How does Wellcoaching work to facilitate change?
Monday February 11, 2013
Making a change in one or more areas of life is a challenge for most people, particularly if there have been repeated attempts to change that have been only marginal successes or outright failures. What professional wellness coaches do to enable people to make lasting change is help them create a different mindset, a new perspective or insight that opens up a broader horizon or a larger worldview. This stimulates creative thinking and facilitates the right conditions for changing behavior. Many of the tools that coaches use are science-based skills that set the scene for change, such as:
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. It is an awareness that allows for openness and a calm focus, freedom from the distractions that normally capture our thoughts. Coaches use this tool to create a supportive environment where the client’s personal health and well-being is given top priority. By slowing down and truly listening, a coach gives clients a chance to discover what’s really going on in their life – the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, relationships, and other external factors – that shape one’s experience. This makes both coach and client more conscious and frees up the ability to make informed decisions about new directions!
Positivity is the science-based concept of positive emotions, and Wellcoaches lead with the positive by finding out what’s working in a client’s life and helping to identify their strengths. Western culture today focuses quite heavily on what’s wrong, what’s not going well, and how to fix it. This tends to create a narrow viewpoint which can all too easily infuse one’s mindscape with negative emotions such as anger, contempt, and even depression. A Wellcoach knows that by turning this around and working to generate genuine positive emotions that light up the brain, the mind is more open, creative, flexible, resourceful, and resilient. The brain actually works better when we are positive!
Autonomous Motivation is what we do when we decide for ourselves a course of action. Human beings are wired to dislike being told what to do, and do best when they are free to choose for themselves. In Wellcoaching, the client is in charge, not the coach. Coaches understand that clients need to connect with their heartfelt desires and the things they value deeply in order to generate the energy needed for sustainable behavior change. The work of a coach is not to instruct and give advice, but to help the client find the answers within him or herself. This coach approach works because people who act autonomously take personal responsibility for their health!
These are but 3 tools that a Wellness Coach uses to help facilitate change in clients. Many more come into play in a typical coaching session. Margaret Moore, Founder and CEO of Wellcoaches Corporation, says, “Coaching sessions at their best each generate small shifts in mindset as clients adopt new perspectives, question their assumptions, see new possibilities, and find new meanings for their experiences. There are no failures in this process, only opportunities to grow and learn”.