Life coaching is usually seen as the preserve of corporate suits looking to improve their performance or employee relations. But in January, Bahrain-based life coach Dr Clare Beckett-McInroy launched two new workshops, entitled Brand New You, aimed at putting her skills to work with the public, particularly women. She’s now bringing her expertise to Dubai, with a session on Friday March 9 that aims to get people thinking about their attitudes and goals.
Beckett-McInroy, a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde’s MBA programme in the UK, explains how life coaching can have a positive impact on people’s self-esteem.
‘So often we either sabotage ourselves, or allow others to unconsciously do it for us, whether it’s by telling ourselves, “I’m too fat/unfit to do that,” “I’ll do such and such when this or that happens,” or someone else saying, “you haven’t got the time, you can’t afford it,” she explains. ‘My workshops are about identifying goals, looking at what’s stopping you achieving them and then coming up with ways to work towards them.’
So far it sounds like common sense. But how does Beckett-McInroy go about getting participants to firstly express or even recognise their goals, and then achieve them? And, just as importantly, how does she know it’s working?
‘Most people have an idea of what they want and how they’d like their lives to be different, but if they don’t, that’s not a problem. We work in a group, so we learn from each other. I ask participants to look at how they see their lives in the long term, perhaps a year or even five years down the line. That introduces aspects of what they want to achieve. We also do things such as writing a ‘bucket list’ with a difference. I ask them to reveal three things on their list: two of them true, and one of them made-up. We then look at how we recognise the one that’s not a true ambition. It can be just as illuminating as the real ones.’
She also asks participants to (sensitively) explain how they see each other, giving a good insight into what needs to change for each person to achieve those long-term goals.
From there it’s a short step – via a little meditation and dreaming – to examine the obstacles in the path. Beckett-McInroy terms this ‘unpacking’ – working out what’s stopping you and getting round it.
‘Are you sabotaging yourself with a negative attitude, or are there genuine obstacles? Either way, once you recognise the problems you can start working on them,’ she says. ‘It’s a bit like when you get in the car, turn the engine on and put your foot on the accelerator. You know you’re going somewhere, even if you don’t know your final destination. If you sit in the house looking at maps and don’t even turn on the engine, you’re not going anywhere at all.’
Using a combination of interactive games, ideas on ‘personal branding’ (taking the concept that’s used in industry to a personal level), NLP and psychology, coupled with creating metaphors such as ‘who do you want to be?’, Beckett-McInroy encourages participants to set their own goals and gives them the mental tools to achieve them. Using a ‘buddy’ system, in which members of the group team up, she aims for long-term accountability with follow-up contacts and meetings planned so they can discuss their achievements and inspire each other. ‘People should walk out of the workshop feeling as though they’ve done lots of processing and inquiry, have had some fun and are ready to kick start the changes they want to make in their lives,’ she explains. ‘They should also know themselves a bit better and be ready for the challenge. One of the things they’ll learn is that there’s no magic wand – it’s all down to hard work from the individual.’
Beckett-McInroy will be hosting a Brand New You course on Friday March 9, 9am-4pm at the Kempinski, Mall of the Emirates. Dhs1,550 per person. www.beckett-mcinroy.com (+973 3 844 2727).
More life coaches to try
Effect Coaching Group
Whether you need help in your relationship or work life, or just want to identify what you really want from life, Effect Coaching Group can help. Established in 2006, the organisation specialises in clients in the Middle East and Europe, having first opened in Norway.
From Dhs600 for a 45-minute session. www.effect-coaching.com (050 770 6013).
Mark Garrod, a certified life and corporate coach accredited with the International Coaching Federation), helps people feeling stuck in a rut to regain control and get on with living the life they want. He has plenty of experience with UAE clients.
Prices TBC. www.mudfishcoaching.com (050 457 6115).