Thanks to community leader Nikki Wild for sharing the key information about the Reading and Berkshire group that she runs. Nikki mentioned in her submission that she took this opportunity to survey the group members so that she could include their views about the group and the value it provides. A wonderful addition I am sure you will agree.

Thanks to community leader Nikki Wild for sharing the key information about the Reading and Berkshire group that she runs. Nikki mentioned in her submission that she took this opportunity to survey the group members so that she could include their views about the group and the value it provides. A wonderful addition I am sure you will agree.

What is the name of your coaching community?

Reading and Berkshire Coaching Group

Where do you meet?

Café area in the Millennium Hotel, Madejski Stadium, Reading, Berkshire.

When does the group meet?

Third Thursday of each month 6:30-8:30pm

What does a regular meeting look like?

Meet in the hotel café area (members order their own refreshments as they arrive) We have a half hour catch up with what everyone’s been up to, share successes and ask for any specific help. We allow time for discussion about an aspect of coaching, TCA studies or coaching businesses that is relevant to the group’s needs that month. Group leader also shares information and coaches the group. Members contribute their experiences.

How many people attend?

The group is small, allowing for lots of personal input. Typically there are 4-8 members at a meeting plus the leader. Attendance has grown since the change of leader. The email circulation list is 36 local coaches. Most of them have not attended in over a year but wish to keep in touch with the group’s news.

What sort of people attend?

Group leader is a qualified coach. Most of the coaches who attend are at some stage of training with TCA. We have two coaches who attend occasionally who are now qualified and working in their own practices. Some of the coaches who attend see coaching as a secondary activity added to their full time employment, others are looking to coach full time.

What makes your group different to others?

We’re the only group serving Reading and the Berkshire/north Hampshire area. We apply a coaching approach to the group. The philosophy is one of sharing which means that we cultivate a safe environment where coaches support coaches. Member comments: This group is very informal, we meet and have an introductory chat, and then spend an hour talking about a particular theme, (eg. how to market your coaching business, or how to deal with a clients' particular limiting belief) and then the rest of the time opens out into any other questions. Our group leader has a wealth of experience and knowledge.

What would you say has been the best moment for the group?

Having a new member come along, commit to taking action and then returning triumphant next month. Member comments: Whenever someone comes in and says they've submitted their PDJ, or have just completed their first assessment. We all get to share in their journey, and their joy of success. It's a brilliant feeling. I've only been to one meeting, but at that meeting it was when members automatically start coaching each other without thinking. Meeting other members is always great. Joint discussions always useful. Each meeting is unique.

What benefits do you experience?

As the leader, the group encourages me to keep my skills current and up to date. It’s gratifying to be able to help the members and pay forward the support I received when I was training. When I meet new contacts, being the group leader positions me as an expert, established, successful coach which helps with credibility. Member comments: A lot of tips and good advice from all members regardless of their level of experience as a coach. A friendly group of individuals who are happy to share and support others. As a relative new member receiving tips and ideas has helped with my learning process. Being able to immerse myself in the coaching world and getting to know other people with the same goals and objectives. It's great to see how far I have come. On my first few visits, it was me that was asking all the questions, now as I have been developing as a coach, I have been able to help others. Not only do I feel good that I can help others, but I can log my progress by seeing how well I can answer their questions. It gives me a lot of confidence.

What benefits do you think the group members experience?

A supportive environment where it's safe to ask questions. Input and help with all aspects of their coaching and training. Member comments: It’s great to have a safe environment to raise questions, express opinions and experiences. There appears to be a real camaraderie with everyone looking to support and encourage. It’s great to meet like minded people - I have been bitten by the coaching bug and don't want to bore friends and family by talking coaching non stop! Reciprocal sharing helps to improve individual knowledge for each coach on their journey. Hearing about aspects of coaching from different points of view and the support you get from being part of a community. Nikki Wild has been brilliant, she has given so many hints and tips, to dealing with difficult clients, to how to network, to how to make business cards. But mainly the support and encouragement from her and the other members of the group have been absolutely invaluable. Distance learning can be quite lonely, and I think that this community is very good at making you aware that you're not on your own.

What’s the best thing about your group?

It's friendly, helpful and supportive. Member comments: Feels professional and yet not intimidating. Its members! Getting to know lots of lovely, different personalities! That it is very laid back, very welcoming, and very supportive. We all come from completely different backgrounds so everyone has their own reasons for becoming a coach, and what they want to get out of it. It's great to see how other people approach things, there is so much to learn from everyone. I wouldn't be the (trainee) coach I am today if it wasn't for the community. I certainly wouldn't have kept motivated to keep going. The experience within the group allows you to answer any questions and try out new ideas and feel like you are part of something. Nikki - has helped me enormously with nuggets of knowledge she willingly shares with everyone. I have always come away thinking about a different way of doing something.

If you want to find out more and join a future meeting then please contact Nikki Wild on 07766 004964



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