12.03.2019 | Reading time: 5 min

Maria Bragina, a systemic health coach at Vilua reports 

Coaching is often associated with the tickle of top performances and most likely with sport. As a health coach, however, you do not train a striker to score as many goals as possible in the next game. Instead, he supports a participant in defining and implementing his personal health goal.

But a sustainable change in behaviour can only succeed if the participant takes responsibility for himself and his health. The health coach acts as motivator and process companion.

Ein Gesundheitscoach unterstützt einen Mitarbeiter
Maria Bragina in a coaching talk 

With the right question techniques on the way to well-being

In order to define these personal health goals and to accompany the process of implementation, I always have personal discussions with the participant. Either by telephone or face-to-face. Some participants are more likely to open up when the first contact is made in person. Others prefer the anonymity of the phone to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Everyone is different. Depending on the topic and the individual need, I follow my experience and use question techniques, which I have learned and internalized in the training. These are, for example, the systemic questions or certain exercises (e.g. Meta Mirror) that help my participants to look at their own position from different perspectives and to reflect on themselves.

A holistic approach to sustainable behavioural change

Each participant already has a solution or a goal within him. I try to make the person aware of this own source and focus on it – that is coaching for me. Someone who comes to me with weight problems and wants to lose weight may have stress at work. Maybe he reacts with an increased consumption of sweets. Offering a stress avoidance strategy would therefore be much more important than a diet. As soon as the participant learns to deal positively with stress, his need for sweets may also decrease.

This solution-oriented and holistic way of coaching in occupational health promotion (OHP) is the decisive reason for me to choose this field of activity. No superficial tips and advice are given, but the complete environment of the participant is considered, in order to increase well-being and quality of life. The strategies that are developed have a much more lasting effect because they are individually tailored to the needs and experience of the person.

Viluas Gesundheitscoaches Viluas health coaches, Maria Bragina and Daniel Weber

Viluas personal competence

The special thing about being a health coach at Vilua is that you can get involved, take responsibility and be involved in important decisions.

Here I can develop solutions, communicate with my interdisciplinary team and am up to date through regular workshops. So that the work never becomes routine.  Every day looks a bit different. I plan my coaching conversations in advance and meet the participants either by telephone or in person. Between appointments I answer emails, plan the coming days and coordinate with my contacts from the projects. I arrange the follow-up meetings with the participants according to their needs.

In my work as a coach, self-organisation and time management play just as important a role as interacting openly, empathetically and confidently with the participants. The field of activity of the systemic health coach is for all of us a fulfilling field of work, which places the human being in the centre.

Learn more about health coaching at Vilua