The Essential Role of Life Coaches: To Produce Effective Learners Who Become Leaders in Future
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Life coaching is often confused with a classroom teaching methodology where an expert talk about growth and listeners take down notes if they choose to. However, life coaching is a segment that helps you overcome physical, emotional, mental and spiritual obstacles and grow holistically. Helping through this process is your life coach. In simple terms, a life coach is someone who helps create & achieve goals, gain clarity, facilitate change, journeys as a committed partner from insight to action, from problems to solutions & unlock creative abilities in creating a life that you want.
As the saying ‘Leaders are made not born’ goes, leadership requires a focused effort and utmost patience of a life coach. Leadership is a multi-pronged element. In order to make successful leaders, one should be a leader of his/her senses. Only where the coaches are leading a life they want, they can harness the ability to guide, mentor and help others lead the lives of their choice. This is where life coaching plays a powerful role in helping a leader come into inner & outer alignment at the levels of thought, action and vision.
Alignment and Clarity
By aligning the core nuances of thoughts, actions and visions, a leader is able to focus on a one-point vision and work unanimously with all the senses to achieve that goal. However, this is easier said than done. Alignment is an aim that many people achieve after rigorous emotional and mental training.
The going becomes even tougher when the mind is resilient to change. The human mind is a powerful and proactive universe of thought which is adverse to a certain element, can be very difficult to convince otherwise. Every person has their own internal value system to evaluate & decide one’s way forward. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong, it is all about perceptions.
Such a scenario can wreak havoc in an organizational structure where a uniform structure of goal envisioning, combined with leadership and ownership is important towards that common success. Mind being a fickle thing can be daunted by change. Leaders too can fall trap to these situations where they will resist changes and undermine their growth potential. Some of the situations are:
· Poor Personal life. Most Leaders struggle with a work-personal-life balance and that results from not prioritizing their own personal health in the big picture. Happy leaders lead & influence happy teams.
· Resistance. Surprising as it may sound, leaders can, themselves, be resistant to change, feedback or in plain old denial. While at the realm of leading others, it is sometimes hard to accept one’s own flaws impeding success. It takes courage to be on a continuous self-improvement journey.
· Role Conflict. Wearing multiple hats & juggling responsibilities can be challenging and over-bearing at times and cause of inner conflict reflecting on poor leadership.
· Ego-centric. It takes humility and spiritual maturity to rise above ego-centric behaviour and make choices that have a larger positive impact on the society & community which organizations ultimately serve. Spiritual Leadership is the ultimate goal.
Life Coaches connect with their clients and help them re-align their beliefs, values and emotions with the organization’s goals & values. He/she understands the nitty-gritty that is involved in making the transition a success where no step is big or too small. This mindset especially comes in handy when the focused audience is the undeterred corporate sector that needs engagement and interaction to change the modules of their daily lives. Interestingly, India’s coaching industry is roughly estimated at $60 Mn as compared to $5Bn in the US, so India is waking up to the potential of life coaching for its leaders but it is a long walk.
Leader Centric Coaching
People often negate the importance of good physical health for resounding emotional well-being. The mind-body connection is enunciated by a relaxed, fit and healthy body hosts a sharp, focused and clear mind. Yoga, meditation, any relaxation technique (like Access Bars, Reiki, Deep Breathing, even Walking, Running, Swimming, Dance) will help one come into physical awareness. While coaching is an excellent way to achieve mental awareness, it is only through awareness of thoughts, emotions & body sensations, we can have an insight into what’s going on in our inner life.
Coaching can also bring forth a change in the emotional paradigm by focusing on the following that makes leadership a truly holistic agenda. These aspects are as follows:
· Mental Clarity: Knowing what one wants, out of oneself, teams, organization, partners and the market is crucial for a leader.
· Consistent Focus on the goals, performance, development, monitoring and measuring success.
· Stepping out of Comfort Zone: A leader is constantly challenging oneself and one’s team for constant growth.
· Inspired Creativity: Finding creative ways of keeping it fun for prolific ideas to germinate across the organization.
· Managing Change: Companies are in a constant cycle of chaos and change. Staying on top of it while staying centred & grounded makes a good leader.
· Better Problem Solving: Leaders are called out for identifying problems and turning them into opportunities for growth and profitability.
· Handling Power & Authority: Power struggles, Ego clashes, Delegation and Team Building & Motivation are challenges that come with leadership.
· Knowing when to stop: The work never ends; neither should it. Knowing when enough is key for sustained productivity for any leadership role.
· Having Fun: A leader that does not know how to enjoy and have fun along with one’s team cannot survive for long. A joyful journey leads to happy destinations.
· Holding the Big Picture: Stepping away from managing others and various roles and re-aligning with the bigger picture is a key responsibility of a leader.
· Self-Knowledge: A leader that knows oneself is the leader that grows. Understanding one’s strength, limitations, passions, gifts and leadership style is key to powerful leadership.
· Self-Awareness: Last and most importantly, finding inner balance and harmony by connecting with one’s Self (Soul) is key to any fulfilment.
In a nutshell, life coaching can alter one’s universe by shifting the thought pattern and make it more proactive. Partnering with a life coach can be extremely transformative for those with the zeal to achieve something in their lives and believe in walking the walk instead of talking the talk!