Prior to coaching I worked in sales in the FMCG industry managing Tesco & Sainsburys. Throughout the positions I held, the bit that I loved the most was dealing with people; whether it was line management, customers or colleagues, it simply made me tick.
I heard about coaching around the time I left University in 2001...it sounded interesting yet to me slightly unknown so I opted for the safety of a Graduate Trainee position for a bluechip organisation. Years later, after having children and finding life commuting with frequent nights away wasn’t working for me and my family unit, I started searching for a career which was flexible, appealed to my skills and most importantly that I could love. During my search, I came across coaching (again) and read more about it. I was given a copy of Fiona Harold’s book, devoured it and knew that I had to find out more about coaching; a profession that seemed to be positive (tick), forward focused (tick) and all about helping and inspiring people (tick).
I applied to do the Coaching Academy’s free 2 Day Certificate in Personal Coaching back in 2010 and felt like it was too good to be true so withdrew. In all honesty I think I was scared to take a step into the unknown. A year later I found myself still reading about coaching and thought, why not? It’s free and what’s the worst that can happen? After hitting send on the application form I realised I had taken the first step towards doing what I really, really wanted to do.
Prior to coaching I worked in sales in the FMCG industry managing Tesco & Sainsburys. Throughout the positions I held, the bit that I loved the most was dealing with people; whether it was line management, customers or colleagues, it simply made me tick. I always dreamed of a job that was all about the people…then I found one! Then tell us about your journey whilst you were working hard to qualify; What did you find most interesting to learn?
The most interesting thing to learn is how much our language can define our achievements; simply replacing ‘try’ or ‘should’ with ‘will’ projects a positive mindset driving towards a success. What was the most rewarding part of the training/journey? It was incredibly rewarding hearing positive feedback from my practice clients about how much coaching helped them. I even received feedback from a husband commenting on how much his wife’s patience had improved as a result of her coaching experience.
Accelerator days really motivated me. The trainers are all superb, I found myself brimming with new knowledge, inspiration and drive to continue my studies.
The qualification slotted in with my life in so much as I studied for the written work when my baby was asleep during the day and coached practise clients one or two evenings per week between 8pm and 10pm. Having a baby and a 3 year old in tow meant that I was pretty disciplined with the time I made available to study.
I also have a chronic illness, which I have to deal with whilst studying. Ironically I was the most unwell I have ever been yet with my focus and determination to qualify I continued on with my studies. A classic case of having the end in mind Then; Where are you now?
I now run my own coaching practice and specialise in women experiencing change. That said I am currently working with a secondary school and have a male client in Australia! Coaching knows no bounds.
I chose my niche of working with women experiencing change because coaching is something that opens up possibilities. I am passionate about helping women find solutions when they feel overwhelmed or unclear, whatever their situation. I would have benefitted from coaching when I returned to full time employment shortly after having my first child. At the time I felt I had no options and was so focussed on what wasn’t working that I couldn’t figure out what was working and what I wanted. If I had experienced coaching back then, I would have been equipped with the capacity to approach my situation differently.
The best thing that could happen to my coaching business in the next 2 years is to secure clients to work 3 days a week, become an in-house coach for 3 organisations and become the coach for a newspaper/magazine.
My favourite coaching question is “What else?” as it implies that there is more and clients start searching for answers. It is the best feeling reflecting back to a client that said, “I don’t know what else” who then came up with 10 options and ideas.
I enjoy being a coach because it is not simply a job; rather it is a way of life. To be a good coach one must walk their talk because we get what we focus on; I often find myself rephrasing things in my head so it is stated in the positive! I love witnessing clients’ progress, especially when they reframe and rephrase points they make so it is positive and focused on what they want rather than what they don’t want.
Whether you are looking to be a coach or looking to develop yourself invest some time; there are some amazing books out there. The best advice I can give is to attend TCA’s amazing 2 Day Certificate in Personal Coaching and yes, it really is free!
I still remember receiving the huge box containing all the learning materials! It can seem daunting but breaking down the requirements into manageable sections really helped me keep on top of my study. Keep up to date with your learning record sheets as writing up your next sheet is so much easier than recalling the last 10 coaching sessions! If at all possible attend all the Accelerator Days as they help keep up or renew your momentum. Remember everyone is in the same position so it is a great way to share stories, learn a lot and even find study buddies/practice clients. And an absolute must is to find yourself a coach!
If you are about to qualify, go on give it that final push! Look at how far you’ve come, a few more steps until everything is complete and you can celebrate.
Rather than waiting for people to come to you, go out and tell people what you do! Websites and social media are great on line tools. Remember though that coaching is a profession where YOU are your best selling tool so find opportunities to do just that, in the flesh!
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Posted 2216 Days Ago in: Bev James, Book Reviews
I think most people underestimate the value of goals, however, the ability to set and achieve goals will determine the success we achieve. In this book, Brian Tracy helps you to set goals and achieve them in record time by following a step by step process.