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Coach In The Spotlight - Joseph Smart

Posted 1655 Days Ago in: Coach Spotlight, In The Spotlight, Success Stories

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I was signed up for the Personal Performance Diploma with The Coaching Academy (TCA)! So what happened? Well I saw the free 2 day course advertised and I thought it looked really interesting and a lot of fun and I had heard a bit about this ‘magic’ called coaching so I thought I would go along.

My name is Joseph Smart and I have been a qualified Coach now for 9 months (although it seems a lot longer!). I first came across coaching at my full time workplace which is a large Mental Health NHS Trust in Southwest London. The Trust was introducing a new method of care for people with mental illness which was called the Recovery Pathway.

 

This Pathway puts the person with mental health issues at the centre of their own recovery, whereas what used to happen was the patient would be assessed by Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Nurses and then be told what was wrong with them and what they should do to get better. The recovery model is a paradigm shift; the patient is asked what assistance and help they would like and need to help them recover and is then supported through their recovery by Psychiatrists, Psychologists and Nurses.

 

To support this new style of care a coaching style of management started to be phased in; this put the staff at the centre of their own career journey and the Trust then looked to provide the support to help them on their career pathway.

 

So that’s how I first came across coaching. I was aware that it was supposed to be some fantastic thing but I wasn’t able to investigate it further at that point as I was studying for my Post Graduate Diploma in Strategic Human Resource Management at Kingston University, a qualification I had to complete to progress in my career as it led to a Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) registration. I completed this course in March 2011 and, as I handed in my final dissertation, I swore blind that I would never study and work full time again as I found it a huge challenge to complete.

 

Then, less than a month later, I was signed up for the Personal Performance Diploma with The Coaching Academy (TCA)! So what happened? Well I saw the free 2 day course advertised and I thought it looked really interesting and a lot of fun and I had heard a bit about this ‘magic’ called coaching so I thought I would go along. I arrived at the venue and kept to myself before it all started and when we got into the room I sat with my arms and legs crossed and thought: ‘well, here I am on my weekend, impress me’.

 

And did they?  What do you think?!

 

It blew my mind. Within the first hour I knew this was something I had to do. It was like TCA had found the nicest, most energetic people in London and put them in the same room and then fired them up even more with some fantastic speakers giving some amazing teaching. I went home on the Saturday with my head full of new ideas and on Sunday I knew I had to do the course.

 

The diploma was really well structured and I enjoyed having to complete certain bits of work before I could attend the accelerator days as this was an incentive to keep learning and do the work that was needed. The accelerator days were all fantastic and I have made some great friends from attending the days.

 

I set myself the goal of completing my qualification within a year and I threw myself into it. I got 7 clients that I offered pro bono coaching too and sometimes I was coaching 3 clients in one evening. The most valuable part of the whole qualification was the live assessments and if I could offer one piece of advice for new coaches it would be have your first practice live assessment as close to the beginning of your studies as you can as the amount you will learn from that feedback is simply amazing.

 

I finished my diploma before December 2011 and I received my final mark in February 2012. The great thing about TCA is they start to prepare you to run a business as well as be a top coach so I had started thinking about my company name and niche while I was training. My niche is career and development as I love to help people find their career paths and move into their dream jobs so I called my company Career and Development Coaching. I plan to expand my coaching business and start getting other TCA coaches into it. I have come across a large number of people that are great coaches but the business side of things puts them off, such as sales, marketing and all the rest of it. I really enjoy that side and now have more clients than I can work with myself so once you have finished your diploma and don’t fancy setting up your own company give me a shout and I will see if I can help.

 

So what are my top tips for new coaches? First of all, get a coach! I cannot stress this enough. See what it’s like to be coached and then you will understand the power that coaching can have. The second bit of advice would be to use your new coaching skills on yourself and set yourself a SMART goal for achieving your diploma and then stick to it. I have seen a lot of potentially fantastic coaches start the diploma with all the best intentions and then get distracted by NLP, business coaching or DISC profiling and before they know it they have taken on too much and struggle. Do first things first. Get the Diploma, then do some NLP then look into DISC.

 

For coaches about to qualify I would say one thing: Get ready to sell yourself. People don’t wake up and think ‘oh I need to get myself a coach!’ You need to get out there and sell yourself and your new coaching skills in such a way that people will trust you enough to open up to you and to give you money. If that scares you, then drop me an email and I can help. You can find my on the TCA linked in group.

 

My final bit of advice would be: Don’t stop learning. By completing the diploma you have achieved something amazing that can never be taken away from you. That coaching skill set is yours for life. Now use your ability to learn and study something else!

 

I leave you with my favourite quote:

 

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn; the one who has learned how to adapt and change; the one who has realized that no knowledge is secure, that only the process of seeking knowledge gives a basis for security. Changingness, a reliance on process rather than upon static knowledge, is the only thing that makes any sense as a goal for education in the modern world.    Carl Rogers 

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