Last night I finished my first course on coaching. It ended with my 31st week of attendance. I have spent thousands of dollars on seminars and college courses in the past, but the greatest return has come from this amazing insightful program originating from Ben Dean, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Mentor Coach (www.mentorcoach.com) I had no idea when I signed on for this training to eventually become certified that I would benefit so much from the coursework, personally. I trained with 12 other peak performers (mainly from the fields of psychology, nursing, fitness, social services and other socially beneficial professions). Our instructor was Ann Marie McKelvey, LPCC, PCC winner of the 2009 Mentor Coach Pillar Award.
After every class, Ann Marie, coach and psychotherapist, (email@example.com) had us interface with one another in teams of two. The idea was to cross-coach in this very personal one-on-one style which permitted us the opportunity to experience the practices and principles of the work in true-to-life applications. Every week when we would meet we had the opportunity to report back on what pearls of wisdom we had derived from our exposure to the concepts. Because of this process we were able to better understand ourselves, other people and the conditions that needed to be changed in their lives for them to achieve their goals.
Coaching is all about becoming a force of influence that is so powerful that it can be deferred to the individual client permitting them to be in control. The central theme behind the Mentor Coaching model is to help clients become more self-directed and more adept at taking charge and, thereby, becoming more trustful of themselves. We work with our clients by asking a series of probing but non-threatening questions that quickly bring to light a pathway that is lined with their self-assurance instead of recriminations from their past. When our client’s confidence is restored and is intact they have what they need to work through the multi-layers of confusion that often surrounds their issues. In this way coaching differs from psychology and consulting. This unique coaching methodology serves to prevent clients from experiencing vulnerability and feelings of helplessness. It also discourages any possibility of us from becoming too manipulative and trying to tell them what they should and should not do.
In-between our weekly sessions were interconnected through an email matrix. Our communications centered on our thoughts as well as our personal and professional experiences which we relayed to one another in confidence. We created our own discussion forums online and by phone so we could explore our individual dilemmas as a group. Best of all, we were allowed to turn to our course mates (as many as we wished) in times of emotional turmoil or if were confused in trying to make major decisions we found ourselves confronted with. Having so many different perspectives from our fellow coaches helped us work through our circumstances more efficiently. This aspect of the training was for me, the most enriching since I learned a good deal about myself as I became more aware of why I had previously resisted avenues toward more rational resolution. Naturally, as the months wore on, we came together as a collective mind. Our feelings for one another increased and we began to experience firsthand the uniqueness of coaching relationships and their vast implications but at the same time we also gained a sense of the professional boundaries that they must have.
What I know realize from completing this course on the fundamentals of the work is how certain kinds of support can actually hurt, doing more harm than good, if the wrong strategies are applied. Knowing just the right approaches to mentor the various personality types so they can continue to coach themselves is essential. Perspective is the essence of this self-directed coaching and this training through Mentor Coach has made me more aware of all the many ways it must be gleamed. To begin with, one needs to closely examine oneself first, looking deeply inward to become better aware of one’s own beliefs, strengthens and limitations. Once recognized these insights provide a structure for understanding others and constructing a sound coaching framework. All this personal work must be accomplished before expecting to achieve mastery over a multitude of strategies intended to help others find their own way. I believe in this particular coaching process because it encourages self-reliance. Next week I will begin my next course in a series involving personal wellness through the practicality of mediums designed to ensure greater life balance. Coaching for a healthier and happier life is a natural selection for those of us who aim to assist our clients /patients with countermeasures we create through aesthetic healing modalities.