Monday, 18 February 2013

Lounge Talk with Life Coach and Family Mediator, Bint e Ahmed

By definition, emotions are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's  relationships with others. This means that while relationships act as a stimulus, the 
expression of emotions is the conditioned response. This forms the human psychology. 
At times when one fails to attain the desired fulfillment from a particular relationship, he is often termed to have a psychological deficiency. While this is true at times, it by no means implies a social taboo. As humans we live in societies for a reason - to seek help from each other. 
People advise with the intention of helping those in need. However, those who are knowledgeable are the best sources. They are professionals who have been trained in the field and add from their personal experience.
Parenting and Relationship Coaching is one such banner. Run by Bint e Ahmed, she is a life coach and family mediator, who strives at overcoming any obstacles that may be hampering the development of healthy relationships.
The team at Mama, Baby and Diapers sought to interview the expert over an exchange of emails to find out more about the inspirational woman.

Beginning with the most clichéd and apt question for introductions: can you please tell us about yourself?

I would like to be known as Bint e Ahmed. Professionally I am a software engineer turned a Life Coach and a Family Mediator. I currently reside in Karachi.

What comprises the project Parenting and Relationship Coaching (Pakistan) and how did it come into form?

I was getting increasingly unsatisfied with my 9 to 6 job and working with abstract software code. I always wanted to do something different; something that would connect me to people, something that would help me make a difference in people’s lives.
I was always aware of my empathetic nature and listening skills, yet was not sure how to use them until I got the opportunity to attend training in Life Coaching first, and then Family Mediation. My experience working with lawyers and social workers gave me a clear direction.
I then moved to Pakistan in the end 2011 with the objective of starting workshops for parents, teachers and care takers. However, the turnout at these workshops was disappointing. That is when I created the Facebook page for Parenting and Relationship Coaching (Pakistan), with the purpose of creating awareness. It led to a remarkable response from fans.
One fan asked me if I could provide individual coaching. I took it as a challenge and agreed. The client was very happy with the way I guided her and this encouraged me to advertise a one on one coaching program on the fan page. A few fans signed up for the program which led to appreciation from the clients. Since then Alhamdo Lillah more and more people are showing interest, joining the program and brining major positive changes in their lives.
Many of my clients have commented that the improvement is so significant that their friends and family members can notice the change in their approach to life and communication style.

How would you describe your background and training?

I have received training in Life Coaching, Family Mediation and many other relevant topics from Canada and have worked with lawyers and social workers. I got opportunity to work with abused people, divorced couples and immigrant community in Canada. This has indeed been an enriching experience.

What is your coaching philosophy?  What’s your mission as a coach?

Parenting and Relationships need skills that are not taught in educational institutes. With the trend of diminishing joint family system in Pakistan, the informal guidance and emotional support has become unavailable. In the past few decades the way we live has changed drastically. Old ways of parenting and maintaining fulfilling relationships do not work anymore. Divorce rate and family conflicts are ever increasing.
My mission is to provide guidance, emotional support and impart skills to help women raise children with character and maintain smooth and fulfilling family relationships.

What procedures do you use to evaluate the areas of weakness of your clients and how do you help them perform to the best of their abilities?

When a client shows interest, I arrange an intake call with her over the phone, Skype or viber. During the first call I get a fairly good idea about what kind of help is needed. Week by week we discuss problems and issues of concern. Each week I give them reading assignments, help them define family rules and activities to follow and practice to help create harmony and structure in the family.
I coach them on       

  • Time management
  • Organization skills,
  • Assertive communication skills
  • Positive discipline
  • Managing emotions
  • Problem solving
  • Conflict management
  • Negotiating differences

Can you please quote a real life experience and how it aided to benefit your clients?

Sometimes simple adjustments in your attitude can make big difference. I always advise my clients not to show an immediate reaction when an argument flares up. I coach them on different techniques on how to contain their emotions and take time out to control immediate reactions. Many clients have given the feed back that this almost invariably helps contain the conflict and because of lack of immediate reaction the other party loses interest and is not so keen on opposition.

What do you think are the main factors that contribute to healthy relationships amongst a child and their parents? How can they be incorporated into daily life?

Positive discipline, bonding and structure. Implement one rule each week and see how it brings harmony and peace to your household.

In your experience, what have been the most common factors that lead to strains within relationships?

We are products of our experiences. We unconsciously learn lots of things that are not so helpful.
Blaming, complaining, nagging, desire to control, desire to always be right and lack of communication are some of those things and a sure sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Has there been a time when you gave coaching sessions, yet the participants had difficulty in understanding the topics you were covering? What did you do?

I adapt to the participants’ level of understanding and language. Alhamdo Lillah most of my clients have made very positive changes in their lives. Though there are some clients who were not so receptive and insisted that it is the other person who should change. They think that I can teach them how to change the other person and make the other party realize their mistakes. Now I make it clear from the beginning that change should always come from within first. As most of our interactions are interdependent the other party adapts with you and a process sets in motion that may bring profound changes in the way you interact and relate.

How can interested participants get in touch with Parenting and Relationship Coaching (Pakistan)?

Details of contact are provided below:

Life Coach and Family Mediator
Bint e Ahmed
Ph: 0300 2643988, 0315 6123656, 
Viber: 0307 7198611

Going back in your life 10 years, what do you find you could not do then that now you have no problem doing?

Stay calm in panicky situations; control my anger, disappointments and reactions to unpleasant situations.
I am amazed at how easily I can forgive now whereas it was almost impossible before and how forgiving takes a heavy load off your chest.
I have also learnt not to be judgmental and communicate assertively

Would you like to end with a positive advice or a note of inspiration? 

Parenting and maintaining healthy relationships are indeed difficult in these times of tremendous social change. Don’t be shy to admit that you need help. This can turn around your life. Give yourself a chance.

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