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Qualified to coach life skills

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A trio of Bermudians have graduated from a “transformational” coach training programme in New York.

Now Deborah Bradford, Jessica Lightbourne and Roger Trott are all qualifed to coach in a wide range of life skills.

The three took part in the Accomplishment Coaching programme that teaches participants how to coach individuals in a variety of topics including money, careers, spirituality, creative projects and relationships.

Ms Bradford and Ms Lightbourne now plan to put their newfound skills to use in Bermuda.

“It was transformational, just amazing,” said Ms Bradford, the former programme manager of the Community Driven Development programme.

“I have created a business from this and it's going to allow me to share all the amazing stuff I have learnt with other people and help make their dreams a reality.”

Ms Lightbourne added: “It was an opportunity to transform my life, my context, to create a new business and to connect with some really amazing, powerful people.”

“I think the biggest thing I've taken away from the programme is that we can choose to be empowered; I do have a choice, I do have power and there is even more power in partnership and a team. And that's what coaching is, teamwork and partnership,” she added.

The programme is certified by the International Coach Federation and covers coach training and skills development, personal transformation, and building and maintaining a coaching business. Throughout the year-long course, students were also given the opportunity to coach guest clients.

“One of the biggest differences about this programme is that it is ontological — the philosophical study of the nature of being, about who you actually are,” Ms Bradford said.

Ms Bradford explained that unlike therapy, which looks at past trauma, coaching is future and project based.

“With coaching you are not in a doctor-client relationship, you are in a partnership,” she said.

The former academic adviser, who is in the process of setting up her business, Dreams to Reality, has always been passionate about education.

She now plans to use her new skills to work with high school and college students.

Ms Bradford believes coaching can not only help students stay in college but can also assist graduates in finding employment because they are actively involved in planning their future and are working towards a goal, rather than going through higher education without knowing what they want to do afterwards.

“With coaching you decide where you want to be and then you plan how to get there,” Ms Bradford said.

“It gives you more structure and focus because you have a goal in mind and you're constantly working at it.

“When you are involved in your own life, you are invested in it — that is what is going to help students to propel.”

But coaching can help people in all areas of life, from academics to relationships, to spirituality, Ms Bradford said.

Ms Lightbourne, who is affiliated with Accomplishment Coaching, is interested in executive coaching, coaching teens and coaching people through periods of transition.

The policy analyst for health regulation at the Bermuda Health Council is also in the process of setting up her coaching business, Brilliance Ltd.

Ms Lightbourne believes that coaching has something to offer Bermudians of all walks of life.

She said: “Coaching gives you the opportunity to move the things that are considered barriers out of the way.”

According to Ms Lightbourne, money and time are examples of two big barriers that coaches can help clients overcome.

Choosing to be empowered: Pictured from left, Roger Trott, Jessica Lightbourne and Deborah Bradford with former graduate Pete Saunders (Photograph supplied)
Learning new skills: Deborah Bradford, Jessica Lightbourne and Roger Trott with all the graduates (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 17, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 17, 2015 at 1:16 am)

Qualified to coach life skills

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