My journey into coaching was more of a transition and evolution of my career. It was much less about finding myself and more about 'creating myself’ - as in the words of George Bernard Shaw.
Throughout my career in sales and business, I have helped people improve. There is a common thread that weaves through all of the roles I have had; it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realised my entire career has been focused on developing people.
Before enrolling with The Coaching Academy, I was training, advising and consulting with people who needed help with their business. I loved what I was doing, but it was very much “this is what you need, now off you go”. However, over the course of time, something new started to evolve and this hooked my interest.
I noticed that when working with my clients, if I asked them different types of questions, I got different types of answers.
Rather than tell my clients what they should do, I started to ask them what they thought they could do and what ideas they had. This not only transformed the way I worked with my clients, but it transformed their outcomes too.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d moved from consulting into coaching, and as soon as this became apparent, I wanted to learn as much as I could about coaching so I could help my clients get even better results.
Whilst I already had a busy life as a business owner, mum of 2 young children and serial do-er, I believe you can always find space in your life for the things that are important. A combination of being disciplined, setting robust goals for myself and taking action is what helped me to fit everything in. Finding more time is one of the things that my clients frequently bring to their coaching sessions, but it can be very different when it’s your own life.
Coaching has helped me to see people, situations and behaviours through an altogether different lens. I wouldn’t have the same degree of perspective and open-minded thinking had I not trained to become a coach.
The biggest personal breakthrough I have had is through my own raised self- awareness; learning more about myself and what I am capable of.
There are an infinite number of ways in which my coaching journey has rewarded me. It’s like asking a primary school child ‘what they have done at school today’ and getting a “don’t know” answer. There’s almost too much to compute.
The main focus of my coaching is working women who run their own business; helping them to overcome the challenges they face and supporting them to create a thriving and profitable business.
I have a huge passion for helping people, especially women, be bold and do the things in life they really want to do. I also have a love of business, so my coaching brings together both of my passions.
I feel very fortunate indeed that I’m doing what I love; but it has been no accident. I’ve worked hard to design the business and life I want, which hasn’t always been easy. Because I’m a woman in business myself, I know the frustrations, overwhelm and barriers other women face. Being able to support other women in their journey into entrepreneurship was a very logical step for me to take.
My top tips for:
People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach and those currently in training with TCA
My number one piece of advice is to apply everything you learn throughout your coaching journey to yourself and your own situation, challenges, fears and successes. We are sometimes so busy coaching others that we forget to coach ourselves.
It’s important to apply the same principles to your own personal development and not just that of your clients.
I remember in the run up to my final practical assessment thinking how I could make sure I was awarded a distinction. Then it dawned on me. I needed take myself through a “real” coaching session. I did that, set actions for myself and followed up on these actions. I was diligent and determined and I got the distinction! The ability to apply my knowledge and skills to myself was a powerful realisation for me.
Karen is a passionate personal and business coach and mentor at Karenkissanecoaching.com, and has helped many individuals and businesses realise their ambitions and achieve remarkable success.
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We caught up with our passionate coach and therapist, Lorna Devine for a quick Q&A session in this week’s Coach in The Spotlight column, where she shared how coaching enhanced her career and her life. We hope you enjoy and find her coaching top tips helpful…
Truly understanding yourself is one of the most important attributes a person can possess - as Aristotle famously mused, 'Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.’ When you know yourself, you know what path is right for you and instead of looking to others for permission, you are able to make decisions with more certainty. When you are your true self you are empowered to march to the beat of your own drum.