The Coaching Academy Blog

Coach In the Spotlight - Elaine Mayhew

Posted 2873 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, In The Spotlight


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.

What brought you to coaching?

I heard about coaching around the time I left University in 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).

What were your original thoughts for applying the coaching?

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.

What was your profession before becoming a coach?

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.

 Which bits did you enjoy the most?

Accelerator days really motivated me. The trainers are all superb, I found myself brimming with new knowledge, inspiration and drive to continue my studies.

How did the qualification slot in with your current life?

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.

What else did you have to consider whilst qualifying?

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?

How are you using your coaching skills?

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.

What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?

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.

What is the best thing that could happen to your coaching business in the next 2 years?

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.

What is your favorite coaching question?

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.

What do you enjoy most about being a coach?

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.

What are your top tips for:

People who are looking at coaching?

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!

Those coaches currently in training?

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!

Coaches that are about to qualify?

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.

People that are in a similar situation to yourself?

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!

Start your own coaching journey today - book your space on our free 2-day life coaching course.



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