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Meet our Coaching For A Cause Winner from the 2016 International Coaching Awards, Meg Batch! Meg works for an organisation called Active Plus, who utilise the skills and abilities of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military veterans to help people in need in the community.
Through a combination of practical exercises and life-coaching principles, these clients learn to come to terms with their challenges and to believe in themselves again having often been referred from GPs, mental health organisations, or local councils.
Here is her spotlight Q&A :
How did it feel when you found out you had won the “Coaching for Cause” Award?
I naively assumed that winners would have been informed prior to the Coaching Academy Award Ceremony, so it was a genuine shock to hear my name called out by Chris Robertson on the night! However, after I got over the initial surprise, I felt immensely honoured and proud to have won such a prestigious award. I know that I am extremely privileged to have a job where I can make a real and lasting impact on the lives of others on a daily basis, so to have that recognised by an international body such as the Coaching Academy is a real honour.
What inspired you to apply for the award?
I currently work with disadvantaged people who traditionally don’t have the means to access coaching, so I wanted to draw attention to the benefits that can be gained through coaching in this demographic. Also, although I currently work within an organisation, my goal is to run my own business so, although ordinarily I wouldn’t seek the limelight, I thought that gaining validation from a respected international body would enable me to bring my work to the attention of a wider audience, thus enabling me to help more people.
How has coaching benefitted your life?
Coaching has given me purpose and direction and has helped me through many challenging times. Rather than focussing on the “how” which can be daunting and stop you achieving before you’ve begun, I now focus much more on the “why”. This has helped me gain clarity on the benefits of achieving my goals, and has enabled me to do many things which previously I thought were unachievable. Every day that I help someone else with their challenges also reminds me of the principles that I need to be applying in my own life too
What was the turning point for you to decide that coaching was something you wanted to pursue as a career?
Although I have been working in the training environment for many years, it was attending The Coaching Academy 2-day event that put a name to what I’d been doing and made me realise that my approach was more akin to coaching than traditional training. The pieces of the jigsaw literally slotted into place before my eyes, and I knew my future direction from that moment. I went home more excited and impassioned than I had been about anything for a long time and that feeling has never left me.
What was it that inspired you to specialise in your chosen niche?
During my time as a Royal Air Force Officer, I had the good fortune, 14 years ago, of being assigned to an Outreach & Recruitment role, working in schools to help children develop their key skills using, what I now realise, was a coaching approach. I’ve relocated many times since, but have always gravitated towards work in the same vein - helping people to lay firm foundations on which to build their lives. I now specialise primarily in group work, raising people’s awareness of how their way of looking at the world affects every aspect of their being.
What have been your biggest learning curves about turning coaching into a business?
I’m currently in the process of setting up my own business so I’ll let you know! I’m already finding that there is much more to it than I originally envisaged and that the seemingly simple things, such as deciding on a name (how hard can it be?!) can be more challenging than you think! I’m sure there will be much greater hurdles to overcome in the coming months, but I have some great support and the motivation to succeed, so anything is possible.
What have you enjoyed about training with The Coaching Academy?
I genuinely enjoyed all aspects of The Coaching Academy training. The range of learning mediums, from accelerator days to webinars, essays to practical assessments, gave me the reassurance that my abilities were truly being tested, which helped my confidence and I felt that I’d definitely earned my Diploma. The tutors were without exception brilliant and I always looked forward to my accelerator days. I’ve also met a lot of great people along the way, which has created a valuable support network of like-minded people.
What have been the highlights of your coaching journey?
Gaining the recognition of The Coaching Academy has to be an obvious high point. However, seeing the life-changing outcomes that my clients achieve is a daily highlight. Having the opportunity to do something which I am passionate about for a living is a dream come true and I realise how privileged I am to be in this position.
What advice would you give to Coaches who will be nominating themselves for an award next year?
Be proud of what you are achieving and don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet. It may go against the grain to sing your own praises, but if you think of it as a vehicle to helping more people it may help! Frame your nomination in your own mind however you like, so it sits comfortably with you and your values, but definitely do it. It may open doors that you never thought possible and what have you got to lose?
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