Dr Rakish Rana, the clear coach
With a doctorate in toxicology, Dr Rakish Rana is now a clear coach. Today, Graham and Kevin quiz Rakish on what clear coaching means, and his story.
How does one go from toxicology to being ‘the clear coach’?
With a strong science background, by the time Rakish had finished 7 years at University, quite frankly he was getting a bit sick of science! So, he made a switch and jumped into IT and became an IT professional for investment banks. That is what prompted his move to London.
The real twist that made Rakish think more about life coaching is what happened during his time as an IT professional.
…So, what did happen?
Rakish has always been a high achiever – very much an academic. He followed a path that was laid out for him really, which was get straight A’s and get into a profession. What came about is that Rakish just took the opportunities that presented themselves to him; he got a good degree and a funded Phd and then got into a business that was looking for non-IT Phd graduates.
After working for a while, the thought process of “there must be more to life” was a pretty strong one. Up until then, Rakish had been doing things that formed his progression but now he was doing something with very little structure. Life got in the way – he got married, had kids, the pay was good, he was developing. However, he was never happy…he didn’t feel fulfilled.
It was about 6 years ago when Rakish met a man who did coaching, and Rakish asked this man to coach him. It was through this coaching that Rakish understood his own value system better. Primarily, he enjoyed caring about people.
What he saw was that he always helped people, as the oldest sibling, as a Phd student, as an IT professional and developing other staff. It came down to the development of other people. And here was the lightbulb moment; he wanted to be a coach.
What influenced the decision to be the clear coach?
The immediate thins is clarity. However, there is a deeper meaning to this. ‘Clear‘ is actually an acronym for both a framework for Rakish’s coaching sessions and for relationship-building.
This acronym came about from Rakish’s coaching training.
C – Connection. For Rakish, it is very important to build a rapport with people and build that trust and likability.
L – Language. Keep it simple.
E – Energy and enthusiasm.
A – Awareness. Coaching processes are about building up awareness, whether it’s about yourself or the person you’re with.
R – Results. It’s about being in a relationship for an end – what are you trying to get out of this?
How does NLP fit into clear coaching?
NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is all about rapport building. When you make an impression, 70% is all about visual cues – making sure your mannerisms are appropriate for the situation and person you are with, for the best establishment of a quick relationship.
Various NLP processes – looking at the pace you talk, the pace you breath, eye contact (for example) – can help form relationships quicker.
Keeping it simple
Now, Rakish is definitely one of life’s high achievers. He has the capability to use the long words and to show off his intelligence, but he chooses to communicate with simple words.
A lot of people ask Rakish, “what is the most important trait with anybody?” – he always says communication. No matter what area of life you’re in, you need to be able to communicate well.
To expand upon this a bit more, it’s not just about communication. Rather, it’s making sure you’re understood. If you’re using big words, you are going to lose a lot of people. Keep it simple.
“If you need to have a dictionary by you when reading or listening to somebody, something’s going wrong!”
Progression routes to an unwanted destination
Being on a train track to a career is, perhaps, a universal culture in the sense that most people do the A Levels, go to uni and work hard as a pathway into a career. Lots of these people often get there and think “Is that really what I want to do?”
There’s a crunching point where everything snowballs; where your getting the promotions and earning more money, the family has come along, personal commitments have increased, and you kind of get trapped. How do you go about untrapping yourself?
It’s about talking with others – family, friends, people at work. However, sometimes there can be an anxiety surrounding talking to these people because they may not understand. Finding a life coach, then, offers a way to talk about how you’re feeling without worry.
Rakish’s coaching role
What are the opportunities that people come to Rakish with?
These two issues presented above are not always presented so clearly.
What often comes about is that the reason they have come to Rakish is due to some lack of confidence or that they were scared of something/taking a particular step. Through conversation they can understand what that is; as a result it is easier to tackle what need to be done to move forward.
Coming in as a coach, what Rakish seeks to do is generate a fire within them, to get them going and do better than they’re doing already.
What happens to Rakish’s clients?
So, Rakish can have a discussion with his clients or prospective clients – similar to the podcast discussion. More often than not, he’ll talk to people and they do get fired up, motivated and inspired. It doesn’t, however, guarantee that they will become a client. There are many people who initially get enthused but then don’t take action. Ultimately, there are two types of people then. There are those that take action and those who don’t.
