We are pleased to be featuring Laura Fordham as our Coach in the Spotlight in this week’s blog.
Laura is a qualified Coaching Academy Personal Performance & Life Coach, she describes herself as an optimist, people-focused motivator! Laura started out in a media career in advertising, working for some of the largest recognised publishing and advertising technology companies globally. After 15 years, she left her job in London, moved her family to South Wales and followed my dream to become a qualified coach and an accredited DISC trainer.
What has led you to coaching?
I have always been curious about coaching since I started my career. I have a passion to support people and to help them be the best version of themselves. I studied Sociology at university 20 years ago before Coaching was a known practice. I remember having a conversation with a career advisor when I was 18, when I explained that I was interested in working with people and helping people be the best version of themselves, I received a relatively blank look, I believe my journey started with that conversation.
Most people become a coach to change the lives of others… How has coaching benefited your own life?
My personal coaching journey has raised some interesting questions about my own choices and behaviours which has enabled me to make some quite important life changes that I would not have been confident enough to have considered on my own and without coaching. The benefits of this have been endless, from having the belief and confidence to pivot my career, to move country, to improved relationships with the people around me. I will always invest in myself and coaching is a part of this development.
How did the qualification slot in with your busy life?
I attended The Coaching Academy’s free introductory event and within minutes knew that everything I had been working towards had brought me to this place – I knew coaching people was for me. I started my studying when lockdown happened in March 2022, and with a full-time job, plus no childcare and working from home, I found it really challenging to juggle it all to start with. But once I understood what was required, I started to chip away at it slowly over the next 24 months. I realised my energy would return every time I would coach someone, attend a peer-to-peer, accelerator session or coaching skills webinar which kept me motivated.
What was the most rewarding part of your Coaching journey?
The most rewarding part was Coaching people who would then implement their action plan and see huge impacts to their life. These changes could be small, and in some cases were achieved as a result of a raised awareness and sense of empowerment. It was so fulfilling to see these positive changes and how people were benefiting from my coaching.
Tell us about the work you do! How are you using your coaching skills?
Since graduating in early 2022, I have now started my own coaching business, where I focus on confidence and career coaching. I coach people who have a variety of confidence and career issues. From a feeling of being ‘stuck’ in their job to people who are taking on more responsibility or have achieved a promotion etc. I also work with people who have a feeling of being held back from issues that they struggle to overcome by themselves. I work with belief systems and help people navigate through those feelings of self-doubt. I am also DISC accredited, which means I can use an effective tool with people and teams to help raise awareness of other communication style preferences.
What’s the biggest area in coaching you are curious about and why?
My niche is confidence and career coaching, and I am constantly curious about this topic and all the literature written and content created about it. I am fascinated about Neuroscience and the theory behind why people are like how they are, I am also interested and care about people’s lives and how I can help them make meaningful small changes that last and that make a positive impact.
What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a life coaching career?
Once you understand the coaching principle and the codes of ethics, I would recommend starting coaching as soon as possible. Try not to procrastinate by seeking perfection, otherwise you will likely never start. Understand the GROW concept and immerse yourself in the process.
What are the best resources that have helped you along your coach training journey?
The Coaching Academy has good resources through the portal, I would suggest seeking out further reading, authors and tools/models. I listen to a lot of coaching podcasts, watch a lot of coaching demos on YouTube and watch Ted X videos to increase my knowledge. I would also highly recommend getting a Coach, it is hard to coach someone without being thoroughly coached yourself.
Thank you Laura for sharing your coaching journey with us!
If you are feeling inspired and would you like to have a coaching business you can run from the comfort of your own home, then do join us on our Introduction to Life Coaching webinar - choose from available dates here.
Are you already qualified as a coach? Our wide range of coaching training events, webinars and courses will enable you to upskill in your career or grow your coaching business – you can see the booking calendar here.
The Coaching Academy was established in 1999, and is now the world's largest coaching school.
In that time we have trained over 8,000 people to become life coaches.
We are accredited by the International Coach Federation, and we're rated 4.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot.
As a coach it’s really important that we are the best version of ourselves when working with others. It’s not just about role modelling what we often support our clients in doing its about ensuring we truly embrace good self-care routines so we sustain ourselves. I found that as I love the work I do, supporting others to flourish and become the best version of themselves, but would get absorbed in the work and not really allow time for rest and renourishment of myself.
There are many things that we do as coaches; helping clients set meaningful goals, helping boost their confidence and resourcefulness, and helping them take focused action so they achieve real progress. However, none of this is possible or sustainable without wellbeing, mindfulness of compassion – and like so many things that journey must begin at home with ourselves.