Personal Development Coaching: Free sessions

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In celebration of International Coaching Week, Calgary Public Library is partnering with the Calgary Association of Professional Coaches to offer complimentary 15-minute coaching sessions with experienced and certified professional coaches. These valuable individualized sessions can focus on various topics such as work/life balance and professional development in business and career.

This is the first event of its kind in Calgary and will be offered at two Library locations on February 8th and 9th, 2012.

Register online or by calling 403-260-2620.

Calgary coach Peter Kieran answers our questions about personal development coaching:

Peter KieranWhat is the difference between coaching, counselling, therapy and mentoring?

The difference lies in where the client finds the solutions to achieving want they want. In coaching we start with the assumption that the client is whole and has the skills, knowledge, ability and creativity to take the appropriate action. Compared to counselling, therapy or mentoring, coaching awakens the client to their own strengths and capabilities and is more transformational in its nature because of this. There is no attempt to fix the client or solve their problems for them. Rather than answering the client’s questions, a coach asks the questions from a place of compassion and not knowing, allowing the client to explore their own greatness and experience new perspectives in their lives that they otherwise might never have been aware of.

What are some outcomes that people can expect having worked with a coach?

Of course the specific outcomes are different for each individual however there will always be some level of increased self awareness, understanding of personal values and strengths and clarity in what they want and how to achieve their desired outcomes. Coaching usually leads to some sort of transformation in the client in the form of new perspectives on who they are, what they want and how it all fits into the bigger picture of life. Hopefully this translates for the client into a shift from a “problem solving” paradigm, to one that is more positive and generative.

If I decided to hire a life coach what would be the time commitment I may consider and why?

Typically coaching takes place over several months to a year and consists of 2 or three sessions a month. Because the client is responsible to take action on their commitments, time is needed between sessions to ensure that they have the opportunity to make changes. This also allows the coaching process to build on itself, as more is learned and new topics for conversation emerge. Sessions may be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and usually focus and one thing at a time to get the most benefit. As personal awareness increases and as they tap into their own individual strengths, many new and exciting possibilities often appear out of nowhere, creating endless opportunities for change for the client. Just as a triathlete might hire a coach to take them to the next level in their fitness, so too might someone hire a personal coach to take them to the next level in their personal development and overall success in their lives. We all have hidden potential within us. Hiring a coach is like giving yourself the gift of greatness. How great do you want to be?

What are your credentials?

I am certified professional Core Alignment Coach and a graduate of the Demers Group Coaching Program. This program is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) of which I am also a member.

Who is your favourite type of client to work with?

Really anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves, is creative, open to new possibilities and able to visualize and express what they want, and especially what the future looks like for them. The ideal client is flexible and positive, and understands that to get different results you have to behave and do things differently. Most importantly they are willing to take action. Letting go of the things that get in the way and moving forward, trusting in who they are and what they are capable of doing.

Why would someone hire a coach? Please share some examples of client successes.

Anyone who is looking for change in their lives, clarity in who they are or what they want to do, or anyone trying to make a decision, improve a situation or how they relate to others will benefit from a coaching relationship. I recently coached a young man who was unsure what to do next in his life. He had a bad back, was overweight, and lived at home with no job. Together we found the path that led him to realize his passion and his strengths, helping him make a decision about where to work, leading him to move back out on his own, lose weight, change his relationship with his father and overall returned his confidence about who he was and what he brought to this world. I also coached a woman looking for what to do next in her career after having left a company where she was very unhappy. We tapped into her values and strengths creating a way for her to see future opportunities more clearly and she went on to become very active in her church and found employment at a new company where she is much happier than before.

What skills do you as a coach bring to the relationship?

Good Question! Each coach has their own style of communicating and their own strengths from which to draw. For me it’s a combination of a lifestyle of physical fitness, years of coaching in the workplace as a Team Leader or supervisor and growing up in a family of artists, giving me an appreciation for personal performance, art, nature and living in the moment. I can see, feel and admire the greatness in others and I use that ability to encourage my clients to have confidence in themselves and their ability to achieve their goals.

What attracted you to coaching?

Through some personal career coaching sessions, I attended a half day workshop on coaching in the workplace and immediately realized that this was the missing link in what I had been doing as a Team Leader in the corporate world for so long. I could see the enormous potential it held for individuals to let go of all the resisting, and embrace a new positive attitude about getting things done. The paradigm shifted from focusing on what was wrong in any given situation to what was good, positive and generative, and how to create more of that to move forward. During the workshop I personally experienced a very powerful, yet short coaching session and couldn’t help but appreciate the potential that this form of coaching held. It’s the positivity, collaboration, self awareness and the resulting endless possibilities that coaching brings to people’s lives that attracted me to it.

What qualities do you look for in a coach for yourself?

Communication style is very important to me. It’s crucial for any coach to be able to listen for what’s important to the client in any given situation, and investigate deeply through a process of appreciative inquiry and from a variety of perspectives. So I look for a natural inquisitiveness, with no personal agenda, and an honest desire to work with me and uncover my strengths and values. And finally, like many of us, I hope that through the coaching process I’ll find the support I need to carry out what I say I’m going to do. One more thing about me, I like to have a bit of fun so a good sense of humour also helps!

Peter Kieran is a Certified Professional Coach in Calgary.


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