirely individualistic, based on his needs and present state.


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