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An Interview with Executive Life Coach — Kris De Jong

Kris de Jong is an experienced and certified Executive Life Coach living in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied at the University of Waikato, completing a BSc in Biology and Psychology, and was later certified in Cognitive Behavioural Coaching and Professional Life Coaching. He's also a Certified Practitioner of the Global Leadership Assessment 360 (GLA360). Recently he's become a co-founding ambassador for Prox.io, a global virtual knowledge exchange platform.


Kris has managed large and diverse teams over the years while building his coaching and mentoring skills. His experience in HR, recruitment, performance, and people management allows him to optimize employee coaching for organizations looking to improve workplace wellbeing.


He's written over 100 articles, published in national news outlets, and featured on national radio.


After achieving financial freedom at 40, Kris started Eclipse Life Coaching and is passionate about coaching and helping people to get what they want in life.

Kris De Jong, Executive Life Coach
Kris De Jong, Executive Life Coach

What is life coaching, and how do you choose a coach that’s right for you?


Great question, and a challenging one. The truth is life coaching is an unregulated industry. As such, there’s a huge spectrum of people who call themselves coaches, all with different backgrounds, philosophies, and ways of working.


Coaching is not therapy, counseling, or even mentoring. I see it as a partnership where trust, confidentiality, and communication are paramount. A good coach will understand their client’s specific needs and work with them to impart practical concepts that will help them get the results they’re looking for and put them on the path to success in life.


A professional code of ethics from one of the international coaching bodies should be adhered to at all times.


When choosing a coach, look for credentials, qualifications, and relevant experience. Read their testimonials and check their background. The main thing is to ensure your coach is right for you, and most coaches offer an initial consultation or discovery call to find out if there’s a good fit.


How did you become a coach, and how long have you been coaching?


Halfway through my career as a people manager, I decided I didn’t want to work for someone else for the rest of my life, so I made a plan to gain financial freedom, “retire” by 40 and do my own thing.


The business has grown and evolved over the past 15 years. I now specialize in working one-on-one with busy professionals, managers, and business owners to help them get clarity and direction in their life and career.


What qualifies you to be a coach, and what methods do you use?


I come from a scientific background and have a degree in biology and psychology. I believe in evidence-based coaching, so I make sure everything I do is supported by data. For example, cognitive-behavioral coaching (CBC) and mindfulness techniques are highly effective in getting transformational results for clients, and they’re two key elements I include in my practice.


Among other qualifications, I’m certified in CBC through Professor Stephen Palmer, one of the pioneers in the field, and hold accredited certification in Professional Life Coaching. I’m also a member of the International Association of Coaches (IAC).


What client success stories do you have?


I’ll give you a couple of recent examples.


Beth was working long hours as a marketing executive in a start-up company, feeling very stressed and anxious and in danger of burn-out. There was a lot of pressure on her to ensure the business's success, and her work environment was toxic. She knew she couldn’t continue as things were but was afraid that if she left, she’d not be able to get another job and get into financial difficulty, not to mention letting down her co-workers.


After working through the coaching program and getting clarity around her desired future, she left the company amicably and is now working in another business that suits her skills and personality more. She’s also in the process of setting up her own consultancy, that’ll move her closer to her longer-term vision.


Mark was a successful sales manager and generally enjoyed his job. However, he felt stagnant, unmotivated, and lonely a lot of the time, so he wanted to take a step up in his career and enjoy a better lifestyle.


Within a few weeks of coaching, he gained promotion into a different role and a pay raise, was feeling motivated and engaged in his work, and was able to re-connect with his family and friends for holidays and adventures.


What do you see as the future of coaching?


It’s a rapidly growing industry and becoming more prevalent for professionals at all levels. If you’re a manager or executive and haven’t got a coach, you may be in the minority pretty soon.


The barriers are coming down too. Many businesses, including Facebook and LinkedIn, now see the value of offering free life coaching to their leaders and employees. It can all be done remotely from anywhere in the world.


A good coach is always on your side, giving you accountability and empowering and encouraging you to get the life you want. Coaching can be a wonderful and enlightening experience. You’ll gain clarity and direction, get balance and energy back into your life, and be the person you want to be.


Visit Kris' website to book a free consultation, and follow him on Facebook and LinkedIn.


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