Cascades of global economic, social, geopolitical and climate crises continue to overwhelm everyday life, and in response, our focus has turned inward and become deeply personal. In times of fast-paced, continuous disruption and turmoil, mental health, physical well-being, and a general sense of wellness have become greater priorities. Many are paying far more attention to the importance of preventative measures such as actively managing stress and anxiety to build resilience, ward off burnout and protect mental well-being.
It’s not surprising that the ever-growing wellness trend is increasingly intersecting with the coaching profession. Coaching is all about igniting and supporting personal transformations, whether in fields such as life coaching or leadership coaching in the workplace. Lee-Ann Drummond, Head of Management and Leadership Faculty at SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology) says, “Coaches are specifically trained to help clients make the changes necessary to improve aspects of their lives, to reach goals and to develop the capacities they need to move forward in their personal lives, and in their careers. They have a unique and varied toolbox of practices and techniques that they use to support clients as they become more self-aware and more mindful of others. They can help people become aware of and understand their habits and patterns; then, let go the ones that don’t serve them and develop new ones that are more supportive. For those on the wellness and self-care path, understanding themselves, practicing mindfulness and changing behaviour is all part of that journey, and it makes a difference to have an expert coach by your side.”
While coaching for wellness, mindfulness and self-care is growing area of specialisation for today’s newly qualified coaches, it plays a part also in most well-established coaching niches. For instance, an entrepreneurship coach is just as likely as a relationship coach to encounter the need for their clients to address their well-being. Coaches of high-performance teams or top corporate executives don’t overlook the impact of mindfulness and wellness on achievement in today’s workplaces where the demand for work-life balance is high, and employee well-being is more entrenched in organisational culture.
Drummond says, “This is where it gives coaches a leading edge to have an education that is deeply rooted in Applied Psychology. Studying an accredited qualification that has understanding human behaviour at its core enables the coach to apply psychological principles within the scope of practice as a coach. With this foundation, coaches can have the in-depth conversations with clients that empower them to shift perspectives, create new possibilities, and plan and implement the changes that will bring them increased well-being in their lives. At SACAP, we not only train accredited coach practitioners but offer shorter, part-time courses so that managers and team leaders can develop their coaching skills and apply them in the workplace to improve performance and employee well-being.”
The pursuit of wellness, mindfulness, and self-care is becoming fundamental across society, and increasing the demand for coaches who can help clients make sustainable changes to enhance their well-being so that they lead more fulfilling lives. Drummond concludes, “For people with a passion for health and wellness, as well as a drive to help others, this opens up opportunities for a vibrant career in coaching.”