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Coach In The Spotlight: Jenni Nicholls

The Coaching Academy Blog

Posted: January 2023

We are pleased to be featuring Jenni Nicholls as one of our two Coaches in the Spotlight this week! After a successful teaching career, Jenni trained and qualified with The Coaching Academy; now she runs her own coaching business coaching middle leaders to be the best they can be.

What has led you to coaching?    

Coaching was introduced as a concept in the school I was working in at the time. Unfortunately for whatever reason, it never came to fruition, but it had piqued my interest so much and I knew that it was the next step I wanted to take in my personal and professional development. I was career aspirational, ready for a new challenge and I wanted to embed coaching into my style of leadership, I could see it as the most progressive way forward in education so I sought my own training with The Coaching Academy.    

How has coaching changed/benefited your own life?

Coaching has changed my life completely. Cheesy but true! Training as a coach and being coached has meant I’ve finally aligned what I really want for myself and my family with what I do. I’ve personally stopped what I call the “self-help cycle” of dipping into books, courses, webinars etc. looking for solutions and answers and never really embedding any tangible changes. Helping others to do the same is an honour and I absolutely love being part of people’s “aha!” moments.

How did the qualification slot in with your busy life?

I started training in April 2020 – an absolutely crazy time! I was still teaching, or at least trying to teach 600+ students online and lead a department from home during the pandemic as well as supporting my 2 school-aged children. The juggle was real! However, The Coaching Academy adapted so fast and all the training was online and spread out over the evenings that it couldn’t have been more perfect. The flexibility of being able to book the training to suit my diary has proved invaluable. I’ve met some amazing peers through the online training that I’m still in touch with and can now call friends.    

Tell us about the work you do, how are you using your coaching skills?

Although I initially wanted to use coaching for my role within education, the pandemic, alongside being coached brought up the realisation that I wasn’t pursuing my true goals. So, for a plethora of reasons, I quit my middle leadership role. I didn’t go back into the classroom in Sept 2020 and I threw all my efforts into coaching, completing my diploma and chasing my dream of studying Psychology. 

I set up my own business and have been coaching 1:1 clients in between studying for my masters degree. I initially attracted clients from the education sector and have coached many teachers wishing to leave the classroom but have moved into coaching middle leaders to be the best they can be. I’ve mostly supported “mid-lifers” (35+) through periods of transition, decision making and business adjustments post-covid.

What’s the biggest area in coaching you are curious about and why? 

I’m fascinated by the psychology of coaching and particularly by how adults learn and unlearn. As a teacher I was always curious about the disconnect between the way I was expected to teach and how I was expected to continue my own learning. Students are offered levels of differentiation, exciting, engaging, new ways to learn and yet teachers are often taught in one style. It’s never made sense to me. With my experience in education, combined with my coaching and psychology skills, I hope to continue to support individuals with their direction in life and organisations to embed sustainable mental health and well-being strategies.  

What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a life coaching career?

My initial advice is “do the work” on yourself. You can only take people as far as you’ve gone. Be coached. Work on your goals and experience them first-hand because from that you will know whether it’s the right path for you. Coach training has without a doubt been the most beneficial personal and professional development I’ve ever undertaken. I know it’s a lifelong journey. There’s so much to learn and it will never end and I find that really exciting.

What are the best resources that have helped you along your coach training?

Aside from all the wonderful videos, training and mentor sessions through TCA, the best resource has been my peers. Without having fellow coaches from all walks of life to chat with, catch up with, bounce ideas around with, offload to and be coached by I don’t think I’d be as far down my chosen path as I am now. My motto is “Life takes teamwork”. Training through the TCA has opened up a community of like-minded “personal developers” that I know I can call upon at any time.

Thank you Jenni 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  

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 – view booking calendar

If you'd like to read about the coaching journey of more of our qualified coaches, visit our blog and keep an eye out for our monthly Coach in the Spotlight features!

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