As some of you will have read I’m a graphic designer / marketer from the UK with an interest in personal development. Some will also know that I have a tricky time of late of getting all the concepts to stick in my own life…but I’m working on it!
Curiously, despite this I have actually been doing a smattering of life coaching and this something I enjoy a great deal. I attended a one-day coaches training course and the basic methods taught to me then have served me well so far.
Having said this, this is something that is quite challenging to accept at times. None of us are perfect as we know but I sometimes find I’m better communicating the ideas about personal development than the actual doing the practical myself.
However, I know I can coach because I have unsolicited feedback proving it. People have come to me asking for assistance and I have been able to help them because they’ve told me I have. No prompting, they just tell me. I find that immensely rewarding but puzzling at the same time. What is it about me that people can connect with?
One person, a friend and aspiring author from Wales, was having problems focusing on completing a manuscript for a novel she was writing. Her computer time was limited because she had to share her PC with her family and therefore she sometimes wondered whether it was worth even beginning a writing session at all. She also had issues relating to the possibility of her publisher not liking her material and the fear of losing her love of writing in case it began to feel like a job.
I used a technique known in the coaching world as GROW. This is an acronym where ‘G’ stands for the persons GOAL, ‘R’ are the REASONS for not achieving it to date, ‘O’ are the OPPORTUNITIES for achieving it now and the ‘W’ is the WHEN will it be achieved.
I guided her through each stage, all the while stressing the importance of finding reasons to go for the goal and to not put obstacles in the way. She was also encouraged not to worry about details of which she had no control over and to focus on what she could do.
It was the last aspect of GROW – the WHEN – which proved to be the key. I asked her when she was going to complete her manuscript and was insistent that she was specific, and to write down an exact time on a particular day to complete the challenge. This she did and it was a deadline she met with two hours to spare.
She has since completed and published her book with the TV rights subsequently sold at the beginning of this year.
Another person I worked with was a gentleman from The Netherlands who came to me for coaching specifically to help organise an effective study plan for LINUX certification. This went well and later led him to sending me the following testimonial to inform me of his subsequent success.
“We set specific times on which we would talk about the problems (“challenges”:) online. Basically Jeremy doesn’t tell you to do anything, he doesn’t give you assignments or in any other way tell you what to do. Instead he just asks the exact right questions to get you going. The thing is, everyone pretty much knows already how to go about things. Subconsciously we know how to achieve certain goals. We know how to be productive, how we can solve our problems. The knowledge is already there.
“What Jeremy did is awaken that consciousness. He stimulated me with just the right questions and in no time at all I had made a very detailed schedule I would use to keep on track with the study I just set up for myself. I reported to Jeremy every time I finished one of the deadlines I set for myself. This was a big stimulance too because I could not allow myself to tell him I missed a deadline. It’s almost as doing homework for school again, only this time I voluntarily set it up for and by myself.
“All in all, I’m very thankful of Jeremy’s coaching, he truly brought structure in my life to help me achieve my goals.”
And the best bit? He passed his exam!
What would really boost my confidence and help me make the breakthrough would be get my first paying client. To date I do coaching for friends, colleagues and with on-line acquaintances usually via messaging services. This has proved successful because the people concerned can read back the points discussed and have a record to refer back to. Unless I invest in recording software I cannot do this with a phone call.
My goal is to take the full training programme and gain my diploma, not for the qualification as such, but to be a more effective coach. It’s early days for me but just feeling that I’m making a difference in the lives of others, even in some small way, puts a smile on my face and let’s face it, that’s a reward to cherish.
As much as I enjoy design and marketing I’ve been doing it for nearly 20 years and it’s time to do something new. I’m not going to be sat in an office all day staring at a computer screen….hey, hang on…