4-Mat Book Review of Williams & Menendez’sBecoming a Professional Life CoachLIFC 502Advanced Skills in Life CoachingDr. Judith JohnsonOctober 1, 2012AbstractDiane Menendez and Patrick Williams co-authored the book “Becoming a Professional Life Coach” (2007).
Menendez is a master certified coach and Williams is a pioneer coach who founded the Institute for Life Coach Training (ILCT) (ICF Accredited). This book is intended for therapists and psychologists so that they can add coaching to their current business. Aspects of this book were taken from a curriculum that was designed for the ILCT foundation and includes years of collective experiences.This book contains three sections:1) coaching foundations, 2) beyond the basics, 3) coaching from the inside out. Williams and Menendez presents a lot of information in this book that they collected from the ILCT course. However, this book is missing some of what was provided in the curriculum such as discussions, exercises, and specifics about what needed to be learned and unlearned from therapeutic training and practice (2007).4-MAT Book Review of Williams and Menendez’sBecoming a Professional Life CoachSummary: 250The book “Becoming a Professional Life Coach” (2007) starts off with a brief introduction to the coaching profession, the roots of coaching, contributions of psychology (major theorist), and the future direction the coaching profession. Going forward, the book is divided up into three sections.
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The first section contains the coaching fundamentals. The coaching fundamentals are a basis for understanding the coaching as a profession, growth, and change.The coaching fundamentals are: listening, language, and the developmental change process. The second section builds upon the fundaments in the first section and discusses skill sets: empowerment, challenging, creating and maintaining momentum. The third section provides a set of tools and methods that your client will be able to utilize to “design their lives for fulfillment” (p. 155).
This section includes: finding a purpose, creating and living a fulfilling live, identifying what gets in the way and values, bring action to the vision of creating a fulfilling life, setting boundaries, mind-set, and self love.Concrete Response: 250There are some things in Dunbar’s book “Essential Life Coaching Skills” (2010) that I can relate to in my personal life such as: finding a niche, intuitive skills, listening skills, motivating skills, challenging skills, and knowing the difference between coaching and therapy. For my coaching practice that I would like to start I have not yet chosen a “niche”. However, I have been contemplating for some time of what type of coaching to do. Dunbar gives some advice on choosing a niche (p. 157-161) and as Dunbar mentioned to be careful to not choose the wrong niche. This is one of my fears in starting a coaching business; trying to finding and choose the correct niche.
I found the small amount of information that Dunbar provided regarding the topic “niche” to be helpful.In regards to the skills sets that I previously mentioned above: intuitive, listening, motivating, challenging, and knowing the difference between coaching and therapy. I currently work for a company as a Nutrition Educator. This company has grouped together their unique process to provide a variety of services: coaching, counseling, and educating. Throughout the day, I am interchanging between all of the skill sets, and processes. It can be confusing to play a part that wears many hats.
During the process, we educate, counsel, and coach the client to make their own changes. To do this we use a lot of different skill sets. By the end of the session, the clients are encouraged to set a goal and to make a small change to their nutritional intake/lifestyle change. During the follow up session, if the goal is met we move to another one, if not we continue to examine and work on that goal until it is met.
Reflection: 250Dunbar (2010) provided some helpful insight and information regarding finding a niche (p. 153-166). However, I feel that it is not a sufficient amount of information to help me feel confident enough to choose a niche and I would have liked to have more information regarding that topic. In addition, I have some concerns regarding liability and the laws when choosing a particular niche. Therefore, I feel Dunbar could have provided more detailed information regarding the legality of different coaching niches or where that information can be found.
I want to make sure that I have the right credentials so I can be confident, successful, and truly help my clients.I agree with all of the skill sets that were presented by Dunbar (2010). I feel that they are all important skills that are needed in order to be successful at coaching. The skill set that I was most excited to read about was intuitive skills and the exercises that Dunbar (2010) provided: 1) developing sensory acuity, 2) noticing your inner senses, 3) developing a greater understanding of your intuition, 4) mediation (p.115-126). I practice intuitive skills on a regular basis by meditating and quieting the mind. This skill set and exercises is not just a practice for coaching; I feel it should be a part of daily life.
It is a wellness practice for everyone in any situation. Developing your inner senses can connect you with a higher power; not just developing your “self” or connecting with the client. Application: 250Dunbar’s (2010) book “Essential Life Coaching Skills” influences my personal growth because it did not provide me with all of the information that I was looking for regarding coaching. With the lack of information, I have to do more research and investigating about the different types of “niche” opportunities, and the legalities of choosing a specific coaching practice. Because, I do not have all of the information that I feel is necessary to begin coaching it is also a barrier/road block. To me it is a roadblock because if I don’t have the information that I need and I do not feel confident enough I will keep putting it off. I know I have to do the leg work but I am not familiar with starting a business. Therefore, I will have to take additional steps to find a more motivational way that will help me.
As mentioned in Dunbar’s (2010) book, coach training or co-coaching, (p. 19-186) might motivate me enough and provide me with the knowledge to start a coaching practice. Other places that I could find the information might entail speaking with a person well advised about starting up a business; lawyer, etc.
Looking at my prior life and educational experiences there are a few “niche” opportunities that I have been thinking about starting. They are: holistic wellness life coaching practice, pre-marital/marital coaching, or a teen pregnancy coaching practice. I know a lot about holistic wellness practices and nutrition because it is what I am experienced in and I practice wellness myself on a daily basis.
ReferencesDunbar, A. (2010). Essential Life Coaching Skills. Routledge, New York, NY.