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Coach in the Spotlight - Phil Maddock

THE COACHING ACADEMY BLOG

I was first introduced to coaching when I was working as a primary school teacher. Attending The Coaching Academy's 2-day event was a very positive experience, I went away with a newfound skill and something that I could explore further, in order to help me become the most effective leader that I could.

I was first introduced to coaching when I was working as a primary school teacher. Attending The Coaching Academy’s 2-day event was a very positive experience, I went away with a newfound skill and something that I could explore further, in order to help me become the most effective leader that I could.

Enrolling on the PPD course with the Coaching Academy coincided with the handing in of my letter of resignation. I became a supply teacher and threw myself into the new experiences of different work places, meeting new people on a daily basis and of course, attending the excellent accelerator days. I was ready to try out new things and set myself new challenges, I had been teaching for over 12 years – long enough for anyone in my book - and I wasn’t enjoying it so the changes were welcomed.

I found coaching to be a very effective way of communicating with colleagues and supporting others .Coaching helped me to realise the importance of effective listening, and to become aware of the body language, tone and pitch of work mates. Initially, it seemed to be most effective when trying to solve a particular problem, such as a falling out, a missed deadline or a struggle with workload. However, as I found out more about coaching and began to implement it into my own daily practice, I discovered that coaching was more far-reaching than simply being a problem solver.

Three years later, I have nearly completed my Diploma – just one more practical assessment to complete – and I have narrowed down my niche options greatly. During my coaching experience, I have worked with fellow coaches – coaching and being coached. It was extremely useful at the start of my diploma to have the opportunity to speak with other students at varying stages of the course. One of these students agreed to become the client for my first practical assessment and I also worked with some friends, coaching them in lots of different areas – this raised for me the importance of being professional, confidential and non-judgmental. Some of the topics covered were quite personal and I had to do my best to remain non-advisory at all times. This was particularly challenging, especially because I knew my clients and thought I could help them! Coaching friends isn’t something I intend to do in the future but at the time, it was a great learning experience and one that I feel has brought me closer to them in the long run.

Having explored my niche, I decided to look at how effective coaching could be within schools. I offered coaching to some of my colleagues as a way of helping them with any work related issues that they might be having. Again, being an experienced teacher, I had to be careful not to be judgmental or offer advice, and I also had to operate in an extremely professional and confidential manner. Building trust and rapport during these sessions was crucial. Following this, I considered the prospect of coaching younger students. I imagined how great it would have been to have a coach when I was that age – I had no idea what I wanted to be upon leaving school and some coaching might well have helped me make more effective or relevant decisions at the time.  So I approached a school and offered some volunteer coaching for some GCSE students to help them identify their strengths and successes. This was an immensely rewarding experience. The students responded well to the questioning and were keen to set and achieve their own goals. Upon completion of the six sessions that I did with three different students, it had been noticed that they had made excellent progress, not only with their focus at school and in lessons, but also with their own self confidence.

You get out of coaching what you put into it.