Being aspirational doesn’t mean that you always have the answers or can see potential obstacles. Everyone needs a helping hand at some point in their lives. Regardless of how good you are, sometimes all you need is a guide to help you challenge yourself and move on to the next step.
A life coach creates a non-judgemental, trusted and confidential environment for the individual to feel safe to be able to talk about topics that they would not necessarily talk to others about. A coach will challenge clients on their day-to-day performance, whether that be in business or personal life, and can help to question their motivations, choices and philosophy.
Dr Rana thrives on helping people to transform their lives. “A life coach is a person who can help, support and challenge someone to become the best version of themselves by allowing the individual to come up with their own solutions for which they are then accountable,” he says.
“Inevitably most people turn to a life coach as a last resort, wanting to go from bad to good,” says Rakish. “When really I think that using a life coach should be to go from good to great.”
Along with running the occasional workshop and giving talks, Rakish is especially renowned for one-to-one coaching. His clients include people from the world of business, entertainment and fashion, here in the UK and abroad.
“I enjoy being with an individual and helping them to transform their life,” he says. “Coaching provides a safe space where people can open up and build trust. By being so open, the individual is able to explore further details about themselves and come up with creative solutions to the challenges they may be facing.”
While Rakish has been formally coaching for the past five years, he tells me his experience stems from his upbringing, education and corporate career. As the eldest sibling in his family, he was a textbook ‘perfect’ son, and achieved everything that was expected of him.
Having attained a BSc, MSc and PhD in sciences he moved into IT, working for investment banks and trading floors. But Rakish soon felt he had got to a point where he wasn’t striving to achieve anything. He eventually reached out to be coached himself, and learned the value that a life coach brought to his own life. Crucially, having been coached himself, he realised that he had been coaching people for most of his life.
“I had worked my way up the career ladder having a successful career as a team manager, project manager, operations manager and service delivery manager. These roles all taught me how to deal with people and help develop them. Coaching was taught as part some of these roles, however it wasn’t until almost six years ago I decided to get a formal coaching qualification, after having spent time with my own life coach to take a new direction in my career and life. I had always been developing other people, and it had become a passion for me.”
Rakish attained a Practitioner Diploma in Executive Coaching from the Academy of Executive Coaching, London, and is now a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
With so many people emerging offering the services of a life coach, finding the right coach for you can be a minefield. Rakish explains that the initial discussion will be a good indicator of how that person might be able to support you. “As well as being a great listener and non-judgemental, look at their experience and qualification,” he says. “Have they trained as a life coach? Though as it is a non-regulated industry, there are many life coaches out there that have not received training but are still able to help to an extent. Being able to access testimonials is important to see how a life coach has helped others. In the end it is someone that you feel comfortable with and are able to trust.”
Rakish’s clients sign up to a six-month coaching program where he tells them that he will be in their life for the next six months. The coaching sessions can be in person, over video or audio call, and clients have access to Rakish in-between sessions, via WhatsApp, text, or even over the phone. As well as one-to-one coaching, Rakish has also collaborated with another life coach to provide a coaching retreat called Coaching Escape. The retreat is an opportunity for individuals to get away from their daily grind and be able to relax, enjoy nature, try out yoga, use a spa and most importantly to experience some coaching sessions.
“I want my clients to think above average and really aim for the stars,” he says. “Most people’s goals are fairly mediocre, I want my clients to really think what could really be possible and we then work together to try and achieve them. I believe that in aiming for a huge goal, the individual changes and transforms themselves, and even if the goal changes or is not fully achieved, they’ll have enjoyed the journey, have found more fulfilment and will be happier.”
It is clear that coaching and bringing out the best in people gives Rakish immense joy. “You never stop learning in coaching. I work with people from all industries and backgrounds so I gain a real wealth of knowledge.
“Seeing someone transform and become the best they can be and knowing that I was in some way responsible brings a smile to my face,” he says. “I believe my clients also become better human beings and in doing so engage better with others. To be able to have that kind of impact is amazing.”
Interview with Nima Suchak
Photographs by Kam Parmar for Asian Wealth
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