Posted by: Erin Postel
Date: January 27, 2017
The following blog is a quick Q&A with a health coaching participant who was pleasantly surprised by the realities of working with a health coach.
Q: What did you think health coaching was going to be, and how was it different from what you initially thought?
A: I thought it was going to be very prescriptive. For example, I thought the first thing my coach would do would be to point out all of the areas that needed the most attention and focus on those. I thought she was going to tell me that I needed to do certain things or change my daily routine based on the results of my Health Assessment (HA). Her approach, however, was a stark difference from my assumption.
Q: How did the session start?
A: The coach began by going over the HA in a very general manner, while highlighting some of my positive scores, rather than any negative ones. This move was my initial trigger for rethinking how the meeting would go. She mentioned the areas that needed some improvement, but never stopped to focus in on them. This let me know that she was aware of these items, but wasn’t going to “scold” me for any of my behaviors that she probably knew I could afford to change. After going over the HA, she essentially put me in charge of the meeting by asking me about my wellness vision.
Q: How did the coach handle goal-setting to reach your wellness vision?
A: I went into the meeting with excuses prepared for certain results in my HA and a general goal of getting “healthier.” I ended up creating a goal that was far from what I had anticipated. A goal that was meaningful and realistic, that I really wanted, rather than something generic and halfhearted. That was a result of my coach’s expertise. She was able to motivate me in a whole new way, by urging me to reflect on my responses to her questions. We identified specific goals that support my over-reaching vision of wellness, which I never would have been able to do without her input. She helped me narrow down items on my list that were the most important to me, not what she thought I should address.
Q: Any other surprises?
A: Yes. I didn’t expect coaching to be so flexible. A goal doesn’t have to stay the same throughout the entire coaching process. If something isn’t working, you can tweak the goal or move onto something else. The health coach will continue to support you – from the passenger seat while you “drive” – and provide encouragement, not judgment, on your progress. The responsibility is on you. This, to me, makes health coaching very different from what people might think it is. It’s not a prescription or set of rules to follow. Rather, it is a continued joint effort, punctuated by laughter, caring and affirmation, to help you work toward overall wellness.
For more information about what coaching is really like, contact us. Our health coaches will be more than happy to help you find your very own path to wellness and better health.
The information presented is for your general knowledge and does not replace the advice of your health care provider. All medical inquiries regarding your health should be presented to your health care provider.