A Coach’s Best Investment
Professional coaches dedicate their careers to partnering with clients who desire to maximize their personal and professional potential. The coach’s perspective is necessarily focused on improving the lives of others, and accredited coaching programs ensure that rigorous training through proven curriculum will produce high-quality coaching professionals. The decision to become a credentialed coach is a commitment to help others discover and cultivate their personal best.
According to this Global Consumer Awareness Study, coaching clients reported benefits such as improved communication skills, increased self-esteem an self-confidence, increased productivity, and optimized individual/team performance. Clearly, coaching can be not only a life-changing experience for clients, but also a satisfying profession for the coach. With such important work being accomplished through the coach/client partnership, how can this relationship be maintained at optimal levels to provide maximum results?
The answer may be surprising. According to Certified Professional Leadership and Mentor Coach Marilyn Orr, maintaining personal well-being is critical to coaching success. “Focusing on our own well-being in an intentional, frequent manner is critical to us being able to coach in alignment with the competencies we have all studied and practiced,” she writes in a 2019 article for the International Coach Federation. “I would posit that we have an ethical responsibility to take our mental and physical wellness seriously so that we can be fully present for our clients.”
In light of the importance of personal well-being to successful coaching, consider the following suggestions for cultivating inner strength and professional growth.
Global Wellness Day describes wellness as “an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth.” There are two notable features of this definition. First, wellness is an active and intentional pursuit, not just a state of being. And second, wellness includes all aspects of life, including physical, mental, and social well-being.
For coaches to be most effective with their clients, personal wellness must be a priority. Consider regular personal evaluation in the following areas:
· Diet – a healthy diet is essential as the foundation of physical wellness
· Sleep – not getting enough rest can result in physiologic imbalance
· Movement – the proper level of physical activity greatly impacts well-being
· Stress – there is perhaps no greater detrimental contributor to overall health
· Creativity – creative outlets like hobbies, crafts, art, etc. nurture satisfaction
· Social – actively participating as an interdependent piece of the bigger puzzle of humankind
Through intentional and routine consideration of these and other key areas, imbalances can be detected and corrected before they become too problematic. For coaches, an active process of being aware and making positive choices can lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing, and ensure being fully present for clients.
Choosing and working with a Mentor Coach is an important step in the ongoing development of ICF Core Competencies as a coach. According to the International Coach Federation, “Mentor Coaching for an ICF Credential consists of coaching and feedback in a collaborative, appreciative and dialogued process based on an observed or recorded coaching session to increase the coach’s capability in coaching, in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies.”
Professional mentoring provides assistance in achieving and demonstrating the levels of coaching competency and capability demanded by the desired credential level. Mentoring occurs over an extended period of time and follows a methodology that includes listening and feedback from the Mentor Coach as well as reflection and practice on the part of the coach being mentored. Credentialing is important for a coach’s credibility and professional networking, and Mentor Coaching is a vital part of training for the purpose of credentialing and increasing personal development.
In the midst of helping others explore possibilities and move into new territories in their personal and professional lives, coaches must make their personal wellness and development a priority. Maintaining a strong sense of personal awareness creates an atmosphere of continual learning which enables a coach to see through new eyes. This fresh perspective will not only cultivate a fully satisfying and balanced life but will also benefit clients who are seeking deep change through the coaching partnership.