I have had a long academic career. Until recently, I have been largely known as a musicologist, lecturer and published author. I have lived and worked in Greece and England, and have faced and overcome some formidable, life-changing hurdles that led me to my present life and Coaching career path.

Officially, my Coaching career started in early 2013, as a result of a real-life experience of the kind captured in the saying, ‘Before Alice got to Wonderland she had to fall pretty hard down a deep hole’! It was in the midst of the darkest period of my life, when everything around me had imploded, and I was looking for ways not only to survive and adapt to my new reality but also to change direction and thrive again, that I came across coaching courses and The Coaching Academy. 

I attended the Free 2-Day Foundation in Life Coaching Course, and a whole new world opened up in front of me. Experiencing Pam’s, Ann’s, Sarah’s and Kris’s teaching on those two days, I was inspired and decided that this was what I wanted to do in my new life. I had found my calling! The empathy and support that I was missing during challenging times, I wanted to give to others. Coaching became my lifeline and provided me with the perfect platform to inspire and help people to overcome obstacles, and embrace and optimize opportunities to create positive change that will lead to a more fulfilling life. 

After a two-year delay, and while still teaching part-time in higher education in England and abroad, and sustaining my research activities and publications, I decided to sail towards a new “Ithaca”, as the poet C.P. Cavafy describes it. I registered for both Personal Performance Diploma and NLP Practitioner programme, because I believed that combining powerful coaching questions with NLP techniques would make me a more effective coach and it would be more beneficial to my clients. It was a tough call, but I was on fire, and a year later I completed my PPD with merit, my NLP Practitioner Diploma, and the DISC Personality Profiling Certification. And for good measure, I also did the Coaching within Education Diploma, completing it a year later with Distinction.

I found my training at The Coaching Academy to be an enjoyable and edifying experience, from the clear and informative course material, to the inspirational trainers, to the Accelerator Days where I met equally minded people and forged friendships and collaborations. But the unexpected and highly rewarding aspect of the training has been the incorporation of coaching techniques in my teaching. Among other subjects, I teach about performance anxiety and the personality of musicians, and I have started combining theory and practice in the form of adding techniques and exercises from NLP, in particular, to the academic content of the course.

Coaching has been a transformational experience. It has given me the opportunity to meet and work with amazing people, acquire new skills, and develop a satisfying new lifestyle. My decision to change life direction and career path and to explore coaching, steered me into uncharted waters, which satisfied my need for adventure, and it propelled me on a new journey of self-discovery, which revealed strengths I didn’t know I had. It provided me with the independence I craved for most of my working life, and it gave birth to dreams that had lain dormant for a long time.

In 2015, I established my coaching practice “Ithaca – Academic Coaching and Mentoring”, offering academic coaching and mentoring, and career and life coaching, predominantly to individuals in the world of education and music, both in the UK and abroad. My latest talks and workshops on coaching and mentoring in education were delivered in Greece earlier this year, and were broadcast live to several hundred schools around the country.

As an academic, teacher and coach, I have always been passionate about nurturing individual potential and talent, challenging received wisdom, and empowering, inspiring, and supporting people to improve their circumstances. Now my aim is to help them enhance their self-awareness and self-advancement, deal with the challenges they face, and support them to establish strategies, generate solutions to problems and take ownership of their actions through goal-oriented development, so they can enjoy positive change and satisfaction in their life and career.

My top tips for new coaches are:

• Be organised, and keep on top of your Learning Record Sheets as you go along. 

• Start practising as soon as possible. Join a coaching community. Team up with a coaching buddy and practise with clients. Remember, practice makes perfect.

• Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes whilst honing your coaching skills. Learn from them, and keep in mind the NLP presupposition, “There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”.

• Develop professional habits as a coach from the start. Create a contract and an introductory package, and use them even with your coaching buddies and practice clients. 

• Start accumulating coaching tools and exercises (most of which you can find in the TCA modules, but also in other coaching books and on the internet), and use them appropriately with your clients.

• Above all, enjoy the experience, and celebrate every time a client says, “Thank you, our session helped me”!

If Eva's words have inspired you and you feel that Coaching could be a potential full or part time opportunity for you, or if you would just like to know a little more about what Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, please contact our Specialist Course Advisor, Jamil on 0208 996 4830 or email: Jamil@the-coaching-academy.com

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