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Life Coaches & Why You should Become One

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Life Coaches & Why You should Become One

Sambasivan G, CFO, Tata Sky, 0

A veteran, Sambasivan holds over three decades of professional experience in senior roles in Finance & General Management.

In this short essay, I would like to talk about how any individual can become a life coach for at least one person even if not in a formal way. What does it take to become a life coach and how can one continue to enrich the lives of others?

The typical reader of this magazine would be a CXO and would be well experienced in corporate culture. In the
corporate world, we are used to getting trained on various professional topics and, also being taught by mentors for brief periods. Then we get ready for the next role, perform successfully various assignments and (hopefully) become a holistic manager or leader. The professional life is thus sorted (more or less).

Having said that, how many of us aspire or continuously seek to learn and master skills that would help us lead a happy and successful personal life? This article is written on the premise that the best way to learn new skills is to become a coach and teach others on a topic that you have a natural flair for. Coaching can be a potent tool to excel in professional and personal life equally well.

Why should I strive to become a coach in the first place?
Answer: All of us have specific goals that we like to achieve; Let us say, my life goal is to become a good person. While I define what a good person means (for example, being empathetic, serving others, not hurting others), I should also start behaving as per my definition/beliefs. It would take years to develop this habit, after crossing many moments of truth during a life time. This learning is what we call experience. Secondly, we know intuitively what we are really good at, as this knowledge gets reinforced over a life time.

My belief is that each one of us can share this type of experience and it would immensely help the next generation. Some great men bring out their learnings in the form of autobiographies, some write biographies of other leaders, some write their own blogs with the same purpose.

Life coaching, in my view is to take at least one person under your wing and, continuously share your experience /skill so that the other becomes at least as good as yourself. This is a miniature version of teaching (where a teacher has many students, life coaches have a limited number). Mentoring is something that comes close to this; Mentoring is a one to one relation between a student and a teacher; Life coach is a little broader
wherein the experience sharing and walking the talk helps the protégé to become a better skilled person.

Life coaching as a concept has not become very popular in India as yet while most of us are good at it. If you ask me, all parents are life coaches for their children.

You can choose any topic to become a life coach; for example, if you are interested in becoming a fitness
aficionado, the best way is to start advising someone on fitness regimen. This would first make yourself more disciplined on the fitness regime that you would like to advise on.

You can choose any topic to become a life coach; for example, if you are interested in becoming a fitness
aficionado, the best way is to start advising someone on fitness regimen. This would first make yourself more disciplined on the fitness regime that you would like to advise on.

Today, due to the explosion of e-learning, there is a surfeit of certification programs available to become a certified life coach. Not only does it help you get out of the monotony (sometimes) of the corporate life, it can give you a great sense of fulfilment, as you would be doing something for the greater good of the society.

I would like to touch upon a few types of coaching here based on my readings for this article. If you are coaching someone for health, you can adopt a T-GROW framework. (Topic, Goals, Reality, Options and What next). You start with the topic of say weight reduction, the actual weight loss goal, what is your current state, what are the methods or options to achieve the goal (diet, yoga, exercise, running) and what are the specific next steps.

Life coaching as a concept has not become very popular in India as yet while most of us are good at it



Another type of coaching is narrative coaching that is a “mindful, experiential and holistic approach that helps people shift their stories about themselves, others and life itself to create new possibilities and new results”. (David Drake, 2019).

If you want to get into career coaching, you can start understanding the protégé with the what, why and how
questions with a growth mindset and without a negative attitude. (What is the one thing that you want to achieve in your career, what specific areas you would like to work on, why is it important to you). Simple as it may sound, my view is that it is very difficult to simplify things in life. If one achieves that, nothing is impossible. In addition, the rigor and consistency of practice counts in the long run.

Even though I am not a certified life coach, I believe in continuously sharing my learnings with people around me and am hopeful that I have contributed to making their lives a tad better than what it was before.

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