Our Coach in the Spotlight today is Afua Kudom, who shares how coaching has enhanced her career and role as a Careers Consultant in the higher education sector.
Afua tells us how she fit the training around her busy life, her break-through moments and how she applies coaching in her role. We hope you enjoy it.
How did you first discover coaching?
I had previously benefited from professional mentors as part of my teacher training but experienced coaching first-hand when I had a personal coach as part of a leadership development programme I was participating in my role as an Education Consultant. I benefited immensely both professionally and personally from having a coach and decided I wanted to develop and utilise these skills further.
What inspired you to enrol with The Coaching Academy?
I left my previous role with the view to becoming a freelance coach and wasn't sure of how to go about it - and whether or not I should undertake some professional training. I met with a friend who was a freelance coach and he recommended some training providers. I then did my own research (trusty Google) and came across The Coaching Academy. I did the two-day foundation course to get a feel for what was involved then decided that I would gain a lot, both personally and professionally, from doing the Personal Performance Diploma so arranged a call with the Admissions Team for the following Monday.
How did you fit coach training into your busy life?
I went back to secondary school teaching whilst completing my diploma and it was certainly very challenging balancing both, along with some additional mentoring I was doing at one point. I became quite disciplined about scheduling time to study, which mainly took place on weekends with my coaching sessions taking place on evenings and weekends. Although it was a challenge, I didn't begrudge it as I enjoyed learning and could see the impact the training was having on both me and my clients.
Can you tell us about some breakthroughs you had while training?
One of the main areas where I experienced the most breakthrough was in relation to my health and fitness goals. I was determined to make changes to my lifestyle, health and general well-being and the coaching experience helped me to be better equipped at setting very specific and realistic goals and developing a healthier belief system around health and well-being. The impact was significant and continues to this day. I also benefited from having coaching sessions with someone I met at the foundation course and being able to self-coach myself through many situations.
What part of the training did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed seeing the impact that the coaching sessions were having on my clients and felt delighted every time I would hear about the goals they had met or exceeded. It was great to hear how useful they had found the sessions. I also really enjoyed attending accelerator days and found it invaluable to share my coaching journey with other trainees. This was also an opportunity to learn using practical activities by sharing good practice as well as being honest about when things had gone horribly wrong and what we would do differently the next time.
What has coaching brought to your career? Who are you coaching now?
I have recently started a new role as a Careers Consultant in Higher Education where I have the opportunity to put my coaching skills into practice whilst providing career services to undergraduate law students. I also find myself putting my coaching hat on in conversations with friends or colleagues where the situation would benefit from a coaching approach. Lastly, I continue to coach myself in a number of situations.
How has coaching enhanced your current role?
Coaching has enhanced my current role by giving me a number of practical tools I can utilise when working with my students on a 1-1 or group basis. It has helped me to become more adept at listening and asking helpful questions that will enable others to find solutions to problems they are working through and feeling more empowered as they do so. I also had to deliver a mock guidance/coaching session as part of the interview process and my coaching skills definitely came in handy!
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