You may wonder why I coach mainly women. (I do sometimes coach men too.) The reason is that I'm passionate about helping women be their best, yet aware that we are great at putting ourselves last.
Even though it's 2017, recent surveys showed that women still do the bulk of household chores. Recent research by the ONS showed that women put 26 hours in each week (cleaning, chores etc at home) compared to 16 hours for men. That is almost a whopping 4 hours a day, often on top of paid work outside the home.
Read about it here.
The crux of this is that women tend to have less time for themselves, but are more responsible for childcare or household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking.
If you are a women reading this, I expect you are nodding, or even cooking dinner with your other hand.
That's fine if you are happy. But many clients come to me when they are in danger of burn-out or feel a sense of frustration with their lives.
Women tend to fit work around children, despite more flexi-working. I coach a lot of women who fall into two groups: high flyers who want to reduce the days they work when they have children. And women who want to pick up their careers when their child goes to school or university. Some have put their careers on hold for twenty years and want to start again at fifty. But they aren't sure what or how.
Others are trying to manage looking after elderly parents, teenagers and work. I'm not saying that men opt out completely, but it's never a 50:50 split.
You might find you go away for a spa day or a bit of pampering to reduce stress.
Well, I can't promise you a facial or a steam room. What I can offer you is an hour of your busy day where you can leave behind the responsibility of looking after others and focus on you.
For an hour, in your session with me, you can talk about your hopes, dreams, whatever's bugging you and work on a plan to create some positive changes. It's your 'you' time. How does that sound?
How would you feel about telling your friends you had a coach?
Some of my clients have shouted it from the rooftops, others have felt slightly embarrassed and not even told their partners.
Why embarrassed? Well, sometimes people put therapy and coaching into the same category. And some people don't want to admit to seeking help from a therapist because they feel it shows they have an issue and need to be fixed. There is no need to be ashamed of asking for any kind of help at all. But the stigma is there for some people.
But coaching is not therapy. People who are at the top of their game, either as CEOs or performers of some sort, all have coaches. They aren't being 'fixed'; they are being coached to be their very best. One of my former clients, a CEO in the City, said everyone should have a coach. Here was a successful high flyer, who still needed to talk over their performance in a board meeting, or how to get the best out of their team, and how to manage their work-life balance.
Coaching is not superficial. It's not a case of 'Right, what are your goals for the next two weeks' (and nothing else.) We do dig deep into patterns of behaviour that may affect your confidence, your relationships at work or home, even how your parents' attitudes to you have had a lasting effect. But unlike therapy, I will ask 'What are you going to do about it now? What will help you?' And you will set an achievable goal.
You aren't showing a weakness by seeking out coaching. Being pro-active, acknowledging you value professional support to be your best, is not a weakness.
If you are thinking of seeking a coach, don't be embarrassed. Having a counsellor is no longer a hushed secret - it shows a desire to make life better. So does having a coach. Does that make you feel a bit better?
I'm Glynis, a career, relationship and wellbeing coach. These are my tips on what life throws at people like us and how coaching can help. You can read more about me here. Do get in touch if I can help you.