Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gift-Wrapped Guidance

As we enter the season of graduations and weddings, gift-giving hits hard. Our budgets are tight and we want to get the biggest bang for our buck. While a new desk set might be nice, how may does any graduate need? Blenders and salt shakers are great but will they really enhance the lives of the happy couple.

Consider giving the gift of wisdom. As high school or college graduates embark on a new journey, or as individuals start to make a new life as a couple, they will undoubtedly encounter challenges. Wouldn't it be great if you could wrap up a gift that would smooth those out and make the transition a little easier?

Transition coaching does this. Unlike counseling, where "issues" from our past are dealt with and resolved, coaching helps healthy people move forward wisely. If you're unfamiliar with coaching it can seem a little wacky, trendy or useless. But once you learn about the process it's easy to recognize the value.

Paying for a session or two with a reputable coach will do a couple of things. First, it will introduce your loved one to the coaching experience and secondly it allows them to have a wise "guide" in place before a trial begins. They will have already begun a friendship with the coach and will likely feel comfortable going to him or her for help when they feel lost, frustrated or stuck in this new chapter of life.

"When I went away to college I felt alone and scared," said Linda. "I had a really difficult first semester and finally quit and moved back home to attend community college. To help prevent this with my daughter, I gave her a few sessions with a transitional coach. What a different experience she's had!"

When John and Cindy opened the envelope from her parents on their wedding day they felt a bit awkward as they read the card: "Our wedding gift to you is a year of life coaching sessions. We want to invest in your marriage and help make the transition easier." Just to avoid hurting their feelings, they signed on with a coach and had a session to get acquainted. A few months passed and a serious conflict arose about money. They decided to give their coach a try. She helped them consider options, determine the best actions and get past the problem without causing any damage to their relationship.

The gift of coaching is a unique and generous one that can be given at a baby shower to equip the new mom, at a retirement party to help grandpa learn to feel productive and make new friends or for someone who hates their job and is considering a career change.Think it over, you can write a check that will be spent and forgotten or you can invest in a potentially life-altering gift.

Have you worked with a coach or known someone who has? Stories to share of tough transitions?

Diane Markins

Recommended Coaches:
Jerome Daley
Jeff Williams
Ally Johnson
Joan Webb

*To learn more about coaching visit these sites:
Coach Federation, Christian Coaching Center, and Christian Coaching Magazine will be up soon.


Michelle Hollomon said...

This is a great idea! Establishing a relationship with a coach or counselor before college or marriage makes it so much easier to go when you really need one. I can't think of a more valuable gift.

Jeff Williams said...


Great idea! It is a proactive investment for priceless success in marriage, work, ministry, etc.

Thank you for the kind recommendation, and the invitation to share about pre-marital coaching. I would be happy to share the full article/proposal w/ your readers if they want to write to me at

Blessings, Jeff