Research Paper By Tim Jordan
(Executive Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
This essay explores the topic of coaching teenagers and young people and specifically with life coaching. This is a niche area of coaching and one that takes a specific understanding of the young person in the immediate cultural as well as an overall understanding of young people and teenagers in general. This paper discusses some of the main ways in which coaching can benefit a young person and some appropriate coaching methods that young people have reacted well to. Research is also presented on the effectiveness of coaching young people. For simplicities sake, this paper will name all teenagers and young people as “young people” or persons and is referring to any stage from beginning of high school until graduating from college.
1. Some main issues young people face and can benefit from life coaching in
It is important for a coach to understand that there are some matters that mean the world to most teenagers. Friends are a big one and a young person’s happiness, moods, and decisions is for many based on their friends circle and the way the friendships are formed.
- Image is another important one as how they perceive others view them and how they view themselves has a profound effect on their emotions. To “look good” is extremely important to a young person. This topic of image carries over into health matters, diets, economical state of their family and where they are able to excel or be perceived as successful and “cool”.
- Relationships between males and females are also a matter that has an effect on their overall emotional and personal well-being.
Young people in every culture and country across the globe have their own unique issues related to their upbringing and environment but these highlight some general issues which are important to a wide variety of young people around the world. For example, in some countries succeeding academically and getting high grades is one of the main pressures a young person faces, whereas in other countries the pressure is more career based or job/salary affected. As a coach, knowing generally how teens and young people are known to think, react, and act and striving to understand the issues that are important to them is the first step in being able to be a coach that can offer them the assistance that they may come to you for.
2. How receiving coaching can benefit a young person
There are two main arenas for coaching of young people. One is of the teenager who is in high school and their world still revolves very much around school, peers, parental issues etc. And the other arena is of the young person who is either entering into college or entering the new world of career and job. In both of these arenas, there are various issues and challenges that a young person can benefit from life coaching, some of which are covered here.
Young people need help in establishing and recognizing what are their core values and learning to make decisions based on these. They need assistance in pinpointing their passion in life and how they can take steps in that direction. Most young people need to build their confidence so that they are then able to move towards their goals relaxed at ease and believing in themselves. Young people tend to have a lot of fears and apprehensions about the future and this can limit them in their dreams and belief in themselves or others and a coach can help them walk through those fears and face them. A coach can help a young person to feel more comfortable being themselves and less susceptible to peer pressure. Young people at times also just need someone to vent their frustrations and worries to without feeling judged or without someone trying to jump in and solve the problem for them. Young people’s emotions are usually intense in one form or another and they experience very high highs and very low lows and a coach can teach them specific techniques or tools in which to manage these emotions.
Young people tend to be led by emotions in decisions regarding what they want to do or things that they want to accomplish. For example, a common happening amongst young people is that they suddenly become inspired and intrigued to pursue a particular thing. As an example, many young people become inspired to learn an instrument or pursue music in some way. Some learn that hard work brings results and they are encouraged by their own successes. For others, it’s the thrill of performing and they enjoy the glory and popularity that they see other musicians receive. In either case, the young person can become disillusioned, discouraged or confused after some time, wondering what they should do and if they should continue or should they have ever tried in the first place. A coach can help the young person to frame and understand his/her reasons for pursuing music. By helping the young person to define the goal that they want to set for themselves, the coach can then guide the young person in setting realistic expectations for progress towards the goal.