What are the benefits of life coaching? Take a moment to explore the skills, and support, needed to identify and reach your life goals through our video interview with specialist Kathryn Thompson.
Kathryn, who is also author of ‘The Warrior Within – Finding Strength in Life’s Biggest Struggles’, explained that her aim with clients is to achieve truly transformative results.
“I tend to think of coaching as working more with solutions rather than focusing on problems.
“My role is to help people identify where they want to be in life and what it is they want, then we look at where they are now and where the gap is.
“It’s not so much fixing something that’s broken as making something that’s already good and whole even better.”
Kathryn explained the advantages of this outside help.
“You don’t see your life when you’re in it as it’s very difficult to get a big picture view of your life when you’re caught up in the minutiae of what you’re doing.
“I often think a coach’s role is more of a helicopter view. An analogy I often use is this: if you are driving a car you are focused on the road ahead.
“So you can’t really see things off to the side, or in the distance, or far behind that might impact on that journey. If you have a coach sitting beside you they have a bigger picture and can say ‘actually, there could be a better opportunity down that road you were going to pass’ or ‘there’s something behind which I think might have an impact on where we’re going’.”
This differs, however, from the important role counselling has in helping with crisis or challenging situations as coaching looks more closely at the “rebuild stage”.
“It’s about what you really want, that sounds like an easy thing to define but quite often if you ask people what they want they say ‘I don’t really know’.
“That’s because the question is about what you want and not what other people want for you, what society wants for you or what your employer wants from you.
“Very often it’s a powerful to ask that question then sit back and listen to what someone says.”
During her ProfileTree Business Leaders interview, Kathryn pointed out that for some people there may be a stigma around seeking help. She added that we are often willing, however, to spend a large amount of money attempting to escape from their lives instead of getting the support need.
“In the States you have a coach for everything, but in Northern Ireland we have this attitude around keeping a stiff upper lip and having a need to be strong by coping with something on your own.
“But sometimes the strongest thing you can do is to reach out for help. People will spend a fortune on clothes or a night out of a weekend away. That’s not to say these things are escapism, but there are times when people would say ‘I can’t afford that’ and still spend a lot of money escaping.”
She explained that she doesn’t tend to separate life out into ‘work life’, ‘home life’ etc but sees each area of life as overlapping.
“When I’m working with someone I’m looking at how every part of their life impacts on another part.
“There’s a generic coaching exercise called a Wheel of Life exercise where we draw a chart with different segments representing, say, your work life, your finances, your family life, your health, your environment and your spiritual life too if that’s important to you.
“We score them from one to ten and that gives a very instant, graphic representation of where the imbalances are. It’s a very simple, very generic exercise and is useful to revisit every now and then.
“It’s almost we’re mini ecosystems, change has to be ecological. That’s because if you change one part of a system it can have an impact on other parts. I remember working with one executive looking at his core values and what was important to him. What came out as being very important to him was family and home yet he was working about 80 hours a week, so there’s a huge imbalance there.
“A question I often ask people is ‘what is really important to you?’. Until you give yourself the space to step back and look at that, you can become buried under everything else.
“When you do take a step back, the question that follows is ‘if this is important to you, would I recognise that from how your day to day life is?’.”
Discover valuable insights into confidence, self-esteem, resilience and much more by watching Kathryn’s full video interview.
The Warrior Within by Kathryn Thompson – Amazon
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