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is Life Coaching?

Life Coaching focuses on the creation and enhancement of the person’s life purpose, vision, goals, strategies, action steps, plans, and execution. When coaching on life, the coach wants to ensure that all these are holistically aligned for creating great synergies to produce great results.

In life coaching, the coach draws out the life purpose of the person being coached, This is done via a combination of powerful questions, active listening, paraphrasing to show understanding, and a deep sense of belief in the unlimited potential of a person.

Once the coachee’s life purpose is defined and structured in the form of a profoundly compelling and easy-to-remember sentence, the coach then helps the coachee elaborate on how the life purpose would look like when realized. This is the vision. The coach would continue with the next steps of setting the goals, coming up with the strategies and tactics and the action steps to execute those strategies, tactics and action steps.

To add further value to the coachee, the coach usually assists in putting in place various support systems for the coachee to succeed. These systems could be coaching tools, calendar reminds, accountability partners, frequent follow-ups or any suitable push to drive the coachee towards accomplishments. The end result is to see the coachee obtain the desired outcomes. When a person accomplishes what they planned, they are living a life of love, happiness and success.

Life Coaching for Holistic Happiness

Honk! Honk! Honk!

Sally woke up with a start from the blaring behind her. It took a few moments to get her bearings and realize she was in her car. The driver behind was pounding the horn as the light had turned to green from red. Waving her hand out the window in apology, Sally eased into gear and pressed the accelerator to continue her way to work.

As she entered cruising speed on the expressway, Sally felt mentally and physically tired. An engineer in an F&B production organization in her late 30s, she was not in the best of health. Her energy levels were low, and she frequently took sick leave to deal with niggling headaches and body aches. A poor-quality diet where she frequently skipped meals, then binged on huge plates during the weekends did her body no favours too.

Compounding the physical situation was her work life. Sally just did not enjoy what she was doing. Don’t get her wrong, she like working among food and beverages, but the lack of visibility bothered her. It gnawed on her mind that her managers didn’t call her to give inputs during meetings, nor was she naturally outspoken, despite being technically brilliant. Her timidity and lack of visibility combined to give her boss and colleagues the wrong impression.

All these things weighed heavily on her mind as she entered the parking lot on the cold January morning and began looking for a place to park. Finding an empty space and pulling in, Sally let out a loud sigh before composing herself and entered the office to begin a new workday. She entered the hallway and spied her colleagues in front of her, but instead of greeting them with a cheery “Hello!” she sidestepped into an empty meeting room and waited until they passed before continuing to her place. This was not the first time she acted like this and the pattern would persist throughout the day.

Tap! Tap! Tap!

The waiter tried to get her attention by tapping his pen on the table at the café. Startled, Sally sheepishly broke out of the thoughts troubling her to place an order for a mug of hot chocolate. She was waiting for a friend who wanted to catch up after returning from a long trip overseas. Her friend was running late so her mind wandered to her work and life before the waiter interrupted her thoughts.

“Sally!”, she heard her name being called behind her. “Sally, it is so good to see you,” her friend Alice said. The two good friends squealed and hugged each other. After a round of quick catch ups, they settled down to a delicious brunch of scones and sandwiches. “So, tell me,” Alice said warmly as the waiter cleared the plates and refilled their cups with fresh water and coffee, “How is life treating you?”

The thoughtfulness of the gesture touched Sally’s heart immensely. Something broke in her and she began telling Alice all about her worries and concerns. Her sense of fatigue, poor health, and lack of visibility all came tumbling out. Alice listened intently, never interrupting her friend and only asked questions to clarify for better understanding. “What do you do to help you overcome all these negative feelings?” Alice asked during a break in the conversation as Sally sipped on her water.

“Well, this is another thing of mine that I fear I am failing in, financial discipline. Most of the times I give in to my urgings to splurge on myself. I would just buy whatever I feel like it, handbags, clothes, fine foods,” she continued. Alice listened to her friend vent without passing any negative judgement. After a few moments of silence, she asked, “Are you happy with your life now?”. The question put Sally on the spot. She admitted to fleeting moments of happiness after a shopping spree, but the funk would soon descend after growing tired of the new purchases. “What can I do?” she asked.

Bzzt! Bzzt! Bzzt!

Sally’s vibrating phone on the meeting table made her look down midway through her presentation. Apologizing for the interruption, she quickly put her mobile on silent and smiled inwardly when she saw who was calling. After her meeting, she quickly returned the call. “Well, how did it go?” Alice asked.

