Life Coaching

Real Hobbies are not “Pass-Times”

by necoaching necoaching No Comments

golf 2Though many people find the idea of chasing a little white ball around a golf course for 4+ hours as being something close to madness, the reality is that this is more than an activity to just “pass time”. It challenges your skill, patience, perseverance, mental resolve and not alone do you compete with others but you also yourself. People come off a golf course with a wide range of emotions from elation to total frustration and every conceivable feeling in between. At a basic human level it actually fulfills a fundamental human need.

The late Robin Williams is famous for his sketch about golf (click here for great laugh!). Though not for the faint hearted due to his unique style, he takes on the Scottish accent as he hilariously describes the origin of the game. As he does you can see many metaphors about life, it terms of the tools we are given (golf clubs, balls, etc), the challenges we get presented with (trees, bunkers, tiny hole to put ball into, etc) and then the expectations in terms of results (strokes, scorecard, etc). This sounds pretty similar to what happens every day we go to work!

Golf is also about performance and the positive energy that comes from doing something you love. You typically play in front of 3 other people, there might be money on it or it could be a tournament and so the outcome has a consequence. Most golfers are very nervous on the first tee; “oh please just get me to the fairway or I just don’t want to “duff” my first shot”, are pretty common thoughts. Because of this somebody even came up with the idea of having a “mulligan” to offset the first tee nerves. Of course the reason for this is that we all want to do well, experience success and, most importantly, feel good about ourselves.

And finally, the most critical aspect of golf is its social capacity. You get time to spend quality moments with other people and hear about the work, their families and more. Four to five hours with 3 people is a long time and can create many moments of conversation; it is this basic need for community and belonging that is at the very root of our human existence.

I am not suggesting that you run out and buy a set of golf clubs. Rather take a look at your hobbies or things you love to do and make them a key part of your life. These activities are not intended to “pass times” or be gap filers. In truth, they are as critical as everything else you do.

Coaching and Choosing a Niche

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Professional Coaching can be applied to almost every facet of life.  This is so because it is essentially a process through which you, as a coach, can effectively leverage your own talents, experience and wisdom to help somebody else.  The uniqueness of this individual approach is what drives coaches to carefully choose a niche.

niche targetVery often people get confused or are simply unsure of what their niche should be.  There are the classical ones such as Executive, Business, Career, Wellness or Life but even within these there are areas of specialty.  What is becoming more apparent is that, in an attempt to create differentiation and also demonstrate some expertise, coaches are getting to a “Core Niche”.  This can be defined as the area of specialization most helpful to the client that strongly leverages the unique capabilities of the coach.

This in turn drives business development potential for the coach.  By playing to the unique strengths, selling becomes easier and clients are going to be more drawn to somebody who knows what they are talking about.  By having marketing materials and communication reflect something different allows the coach to separate themselves and have a unique selling proposition.   So differentiation facilitates getting more clients!

However once you begin to service a client, this is where the expertise in the coaching process kicks in.  By its very nature, coaching adopts a holistic approach to people’s challenges; it looks at them in the context of the whole life because nothing happens in isolation.  As the coach looks at the whole person, they help identify these inter dependencies and really help seek the appropriate and sustainable solution.  It’s truly about getting impactful results.  So coaching facilitates servicing clients at the highest level!

However you view it, your niche, as a coach, should define the authentic you.  When it does, selling and coaching becomes exponentially easier and more effective.

Coaching – State of the Union

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Having been immersed in the profession of coaching for almost seven years I would like to share with you a brief assessment on its current state under a few broad categories.

  • The Market – Coaching as a profession still remains at an evolutionary stage in its development and understanding. The market is characterized by multiple individuals creating their own coaching practice with a minimal amount of collaboration. This is meeting the needs of the individual coaches but is preventing the profession from creating the scale and recognition necessary to make coaching more mainstream. Executive Coaching remains widely accepted and valued, while Life Coaching needs further refinement and definition. Life Coaches need to be clear in terms of niche definition to better help the public understand the type of service provided.
  • Credibility – Barriers to entry remain relatively low with those serious about this new undertaking as a coach at least investing in being formally trained and certified. Coaches may not be as classroom prepared as therapists or counselors but are receiving much more practical hands on training. This in turn becomes the vehicle through which they can draw on their own knowledge, experience and passion to serve clients effectively. The International Coach Federation continues to gain traction in terms of recognition as the leading professional body of coaches. This alignment with ICF, whether through membership, participation in an ICF accredited coach training program or ICF certification itself, are all important stepping stones to advancing the profession and the individual coach in a credible manner.
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New Product Launch-Possibility Board™

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New England Coaching is delighted to announce the launch of its new product, The POSSIBILITY Board™

Marlborough, MA, August 19th 2009 – Developed in collaboration with Norwegian company, Life-mastering AS , this is an online, interactive, visual tool that allows individuals create their very own Life Plan.

“This marks a new phase in the development of our business”, said Bill Sex, President and Founder of New England Coaching. “Up to this point, a significant focus of our learning and development has been through more traditional methods such as classroom teaching and coaching. This provides the opportunity to use the internet as a medium and offer clients a very accessible and effective product at a reasonable cost.” Read more