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There are a lot of tools for self-development and in these times of self-help, motivational books and talks one must not forget to mention Life Coaches. One of your greatest allies on the journey to bettering one’s self.

A lot of the times when I’m asked about my profession, the immediate follow up questions are, ‘what exactly does a life coach do and who needs one?’

Let’s start with getting familiar with the work of a life coach. The work that a life coach does is act as a guide in moving you from where you are to where you want to be in various areas of your life. It is a professional relationship between coach and client where the coach helps the client gain better understanding and awareness of their own values and how these tie to behavioural patterns. A coach helps you create and maintain patterns that support your goals.

It is important to understand that coaching is about the individual and is held under strict confidentiality with the client empowered and viewed as reasonable and responsible for their journey. The coach does not tell you what to do but allows you to discover the what for yourself, acting as a soundboard and accountability partner. In other words the onus is on the coachee to make choices that are in line with things that bring them happiness and fulfilment.

What do you want to achieve? Is it a more fulfilling career or relationship you want, or are looking to reignite your interests? Do you seek clarity with important decisions you need to make?

As easy as these questions seem, they are not as easy as most of us think or would even like. A lot of us are constantly setting the same goals year in and year out and ultimately getting frustrated with the lack of achievement and fulfilment over the years.

A coach is there to challenge and support you into setting and reaching the results you desire.

Another question, ‘are you a therapist?’

Coaches are not therapist but make use of their knowledge of psychology as they go about their profession. Often, therapy often gets pitted against coaching. Are the two the same? Is one more important than the other? Coaching and therapy are each of great importance and have their time and place. Therapy looks into the past to help you understand where you are while coaching meets you exactly where you are and looks to move you forward. Another important point to note.

What about speaking engagements?

Yes, coaches do make for some of the best inspirational speakers but this is not a prerequisite for a coach. While inspirational talks do have a feel-good factor to them, a coach-coachee relationship is not quite that. A coach can help you discover what inspires, motivates and makes you happy.

Although world of coaching is fairly new in Zambia and Africa, there are some great opportunities and indeed world-class coaches around. Coaching is steady on the rise with individuals and organisations benefiting from engaging professional like myself and others.

To reposition yourself for greater value. Contact Mary to start your journey today.

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