There are many people that still don’t understand what is Life Coaching in this part of the world. When I mentioned that I am a certified Life Coach, I get quite a few blank stares. The first association that comes to people’s minds is sports. They can imagine a football coach or a basketball coach but for LIFE?
There are many who seems to know about Business Coaches or Wealth Coaches. In Asia, coaches seem to be doing quite a lot of mentoring work. In actuality, a coach doesn’t do or shouldn’t be doing much mentoring. A coach is a coach, a mentor is a mentor. They occupy 2 separate positions, equally important depending on the aspects of life a client wants fixing.
A quick Google search will yield this result:
life coachˈlīf ˌkōCH/nounnoun: life coach; plural noun: life coaches.a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.
To know more about what life coaching is all about, I’ll be sharing that in a separate post in a few days. Today, I just wanted to share how life coaching in Asia is different from when I was practising in Europe. It has all got to to with the varied cultural, religious and many other nuances and differences here in Asia.
Being a coach means I listen patiently to all clients stories and sharings and cannot judge them on their past or current situations. It takes a lot of sensitivities to be a really good coach. And yet here in Asia, I have to ‘up’ my professional level even more and yet lower certain emotions. I have to deal with clients who are potentially facing life challenges and that could be associated with religious beliefs, cultural clash and even parental roles that conflict with their ‘modern’ lifestyle.
I am now dealing with a very professional medical personnel who is having a major shift in her life. She is not only dealing with self- esteem issue, she is also dealing with internal religious conflicts coupled with the expectation of Asian parental filial piety AND marital questions. It is not easy to keep schtum from offering my own personal opinions when it comes to these issues. I too have had these issues in the past and it only serves to help my clients more. I have been in their shoes.
These issues I believe are not as prevalent in Europe or America, where coaching is as common as seeing a ‘shrink’ (psychologist) was in the 80’s. In Europe, the reverse is happening. I saw clients who were facing a need to come back to spirituality and only to sort through their jumble of thoughts.
Here in Asia, the individuals and couples I’ve met have the same issues as their American or European counterparts and yet, I have to be very wary of the religious and cultural beliefs and the need to thread very carefully less I offend someone. So it’s the same yet so different.
Though that’s the beauty of coaching. I do not offer personal solutions, I let them come up with their own solutions (that is already deep in their sub-conscious mind) and only help them sort through the jungle of a mess that’s in their hearts and in their minds. I may offer suggestions and those suggestions are already in line with their values.
I hope that more Asians will value what a coach does in raising their happiness level in life. You do not need to be mentally ‘disturbed’ or to be at a depression level to see a life coach. You just need to be serious about changing something negative to positive and need a coach to hold you accountable and be your guide in your new journey. All keeping in mind your religious and cultural beliefs and understanding that us Asians have unique upbringings that forms our future.
Do keep in touch if you have any questions for me. I welcome any questions.