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Uncovering the Mystery of Wellness Coaching

ne of the issues I faced after leaving my “nursing career” attached to an institution was to reckon with the question “what should I do with the rest of my life”? As luck would have it, a nurse friend was being trained as a Wellness Coach, and aside from not knowing what coaching was, she suggested I be her practice client so she could try out some new communication skills on me. Of course I said YES because of the following:

  • I didn’t know what to do next with my career

  • My self-esteem was low since I had lost the identity and status of my former job

  • The coaching was FREE!

So I jumped in and what I discovered changed my life in the following ways after just 3 sessions:

  • I had a plan for a new direction that matched who I was and what skills I was best at

  • I felt empowered and excited to get started

  • I felt I had a cheerleader who supported and valued what I had to offer

  • I broke through the false belief I was telling myself that I would never be successful again by her challenging me about how everything I had pursued so far in life I accomplished successfully.

  • And best of all I discovered that Wellness Coaching could be a viable career choice and I could also become a trainer to certify others to be Wellness Coaches.

Now, this is powerful stuff! And how amazing it was for all of that to happen in (3) 30-minute sessions over the phone where all she did was ask me questions and let me figure out my own path on my own terms, and be supportive of that. Plus some outside reflective assignments.

And now I am obviously a BIG FAN of coaching and see it as an excellent choice for nurses getting ready to retire, or already have. So I am going to give you an inside glimpse of what the skill sets are for being an effective coach, and maybe you will see yourself in this role just as I did.

My thanks to Billie Frances of who was my coach instructor and created this pre- and post-assessment tool to help new coaches determine progress as they advance with their skill levels.

Transferable Skills and Tools

The following is a list of skills and tools that are used in coaching. Rate your knowledge, skill level and/or experience with each using the following scale from 1 being lowest and 5 being highest.

  • Providing ongoing support

  • Maintaining confidentiality

  • Establishing a one-to-one relationship

  • Working with clients who want change

  • Conducting productive verbal dialogue

  • Asking open-ended questions that evoke clarity, deepen learning, propel action

  • Reflective Listening

  • Clarifying

  • Reframing

  • Assuming the client’s wholeness

  • Withholding judgement, opinion, and answers

  • Asking clients to decide the form of support most beneficial to them

  • Using a variety of skills to help clients move toward their goals

  • Holding the client’s agenda

  • Working toward solutions

  • Keeping the focus on actions and the future

  • Working for external solutions to overcome barriers, learn new skills and implement choices

  • Assisting the client to keep on-track when distracted by feelings, circumstances, conditions

  • Obtaining commitments to action items

  • Creating client accountability

  • Accounting for results

  • Requesting a client stretch beyond their self-imposed limits

  • Forwarding the action by making a request based upon the client’s agenda

  • Asking for and receiving fees for service

  • Scheduling regular sessions

  • Maintaining an office and record keeping system

Here are some questions for you to ponder regarding the skills that expert Coaches use with their clients.

  • Which of these skills have you implemented with your patients/clients/staff

  • How would those interactions change if you had been trained to use these skills?

  • How can nurses adopt more of a coaching model when communicating with others?

After I transitioned from being a teller which I was trained to do as a nurse - to a listener and questioner which I refined from my coaching training, I found greater success helping my clients achieve their goals on their own terms. So all I can say is “Coaching Works”!

Does this intrigue you to learn more about Wellness Coaching?

My thoughts are that nurses and others with a health background would be great coaches with just a little tweaking of their communication skills. It could open up a new pathway for fulfillment as well as retirement income. And who doesn’t want that!

What experience have you had with coaching?

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