“The presentation went well,” Sally replied, “Everyone listened attentively and were engaged, they asked lots of questions and challenged me, but I managed to hold my own.

“I really couldn’t believe I can feel so confident and upbeat, this feels like whole new me!” she gushed to her friend.

Later in the evening while relaxing on the day bed with a glass of rose, Sally reflected on how her life changed after Alice introduced her to a life coach. She resisted at first, “What do you mean I need coaching,” she remembered balking after the suggestion. “I don’t want to feel like a project which needs to be fixed,” she had fumed. However, she was intrigued by the proposition of discovering her life purpose with the help of a life coach. With some encouragement from Alice, she made an appointment with a life coach she found online. Much to her surprise, and a little bit of relief, Sally came away from the first session very positive. The coach did not make her feel like broken down clock needing repairs. Instead, he made her feel uplifted and confident that she already had it in her to face and overcome challenges in her way.

An important tool to let her see the gaps in life the coach used was the Elements of Life Synergy (ELS) model and tool. This allowed her to identify areas in life which needed to be worked. The ELS comprises eight elements comprising the inner core, which are the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit, and the outer core which are the Family, Career, Financial, and Community. Using the model and tool, Sally saw that her mind, body, career, and financial elements of her life required attention.

During subsequent sessions, her coach assisted her to craft a life purpose statement focusing on creating technology to effect positive change in society. Such a personal call resonated within her and inspired her to move towards massive execution. He helped to operationalize her life purpose statement by coaching her to craft the necessary strategies, tactics, and action steps she needed to turn her life around. These included embedding good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits into her daily routine to shoo away the lethargy and be more energetic. This gave her the impetus to take an online course to improve her speaking and presentation skills to build her confidence to add inputs at meetings, and craft better presentations. Her financial discipline also got better. Her coach connected her with a financial planner who aided her to develop a personal budget for covering the necessities without sacrificing the occasional indulgences.

Examining herself, Sally felt she could go to bed earlier to get a full night’s rest and wake up refreshed and recharged. With a well-rested body and mind, she possess the energy to perform at work. With her new-found energy, she worked with a mentor and enrolled in an online course to gain the competencies to be a better presenter. Her aim was to be more visible in meetings and be confident enough to present her views in an interesting and engaging manner.

Her problem was that her presentation was too fact heavy. It was too detailed, and she could not connect with her audience. She shied away from presenting because of her lack of confidence. She presented once or twice but did it badly. Although technically brilliant, people did not see her or recognize her ability due to her not speaking up. People saw she was timid, tired, sleepy and did not have the energy to speak and present properly. Thankfully, she managed to overcome these hurdles after learning the tips and tricks of power speaking.

Soon, her bosses and colleagues noticed the change and paid attention to her presentations. As she increased her level of influence, Sally received invitations to present technical papers during engineering conferences, whether in-house or external functions. With her increased impact in and out of the workplace, she was also tapped by her bosses to lead engineering projects which she did with much success. Those who worked with her spoke positively of her high-energy approach to tackling issues and the way she communicated inspired confidence among team members.

For her finances, she knew exactly where the issue laid. We are glad to share that Sally managed to save enough over a year and took a nice holiday in the Fiji Islands where she got a nice tan and drank cocktails by the beach all day long.

Of course, her heightened visibility and increased influence saw her rise through the ranks resulting in a higher pay scale. Instead of spending more money on branded goods, she chose to set aside substantial amounts for smart investments and enjoyable holidays in exotic locations.

Honk! Honk! Honk!

Sally beamed as she tested out the various functions of her new sports car, including the horn. Ever since she put her foot down to turn her life around, her success continued to build. Her aim to become the Research and Development (R&D) Director in her organization was becoming closer to reality. She also managed to file two patents on automation which contributed substantial revenue for the company. She was confident she was in the running for the top engineering spot.

People in the organization were also paying her more attention. She became the go-to person for engineers who were stuck. Her energy and confidence allowed her to build relationships with her team, colleagues, stakeholders and decision makers which increased her influence. Sally also received invitations to present technical papers within the organization and by engineering societies.

She felt a lightness in her spirit which she didn’t feel for a long time. Humming a tune, she entered the company parking lot. Finding an empty space, Sally smiled winningly into the rearview mirror and told herself “It’s a brand-new day. Let’s do this!” and exited after a last-minute makeup check in the vanity mirror. She entered the hallway and greeted her colleagues with a happy “Hello!” to start the working day.