Last year, on 10th December 2016, The Coaching Academy hosted its annual Awards Ceremony to celebrate coaching success and some of the formidable coaches working in our industry! Christelle Maignan was the well-deserved winner of International Coach of the Year. Christelle has been spreading the coaching message amongst the translation industry with her work specialising in coaching freelance translators and interpreters. Here's her winner's Q&A.

Congratulations on winning the award! How did it feel when you found out you had won one?

It felt amazing. The people at my table cheered and I could see that my sister, who was also there, was proud of me. That meant a lot. It was also quite overwhelming, and I tried to smile when I picked up my award on stage but I was shaking too much. I smiled a lot afterwards, especially on the dance floor!

What inspired you to apply for an award?

When I received the email from the Coaching Academy inviting me to apply for an award I ignored it. I didn’t think I deserved an award, and I didn’t think I should nominate myself (hmm, was that a limiting belief?). But then someone motivated me to apply and I realised that I had been working hard for a long time. Going to an award ceremony, even if I didn’t win, would be a nice way to celebrate my progress and reward myself for all that hard work.

How has Coaching benefited your life?

I apply the principles I learnt during my training both personally and professionally, and they work! I’m able to turn setbacks into opportunities to learn and grow; I set goals for myself that are stretching and motivating, but not overwhelming; I ask myself “What could I do to overcome this or that obstacle?”, “What can I do differently next time?”; and I take action. The result? I’ll tell you more about it in the next sections.

What was the turning point for you to decide that Coaching was something you wanted to pursue as a career?

I had been working as a freelance translator for a very long time. Languages were my first passion. I also had a passion for personal development, and I had been entertaining the idea of becoming a coach for many years without doing anything about it. One night in a pub I told a stranger that my dream of becoming a freelance translator had long become true and that I didn’t feel as excited about it as I used to. He said to me: “You need another dream”, and he was right. I booked a place on the Coaching Academy free introduction course, and that was the start of my coaching journey.

What was it that inspired you to specialise in your chosen niche?

One of the reasons why it took me so long to commit to training as a coach was that I already had a career. I saw myself as a freelance translator. Letting go of that identity was hard. One day I realised that I could combine both careers by coaching other translators. I didn’t have to leave the industry I had been part of for so many years. I could combine my two passions.

What have been your biggest learning curves about turning Coaching into a business?

I had two very big learning curves. First, I had to learn how to use social media effectively to promote my services. I created a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I joined online groups and started sharing my blog posts. Within 6 months I was invited to give my first talk at a translation conference in Oslo. Then in London, Manchester, Bergen and Prague.

Learning how to write content marketing (blog posts) made that possible. And then of course I had to learn how to give talks. I used to have very bad stage fright, so this was probably my biggest learning curve. I can’t believe I gave 6 talks in one year. The last one was in San Francisco!

What have you enjoyed about training with The Coaching Academy?

I really enjoyed meeting trainees from lots of different backgrounds. We all had a similar mindset and it was really easy to get on. Some of these people have become close friends and we are still supporting and encouraging each other. This has helped me to get to where I am today.

What have been the highlights of your Coaching Journey?

The highlights of my coaching journey so far have been overcoming my stage fright and giving talks in beautiful cities around the world, being interviewed online by people in the US, in Latin America and in Russia, and of course coaching people from different countries on Skype. And I almost forgot: I made the cover of a translation magazine in the US! I can’t believe how quickly all of this happened. That’s how powerful coaching is.

What advice would you give to Coaches who will be nominating themselves for an award next year?

Do it and celebrate your successes! Even if you don’t win, nominating yourself and filling in the application form will give you an opportunity to stop for a moment and look back at what you’ve achieved so far. You will see how far you’ve come and it may even surprise you.
What are you hoping to do next?

I’m now expanding my niche market with a new website aimed at passionate freelancers, including coaches ( I’m also developing a workshop on finding and targeting a niche market, which will include social media strategies. I’m excited to see where this will take me over the next 12 months.

Follow Christelle on Twitter @P2Fruition

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


coach in the spotlight international coaching awards


Other Articles

Posted 1457 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

Journey to Becoming a Qualified Coach - Jenny Thomas

As many of these stories start, I wasn't in a great place and knew I needed to make a change... but what was the change to be? I held a senior marketing position in a global company and had a successful marketing career of 20 years but couldn't see a clear way out. All I knew was that I needed to get off the treadmill, take back control of my life and start living the life that I wanted - helping people.​

Read More

Posted 1457 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

Coach in the Spotlight - Penny Whitelock

I began coaching as a student of The Coaching Academy in 2014. I knew from the 2 day programme that this was for me - I wanted to be the best coach I could be.

Read More

Call Us On 0208 996 5057