In these Mastermind interviews, we invite professional coaches to share their journey, what they do and their tips and tricks to help you to be At Your Best.
Sofian Bennouri interview was recorded on March 21st 2020 and is available in replay HERE
In this session, Sofian describes what his coaching, what is a typical coaching journey, what he thinks about routines, he shares with you his advises to be At Your Best and he finally gives some recommendations on how to cope with the current COVID-19 outbreak
Sofian left Lyon, France 10 years ago. His journey drove him to Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and to New Zealand where he lives now.
Having been a life coach for over 7 years, Sofian knows a thing or two about empowering people to improve their happiness and lead more fulfilling, powerful lives. His clients have gone on to fully enjoy what they do and take responsibility for each decision they take. Some have even gone on to study life coaching themselves, so inspired by the positive changes Sofian has manifested. It is by no means an easy task, but the ability to help others keeps Sofian motivated in his passion. But how did he get to this point in his career where his coaching is so successful that he plants dreams of coaching in those he originally works with?
Sofian describes coaching as a way of empowering people, creating a positive impact, being happy with what they do so they know who they are and what they want.
Clients often come for one objective but eventually work on a very different one. For Sofian this is very common. People usually use similar patterns in their professional and personal lives and it is usual that they cannot move forward in different areas due to the same reason.
Sofian asks first his client to use the Wheel of life. This tool requests people to rate themselves on a scale from from 0 to 10 on the different aspects of their life like career, health, relationships, etc. This wheel gives an overall picture of how the person sees their life. The Wheel gives people the opportunity to view where they are unhappy. It also enable people to come with actions to increase their ratings. The advantage of this tool, on top of its simplicity, is that when you push one area, it impacts the others, like a domino effect.
Sofian adds that when people approach him for one goal, he needs to be prepared to work on 360 degree coaching, covering their whole life.
In order to coach, he says the first thing you need to do is to build a connection with the person. Sofian has a first face to face, free session, to check the chemistry. It is like when you go on a date, you can feel within the first moments if it’s going to work or not. During this first session, you have a casual discussion with the person, you get to know a little more about each other, you listen to all the questions they may have and define what they want to achieve.
"You can only make a difference if you manage to build the relationship and create rapport with your client" - Sofian Bennouri
Many coaches make the mistake of thinking that they can make a difference for everyone. However, for Sofian, you can only make a difference if you manage to build the relationship and create rapport with your client. Also the client needs to be open to being coached.
When the rapport is built, he starts to explain the rules. Coaching is a specific type of relationship as the coach is needed to call the coachee on their shit. As a coach, Sofian is here to challenge his clients.
During the first conversation, he explains to the person that they need to be prepared for what they are signing up for. Just like a fitness coach: you don’t expect them to feed you with burgers and other junk food, you expect the coach to challenge you when you struggle. A coach can give his clients all the tools in the world but at the end of the day the client must do the work. The coach cannot do the work for them.
Once the rules are set and clear, they can start working on how to achieve results together. The coach acts as a guide to help his clients to achieve their goals by providing them with the tools and methodologies adapted to their needs.
Coaching with Sofian usually lasts for a limited and short time
Coaching with Sofian usually lasts for a limited and short time. If the relationship lasts for too long, Sofian believes that the coach becomes more like a psychologist and that it is a very different kind of relationship which coaches are not skilled for. Coaches and psychologists can work in parallel and it proves to be highly effective. His favorite timeline with clients is 3 months.
During the last session, Sofian reminds his clients that they now have the methodologies and tools so they can use it by themselves.
"It usually takes 21 days to create a new routine" - Sofian Bennouri
To help people be at their best and build healthy habits, routines are effective. Sofian explains that we all have routines - our lives are consistently filled with routines. There are 2 types of routines: the unconscious ones like the way we talk to people, how we brush our teeth, which route to go to work… and the conscious ones like when you decide to create a new routine on 1st of January to go to the gym, for example.
One of Sofians goals is to transfer conscious routines into the unconscious mind. It usually takes 21 days to create a new routine since it is the time it takes for your brain to assimilate a new habit.
As for Sofian, he wakes up at 5am and starts his day with 45 minutes at the gym. At the same time, he listens to self-development podcasts. He then studies and finally goes to the office. He has also night routines where logs in his diary what happened during the day and takes some time for self-reflection.
Visualize where you want to be in 10 years
Although some people may consider routines as boring or being stuck in the same habits, Sofian mentioned that this may be the case when the action has no meaning. He gives an example his wife becoming vegetarian and asking him to join her. Since it was not one of his long-term goals, he found it boring and was uninterested and he could not stick to it.
For Sofian, the key is to visualize where you want to be in 10 years. When you can see it, you can decide what you need to do to get there and you can start building your routines accordingly. He explains that often people come with goals which are like mountains that they want to achieve quickly but achieving large goals is something that can take time. Routine is simply the process to lift the right leg, then the left leg, the right leg, then the left leg, over and over again until you can climb to top of the mountain - baby steps.
"You are the cause of what is happening and have the power to change it" - Sofian Bennouri
Currently the Covid-19 outbreak is affecting peoples everyday lives all across the world. Countries and governments are advising people to stay at home and by doing so, they must change their routines. Sofian says that the confinement may be an opportunity to start reviewing how people do things and how they can do things differently in the future. Life is like an equation of cause and effect. When you look at the cause, you are acting from a space of power. You are the cause of what is happening and have the power to change it. If you look at the effect side, life happens to you and you have no control over it. Sofian encourages people to act from the cause side of things more than the effect. Covid-19 has affected all of us which we cannot control but what we are going to do out of it is up to each of us. For example, most of us must now work from home. This is a great opportunity to be more productive and change the way we do things. It is also a good opportunity to be more present in life, especially if confined with family. What can we learn right now that will skyrocket our career and our personal lives?
So what other tips or tricks can he share to help people be at their best?
Sofian says that the best thing people can do is learn how to press pause. It’s like when you watch a video and are confused with what’s happening and you press pause to review and understand what’s happening. You can look into detail at the picture and its finer details, review the background story and such. Sometimes this is what you have to do with your life. You need to press pause to stop whatever is happening and dissociate yourself from it and start looking at it from a different angle, just like if you were watching a movie called “My life”. People often forget about it and carry on with their lives. Once you press pause, you can self-reflect and ask yourself why you are doing what you’re doing. You increase awareness which is the basic principal of life transformation.
Secondly, Sofian recommends people to expose themselves to positive vibes. If you look at both media and social media, you expose yourself to too many negative vibes. Instead start listening to positive podcasts or read positive books.
Sofian finally recommends continuing to grow and invest in your personal development. He takes the example of a book he reads from Deepak Chopra called the Quantum Healing. He highly recommends this book to understand the mind. It is a fascinating read and builds up your knowledge.
With all this in mind, if you are sick of being a passenger, a supporting actor in your life then make the choice to seek life coaching and see your life take direction.
Final word from Sofian, Become who you have always wanted to be and live the life you truly deserve!