India discovers the benefits of life coaching

two men talking

Life coaching is well established in the United States, where people increasingly seek out coaches to help them attain personal or professional goals. It’s less common in India, but that’s beginning to change, according to an article in The Times of India.

“Life Coaches Can Help You Figure Out Life Lessons” tells the story of Jayanth Sivakumar, who had lost a sense of purpose in his work. He visited his daughter in the States and, at her urging, consulted a life coach here. The experience turned his life around, motivating him to start his own business.

“The trend of seeking professional life coaches has found a following among [Indian] film stars, IT professionals, medicos, social entrepreneurs, and retired defense officers, among others,” writes reporter Shilpi Guha.

Guha notes that India currently has no universities that train life coaches. She singles out the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate program as a place where coaches can learn the skills to help clients reach their full potential.

The Professional Life Coaching Certificate program is the only one of its kind in the Midwest in a higher education setting. It’s accredited by the International Coach Federation, which has developed a set of core competencies for life coaches. The program is unique in offering a cohort model, so that students gain a sense of community during a nine-month series of face-to-face classes and teleconferences.

Overcoming challenges

Ilan Kumaran, an India-based life coach, tells Guha that good coaches can motivate clients to take action in their lives.

Darcy Luoma teaches at UW-Madison's Professional Life Coaching Certificate program.
Darcy Luoma teaches at UW-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate program.

“Coaching empowers a person to think differently in all areas, professional and personal. If done effectively, the individual can apply the coaching experience in different situations and overcome challenges for the rest of his life.”

Another Indian coach, Mumbai’s Milind Jadhav, says people seek out life coaching when they want to achieve more in life and work.

“The most common aspects we cover are personal performance and productivity, building great relationships, improving confidence levels, handling stress, making career choices decisively, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, and improving health and wellness.”

The next session of UW-Madison’s Professional Life Coaching Certificate program runs from September 2016 to May 2017. The university offers individual courses for those who want to learn more about life coaching or to keep their certification skills current. Running from February through May, these include Goal Setting to Goal Getting, Coaching Skills for Professional Relationships, and Business Planning for Professional Coaches, along with the online course Effective Communication Skills for the Workplace and Beyond.

For more information, contact Aphra Mednick, amednick@dcs.wisc.edu, 608-265-8041.