It is possible to change

Group of happy businesspeople celebrating success with a high five - Low angle view

The impact of coaching

When a person really wants to change their life, they will succeed in doing it – and coaching is simply a tool that can help them achieve that objective.

Recently, a person who I took through a coaching process a year and a half ago said to me: “You know, you really helped me a lot.”

When we first embarked on the process she had just taken a decision to leave her job due to sustained stress in the workplace, which she felt unable to manage, until it finally made her ill. So, she decided to train in the field of HR with the aim of re-routing her career path toward that area.

Her objective was to become a second version of herself. When we met up she told me that she had succeeded in doing just that. I asked her what she had done to achieve her goal, and she said: “I changed myself. I’ve changed a lot in order to become a better person and to survive. The coaching really helped”. So, I asked her what part of the process had helped her most. She said the following:

  • The powerful questions that you asked me, that I had never asked myself, and which helped me to see things I hadn’t seen before.
  • Having my vision, which I kept and which I look at, and it surprises me to see that it is actually becoming a reality. Once you have a vision you can map a path to follow, and before you know it you begin to move in that direction. And because it’s what you want and what you like, it’s easy to follow.
  • Being a keen observer of myself. To keep tabs on how I feel, what I think and what I tell myself. I carry a notebook and write it down.
  • Working hard on my weaknesses, which are also taken into consideration in my vision.
  • Changing my day-to-day habits. Mindfulness has brought enormous benefits in that regard.
  • Getting rid of negative beliefs – “You remember how I said ‘I’m 40 years old – what on earth am I going to do that age’?”. Well now I’m a 40 year old who has the world at her feet.

Coaches often have doubts if they have really helped a client in his or her quest for transformation. My feeling, based on experience, is that those people who really want to change, succeed in doing so.

Arantza Ríos. Professor. IE Business School,