For those who take the step to become Rakish’s clients, he insists that they take action. It’s not about talking or being fired up by a life coach – it’s about clear, concise goals coming out of the sessions. Also, they must be accountable for these goals.
The first step is understanding what needs to change; the important step is to take action to make the change. The difficult thing is to make room in your life for that new action.
These two books are reads Rakish is very much a fan of, as they both talk about creating the environment to make action as easy as possible.It’s about removing the excuses and creating the environment for you to take the action easily.
This is a great echo of the episode of The Next 100 Days Podcast, with John Lamerton as guest. He talks about his book, “Routine Machine” and how it is much easier to not do something, than it is to do it.
Who inspires you?
Bruce Lee has always been an inspiration for Rakish. He grew up watching his movies and loved them. But, more than that, what he did was take the best bits of everything and utilise them in his action. In a similar way, Rakish likes to think he does just that. He uses the best of his experiences, spends time with his client and cares for them, understands what they want and adapts to that.
Last year, Rakish had a client who wanted to do something for herself but lacked confidence. It was through learning to understand how to best react to certain situations that her confidence grow and mature. Now, she running her own company.
Rakish has also had a client who has signed movie roles and gone into more castings, and achieved more as a result, because of the confidence Rakish helped her develop and his clear coaching process.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done…”
With clients, it’s not always possible to know that the goals Rakish has helped his clients work toward, are actually done. Follow up for clear coach testimonials are probably a valuable asset.
As a clear coach, not only does Rakish help his clients set out and achieve what the goals that they want to achieve; he wants to help them become better human beings. Interestingly, this shifts from desiring to have clients who act, to clients who achieve a state of being.
State of being and action can be combined when we discuss ‘spring cleaning’ – that is, ridding your habits and routines of actions that you don’t need to do. What are you doing that isn’t delivering?
Being a clear coach, Rakish experiences lots of people come ask for help with their business. However, Rakish doesn’t know the business of x, y or z – what he does help with is the mindset. The idea is that you are the one who knows the insides of your business. If you don’t, you need to find a business consultant. Rakish can help with the confidence to take decisions.
To coach in corporate, to not coach in corporate – that is the question
Initially, Rakish worked with corporate businesses a lot. His training was executive life-coaching, executive being involved with corporate. Now, he hasn’t lost touch in the corporate world but he doesn’t do as much clear coaching. Instead, he does talks and runs workshops, provides training on persuasion and influence, etc. He still touches base with corporate but doesn’t coach in corporate. This is because he prefers working with entrepreneurs and others who are more creative because he gets a lot of energy from them!
Workshop-wise, Rakish offers a range of workshop scopes:
- Cultural Awareness
- Customer Service
- Personal Branding
- Leveraging Influence & Persuasion
Of these areas, it is actually mindsets that is the most popular (though not on his website list!). That is, growth mindsets and fixed mindsets. This workshop aims to get people thinking about mindsets and realising we, as human beings, are not wholly fixed or grown. We tend to be in the middle. What Rakish discusses is how to increase our mindsets further to achieve greater success. We can do so much ourselves but who can we collaborate with to go even further?
How do you transfer a mindset into goals for business?
When it comes to business, clear coaching goals will be tangible. For example, if a business wants to see business growth and need to be making 10 calls a day and haven’t, Rakish gets them to think about what has been stopping them make those phone calls?
Sometimes Rakish will sit and get the client to role play, where Rakish is the potential customer. As a coach, he cannot advise however he can step out of ‘clear coaching mode’ to say his opinion. In this way, Rakish can help change the client/business’ mindset as well as help set up goals that he makes tangible using his own customer-service experience, and experience in corporate.
If you had to advise The Next 100 Days Podcast listeners…
- If you find yourself saying the word “should”, you’re probably doing it for the wrong reasons. Evaluate that – what are you doing and why is it “should” and not will?
- Language – watch what you say and frame certain things. Rakish is a really positive guy and is well known for being so. His internal language centres on the silver lining, and not the big black cloud on the horizon or overhead. Reframe your language and evaluate what you’re saying to yourself or to others.
- One small action a day. It’s so simple and yet people find it so hard. Create the right environment for one small action. Little things add up after all; this is compound interest on your life.
If you’re interested in what Rakish has had to say, follow this link to his site here.