Tim: It’s a tough one because most people would expect me to say helping a client make a huge breakthrough and that is certainly very important and gratifying. But I think that can only come from me achieving balance in my own life, something that was sadly missing before, so I’d have to say that.
Vera: Before life coaching, you spent 20 years in sales. Is there anything you learnt during all those years that’s helping you in your coaching?
Tim: Everything! Top sales people are in a different league to what most people perceive. Most people see car sales people or those who hard sell in retail because they are working on commission and think that’s sales. At the highest level you need to be able to build rapport, ask great questions, actively listen and come up with solutions to problems. All of those are highly useful in coaching.
Vera: What would you say are the most important traits of a life coach and what should one consider when choosing a coach?
Tim: The things I mentioned above. However, it’s tricky for somebody to know if a coach they are considering possesses those skills. So insist on a consultation, speak to at least 3 coaches and go with the one who resonates the most with you and the one who you like the most. Coaching is a close working relationship and you don’t want to be working with somebody who you think is competent but don’t like.
Vera: Change/improvement often starts with an individual identifying the need. There are times however, when change may be necessary that a person many not be aware of. As a coach, how do you help/approach things?
Tim: Very carefully! And to be honest that answer could be a book depending on the situation and client involved. It’s not my job as a coach to judge what is and isn’t right for a client; as such I have to ask questions to help them decide. I may think they need to change, but that’s just an opinion, not a fact.
Vera: You believe ‘’discovering one’s core values’’ is the single most important thing one can do for one’s life; not goals, not time management etc. How does one achieve this discovery?
Tim: Now that literally is a book, which is why I wrote it. Seriously, to explain that process would take me a couple of hours!
Vera: You help people get unstuck. Do you sometimes get stuck too? What do you do when that happens and how do you hold yourself accountable for what you commit to doing?
Tim: Yeh of course, I’m human as well as a coach. I have my own coach and she kicks my ass when I slip back!
Vera: You have 9 books to your credit! What has the response to your books and writings told you about the most valuable things you offer/share?
Tim: Valuable or popular? I have had two posts that went over 1 million page views, but they were on quotes so even though they were very popular, I’m not sure they added much long-term value. ‘’70 Amazing Facts About Your Brain’’ is my most popular, but ‘’Aligning With Your Core Values’’ is easily the most valuable for anybody wanting to work on their self-development.
Vera: One of your books focuses on the importance of questions. What are some of the basic, fundamental questions that one must ask to even get a shot at a better quality of life?
Tim: When I train other Life Coaches I spend two modules on questions because it’s a lot more complex than people assume. Possibly the best 2 questions are the ones that allow us to reframe a situation and take back control of how we view something that may have seemed negative. And they are ‘What else can this mean” and “What can I learn from this?”
Vera: You give some copies of your books free to charities, troops in Afghanistan etc. What’s your vision with this initiative and would you mind sharing what impact that’s making?
Tim: That’s ‘’How to Be Rich and Happy’’ and the impact is difficult to judge. We have given about $350,000 worth of books away, but I honestly don’t know other than a few dozen e-mails of thanks what impact they are having.
Tim Brownson is a certified life coach trainer, NLP Master Practitioner and internationally published author. He can be found at www.coachthelifecoach.com and www.adaringadventure.com where his blog pulls no punches.
For more information on Vera Ng’oma’s work and resources in leadership, personal and career development and excellence building, click here.