On a tropical Wednesday afternoon, I made my way to the ultramodern and multipurpose MCC Polyclinic located in the heart of Dzorwulu, a suburb in the nation’s capital, Accra. My mission was to meet one of Ghana’s leading transformational coaches, Nadine Ghanem.
Nadine is the go-to change-agent, capable of transforming, motivating and inspiring people to help them be, do and have whatever they want. She understands the core of what makes people tick and has a passion for helping people discover the best in them.
A great facilitator and respected motivational speaker, Nadine warmly welcomed me into her office. After exchanging pleasantries, we briefly spoke about how she had to get more innovative and dynamic from last year to limit the disruptive impact of the coronavirus on her business.
We live in a part of the world where people do hardly subscribe to life coaching. Research has shown that people largely have little or no understanding of the concept of life coaching and what is involved for both the professionals and the clients across the African continent.
Our conversation sought to outline exactly what life coaching is and break down the various aspects of this useful process for anyone who might be considering hiring a seasoned life coach or want to learn more about life coaching.
Nadine indicated that coaching in recent times has become an evolving dynamic approach in leadership development in Ghana and around the world. The essential point of the coaching process according to her is the transformational power of change.
Describing life coaching, Nadine said: “it typically takes the form of directed conversations that help people develop a plan of action to reach their goals and put them on a path to success. To facilitate progress, a life coach uses a range of explorative techniques, provides advice and offers support on various levels.”
Are life coaches relevant, one may ask? Nadine responded that “just like an athlete’s coach, which is something many people are familiar with, we all know that most successful athletes have coaches guiding them towards reaching their personal best. Though naturally talented, they often attribute a degree of their success to the efforts of their coaches, particularly in areas such as motivation and accountability. A life coach plays the same role in your personal development, helping you find the drive within and focus on your goals in order to reach the height of your abilities.”
Life coaching is a relatively modern type of coaching that has arisen in response to the demands of today’s fast-paced lifestyle and business world. It can trace its origins to concepts such as the human potential movement, sports psychology, and business management. In the 70s and 80s, business coaching and executive coaching started to gain popularity in helping executives manage their businesses and be successful.
This concept eventually extended into people’s personal lives and relationships as well. It is a steadily growing field because nearly everyone can benefit from some type of life coaching. Modern technological advancements, such as the internet, have made it possible for people to access life coaches from nearly anywhere in the world.
Nadine indicated that “a life coach carries out his or her work using two key components: conversations and questions. The questions are designed to get to the bottom of the situation and uncover the individual’s goals, motivations, and obstacles. The conversations help the coach form a connection with the client and move forward toward reaching his or her goals.”
Life coaches listen to their clients’ concerns and feelings with an unbiased eye and offer a fresh perspective on various problems. They inspire and encourage their clients to reach their goals whilst also keeping track of their progress and holding them accountable. The on-going and supportive nature of life coaching enables these professionals to help people deal with challenges that arise and adapt their plans to account for unexpected changes that might occur along the way.
She added that “life coaches have a number of tools and techniques at their disposal, but not all of them will suit each particular case. Methods that might be very successful with one client might not work well for another, so life coaches create a tailored approach for each individual based on what the person in question is most likely to respond to. Some of the processes and techniques a life coach might employ include brainstorming, visualising, meditation, guided imagery and mindfulness.”
In her concluding remarks, Nadine highlighted things people should look for when employing the services of a life coach. “You are going to spend a lot of time meeting with your life coach one-on-one, so trust is essential. Find someone you are comfortable opening up to and someone who gives you the confidence that he or she will be able to help you achieve your goals. Other people might also find age to be relevant in addition to the coach’s experience, which is also very important.”
“I changed my thinking, it changed my life” was her final quote!