We do like shining the spotlight on our coaches here at The Coaching Academy and nothing pleases us more than hearing about all of your success stories and sharing this with our networks. Victoria Hockley has taken time out of her busy schedule to share her story with us.
What brought me to coaching?
Having worked in a stressful job responsible for over 200 people for 10 years my passion for the job had dwindled and I was seeking something new. Originally a makeup artist, I worked my way up to a senior manager for a photographic company, and although it certainly challenged my mind, I felt there was something missing. The greatest enjoyment I found was the communication with people, and the one to one management gave me the most pleasure... It was a fantastic friend and colleague that suggested the coaching academy at the time and I thought "why not...?!" That first weekend got me excited and I signed up (keeping it hush at work)... Needless to say this was not a worry as not long after; I received redundancy (some things are just meant to be!!).
I just knew from the start that coaching was for me... That's not to say it was easy, but the redundancy offered me the time and opportunity to focus on the coaching 3 days a week which helped immensely.
What a journey it has been from the start... The biggest learning curve for me (as someone that has spent a life time working on my personal development) is my journey with the academy taught me so much more about myself, and my ability. It without doubt has made me a better person and in turn a better coach.
That is a reward in itself, however the privilege of my clients sharing such personal information, and being able to help them move forward is the biggest reward you can get, and gives me a buzz every single time. Sometimes the most challenging clients (the ones I would want to run a mile from in the early days) have been without doubt the most rewarding.
The best advice I could give a new coach is to remember the 'journey' to becoming a coach is the best learning you can have... Don't rush the process and get lost in the paperwork. I learn from every single client I coach, and when I look back I can see how far I have come and how I constantly do things differently as a result of my learning. This continued professional development is an invaluable tool which helps us stand out from the rest...
There are so many tips I could give to new coaches working hard towards their qualifications I could go on forever! however here are my top 3:
1. Don't put off your assessments. The feedback you get is invaluable and you will be amazed how much you grow! Trust me I've been there!!
2. Always go out of your way to meet new people on every single accelerator day. Trust your instincts, give eye contact, swap numbers (don't be shy) and share. The support I gained from fellow coaches is what kept me going. Coaching can be lonely and motivating yourself isn't always easy. Buddy coaching is a great way to learn and stay motivated on your journey.
3. Get your own coach. If you are not comfortable going through the process, then how can you expect others to be comfortable being coached by you?! Regular coaching has been my god send and I have grown so much... Don't be scared - you can learn so much, not just about yourself, but by those coaching you.
My Favourite coaching question by far is:
What have you learnt from today's session?
Working with reflective questioning really helps your client to speak from the heart and also perhaps say out loud what they had not yet realised in their conscious mind... I often use what they've learnt in subsequent sessions to help generate thinking...
Where am I now?
Since qualifying from the coaching academy I have grown so much and am constantly learning with new clients. I am currently on a 6 month tour of Europe (braving it in a campervan!! With my husband - www.dollydoeseurope.com ). My coaching is and will continue to be very much a part of my journey (it's amazing that most clients I coach are via Skype or over the phone)... That's the great thing about coaching it can be from anywhere!!
However, I have yet to choose my niche, and in terms of 'selling myself' (in the context with which it's meant!!) this is something that I will throw myself into on the return from my travels. I feel we have much to learn in life, and for me the time and freedom I am lucky enough to have on my travels is all part of my 'journey' to be the best coach I can be.
Watch this space!
In fact, it is a perfect example of how I have used my coaching to set myself goals to realise my dreams. Last but not least; Good Luck to those of you 'contemplating', 'half way there', or 'newly qualified'...The work needs to be put in, but boy it's worth it in the end... You will not regret it!
Wow what an achievement!
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