Effective life coaching could be an investment in tight economic times and could significantly improve one’s financial position in the long term, coaches say. Picture: ISTOCK
Effective life coaching could be an investment in tight economic times and could significantly improve one’s financial position in the long term, coaches say. Picture: ISTOCK

LIFE coaches believe their services are even more vital in a tight economy, because that is when you are required to perform at your absolute best.

"Given several benefits that could flow from effective coaching, it should be viewed as an investment and as something that could help save and even help make money in the long term," says Shoni Khangala, a Cape Town-based life coach.

With many different approaches to coaching, however, choosing the right one could be a challenge.

Penny Holborn, a Sandton-based life and executive coach, says it is a personal choice, based on someone you think "will fit with you and can help you". If possible, she adds, get referrals and recommendations from others.

"A good life coach has consolidated their successes, failures, trials and tribulations and packaged them as arsenals in their journey, mission and reason for becoming a life coach," Khangala says.

This person "puts the interest and agenda of the coachee ahead of their own, while allowing the coachee to take full responsibility for their own journey, not playing ‘rescuer’. They should hold a formal coaching qualification and be accredited by a relevant coaching body, which holds them to account and adheres to ethical and professional standards," he says.

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WITH  an MSc from the University of Cape Town and a master’s degree in marketing from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Khangala trained as an inner life skills master coach.

He says effective rapport building is the cornerstone of successful coaching relationships. "I take extra care in ensuring that the coachee understands what coaching is and what they could expect to get from it; and what our respective roles would be in the coaching relationship."

The coaching content contract must be "supported by evidence", with goals clearly defined and measured, Khangala says. "I help to deepen the commitment by asking questions such as: How would achieving this goal change your life for the better? What other areas of your life/ work will benefit from you achieving this goal?

"We then embark on excavating solutions. This is the most critical part of the coaching conversation. Inner life skills coaches have 111 tools they can use. The last step is to focus on actions to implement to achieve goals. It is important that there are time lines attached, and that the coachee has established adequate support to help them follow through the actions."

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KHANGALA sometimes uses the Enneagram model for assessing personality types. He says he is well-versed in business and professional ethics, corporate strategy, marketing, tourism, leadership, management, organisational behaviour and human resources.

Holburn says a good life coach is like an "empathic, wise elder, who knows when to be compassionate and when to be challenging".

A psychology MSc graduate with a major in industrial psychology, she has spent 27 years working in people development, organisational and psychological assessment, personal and business change, leadership development, counselling, training and coaching, for individuals and organisations.

Having trained with New Insights, she says her approach over the years has become "deal with what shows up".

"I create a unique process for each client, and methodology and techniques are used from many different subject fields and integrated into an approach that works for that particular person," Holburn says.

She says a slow economy should not deter people from seeking coaching. "Every time you invest in growing yourself, you enable yourself to move ahead in life and make more money. Many coaches will allow you to structure something that works for you financially. And coaching is, for many people, and most companies, tax deductible."

Tresella Nayager helps small businessowners and entrepreneurs build their businesses. A former management consultant, she spent 10 years in academia, lecturing on strategy, entrepreneurship and small business.

She has a BCom honours and an MBA from Gordon Institute of Business Science, and is a certified neurolinguistic programming practitioner. This method works with the dynamics between mind and language, and how their interplay affects our body and behaviour.

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A GOOD life coach is "committed to helping others find personal success, someone with a passion to help people live life to their full potential", she says.

"As a neurolinguistic programming practitioner, I help clients achieve their goals by shaping the way they think and interact with the world. It is a process that allows clients to understand their map of the world and how that influences your success or failures. We get to understand your personal values and beliefs that unconsciously guide your behaviour.

"Most people can’t even see the roadblocks they have in their mind; the right coach can see through your self-imposed limits and push you through them, enabling you to reach all-important goals such as improved performance, higher productivity and personal development."

With an honours degree in education and a master’s in social work, Rob Yates has been professionally coaching since 1999. He also has a diploma in organisational development, a diploma in neuroscience coaching and is a UKCC Level 4 performance coach and practitioner of neurolinguistic programming and hypnotherapy.

"A good coach will often dramatically enable you to short-cut your path to achievement," says Yates, a retired professional sportsman in kayaking, who calls himself a "peak performance strategist".

"My services are exclusive, like a Range Rover or high-end sports car — they are not for everyone and I only take on those who truly are determined to achieve."

Tight financial times can steer people off course, he says, but "having that person who will partner with you to achieve your goals is worth it. Otherwise you will always be putting off your potential … and will not be able to leave a true legacy behind. Your coach should quickly be able to coach you to be breaking even financially."

With a career as an advertising account executive behind her and a degree in drama and anthropology, Pippa Leicher offers a warm and informal approach to coaching.

"I put my views aside to challenge my clients, and reflect for them, to get them out of their comfort zone. If people are feeling stuck, I get them to step over that line into discomfort," she says.

In the first session, she likes to find out who her client is, "how they learn — visually, methodically or physically?"

Drawing on her dramatic skills, she may use role play, and paper and coloured khoki pens to help dream up creative solutions.

"As a coach, I am careful not to dictate, which would take the client’s power away. It is me challenging you to get to your truth, and then holding you accountable to it," Leicher says.

Where coaching skills cannot help, she refers her clients to a clinical psychologist. "I ask them to contract to six sessions, but they may be ready at four."

Hoping to build up a strong clientele in the creative industries such as advertising, Leicher says she is keeping her rates affordable because she aims to help people succeed.

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