Our Coach in the Spotlight this week is Julia Bauer, who shares her experience of coaching in another language. Julia, who is originally from Germany, undertook her Diploma with TCA in the UK, and this gave her a unique insight into coaching across languages and cultures.
She shares how she turned her limiting belief around coaching in English, into her source of power. It's an insightful and inspiring read. We hope you enjoy it!
My journey into Coaching started more than 12 years ago in my career as HR Business Partner and Talent Manager in Germany. Since then I have been passionate about bringing out the best in people.
Bringing coaching to the forefront
By 2018 I moved with my family from Germany to the UK. Setting up my own coaching practice had been in the back of my mind for some time. Was this the right moment in time to start now - just recently moved countries? Something was holding me back and I began to realise that is was the language! Not being a native English speaker clouded my confidence.
Coaching is all about asking the right question, finding the exact tonality and words. It is listening on the highest level, even to what is not said. It is enabling change in others by challenging their thinking patterns. I started to wonder, whether I could really enable others to become the best version of themselves, when I felt I was not at my best coaching in another language.
Turning limiting beliefs into a source of power
Slowly but surely I realised that not the language, but my own self-conception limited my impact on others and finally my success. I knew I could change this and become the best coach - no matter what language. In September 2018 I enrolled in the Personal Performance Diploma and qualified with a distinction in July 2019. I also graduated as an NLP Practitioner in the same year.
I only coached in English, and the barriers I had built up were soon crumbling away. Even more so, they turned into a strength and a very powerful tool.
Here is how:
• My presence throughout the session and my listening skills are even higher. As I pay more attention to the spoken words and ask for clarification.
• Removing cultural frames, scrutinising the meaning of single words, clarifying non-verbal clues, removing filters is eye-opening and refreshing for the clients.
• My questioning is clearer and on the point which brings even more focus to the sessions.
• I realise that removing cultural codes increases flexibility for both my client and myself, which helps my clients to broaden their perspectives.
• I am even more creative in my coaching approach.
Finding the right words for the client
Language is an expression of culture, of who we are as individuals, communities, nations.
It may sound trivial, but questions in English, that ‘resonated’ with my English client, simply did not work translated into German.
A great learning experience, after which I can today not only switch effortlessly between the languages but also have increased awareness of how culture influences coaching and how I can use this to help my clients. It simply made me a better coach.
Combining who I am with what I do
I recently moved back to Germany and set up my own coaching and training business. My clients are people-focused leaders and intelligent high performers in their mid-careers - who are ready to lead themselves and others with more impact. To make the future of work better.
I believe and I have personally experienced that, by aligning who we are with what we do, we are at our best and thrive. Especially in our fast-moving (business-) world clarity, purpose and passion are more important than ever and key factors for long term success and happiness.
This is why I focus on helping my clients to become the best version of themselves. I partner with them on their way to lead themselves and others with more purpose - especially during personal, career or organisational change. My clients want to make a real difference to their career, their team & organisation and ultimately personal life. I help set meaningful goals, overcome barriers and challenge limiting beliefs. I help create balance and focus and so ultimately unlock their full potential to thrive.
I do this by offering 1:1 coaching, deliver team development workshops as well as career coaching. I also support and train leaders and HR managers to establish professional recruitment processes to attract the best talents for their organisation.
I believe that understanding who we are at our best, we can break sonic barriers of performance and personal development. No matter what language!
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