In terms of “raison d’etre”, I hold a firm belief that everyone is deserving of a sense of wellness. It is different for everyone, and whilst we have core needs, they will each be met in a variety of ways.
We are not all the same, nor is there a magic pill!
However, there is a way to create your own “pill” and that comes from within.
So, HOW exactly, do we get so far inside ourselves that we find the ingredients, to have half a chance of creating our very own “medicine”?
The place I got to know myself the best was in coaching. It was getting coaching myself that inspired me to activate it for others. I started out offering “Wellness Coaching” but now realise the process of any coaching itself brings wellness.
Observations from the coaches chair are the route of this evidence.
What is Coaching?
The International Coaching Federation definition is:
“partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”.ICF
Ultimately, it is a conversation, in which, you decide the agenda, lead, have space to think, explore and examine your thoughts, and bring it together in choosing what to do with what you found.
Earlier this year, I’d reviewed literature and put together an article on Mental Health benefits from coaching, and then took some time over the summer to analyse my own findings and started to notice patterns emerging. I found the results fascinating. It is actually in line with other research that confirms coaching in itself is beneficial to wellness.
How do we know coaching is a wellness tool?
In noticing patterns of change in my clients between the start and end of their coaching programmes, I started recording how they felt more formally.
We do this regardless of the topic they are bringing to coaching e.g. it’s the same if someone wants to, change career, set up a business, improve leaderships skills, get more work life balance, make big life decisions and EVERYTHING in between.
I invite them to use a self-rating measure of where they feel they are in relation to 18 different areas of their life. These are areas known to be linked to resilience and well-being. People rate themselves at the start and end of the programme. This could be between three and four months apart. They always saw improvements following the work they had done in coaching. The overall “number” was higher. What I hadn’t ever done, was look at any trends.
When I started to look at themes, five areas emerged as consistently improving in terms of significant positive shifts.
I have written about each of them:
Each wellness benefit is split into:
- a definition (in relation to wellness)
- description of what we mean in practical terms
- how coaching supports it
- client quotes outlining success
Following on from that, I have taken this to another level, and am now leading a formal research project asking “which elements of resilience and wellbeing are impacted by workplace coaching?”. You can find out more here. and sign up for fortnightly updates here. If you are reading this as a coach, you might want to take part. Maybe you are intrigued by the project? Please do get in touch.
Sheela Hobden is a Coach at bluegreen Coaching. Following her own mental health battles, she now coaches individuals, runs training sessions and speaks at conferences. She has a real passion for helping medics and healthcare professionals take as much care of themselves as they do their patients in whatever life or career conundrums they face! She is also a Mentor Coach and Coach Supervisor. She has a PGCERT in Business and Personal Coaching, holds PCC member status with the ICF and is CIPD qualified. She challenges herself with ultra distance running and Ironman. Find her at www.bluegreencoaching.com or swimming in the sea, in Poole, Dorset
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