Our Coach in the Spotlight this week is Konstantinos Panagiotous, who shares more about discovering coaching in his previous job, and how his training shaped his mindset.
Konstantinos also shares his top tips for those looking to qualify as a coach. It’s an inspiring interview, we hope you enjoy it.
When did you first discover coaching?
My previous employer offered in-house coaching training to management staff, to add to our toolbox of skills in order to manage employees. The training centred around the use of the GROW model. I was amazed at the results I obtained immediately just by applying the main principles of the model; contrary to the common belief among middle management, people seemed to be more motivated and efficient when given the space and time to find solutions themselves, rather than being told what to do!
What was your profession before becoming a coach?
I studied psychology and subsequently started my work career in Belgium, where I worked as an academic researcher, measuring the wellbeing of teachers. When I moved to the UK, I worked as a street crime caseworker for a charity helping victims of crime, eventually ending up in senior management, where I managed a team of caseworkers, volunteer managers and admin staff.
How did you decide to start training as a professional coach? And how did you fit the training around your busy life?
Like so many other great people I met on the course, once I was convinced about the value of the training, I then simply went on to find solutions in order to integrate it in my professional and personal life.
While I only lived 30 minutes’ drive from the Buckinghamshire venue, I travelled several times to Crewe and organised long weekends away around the course in order to explore different areas and meet new people. I joined several local and online groups created by TCA members and attended meetups with other group members. It was a great mix of hard work on personal development, and great fun!
What was the most rewarding part of your training/journey?
There are a lot of rewarding things related to the TCA training. Meeting many other people with diverse backgrounds willing to challenge themselves and create a better and more positive mindset for themselves and those around them, is definitely one of these things. But for me personally, the most satisfactory part was seeing my own mindset change and mature through the influence of coaching principles. I have definitely become more positive, more goal-oriented and patient through my coaching training!
Where are you now? How are you using your coaching skills?
I currently run a business in Cardiff, where I use my coaching skills to keep my small team enthused, motivated and goal-driven. I also have a number of coaching clients, mostly small business owners and creative people!
What is your coaching niche and why did you choose it?
While in most of my employed career I have worked in a rather corporate structure, I am most passionate about working with small and micro business owners, particularly with businesses that ‘do good,’ such as ethical businesses, social enterprises, coaches, counsellors etc. I am also a musician in an internationally performing band, so I have a keen interest in working with other creative people to help them unlock their creative potential and find the right balance between creative ‘fun’ and the need to survive as an artist! Being a business owner was another bet I had placed with myself, as I thought it was necessary to be able to ‘walk the walk’ so that I can help other business owners better to grow their own businesses!
What are your top tips for:
People who are looking to become qualified as a professional coach?
Go for it! Coaching is such a flexible and useful approach that you can easily apply it to any area you are passionate about. Where there are people, there is a need for coaching! My number one tip, however, is to invest in yourself and don’t just take your training for granted. Use it to find other coaches who can help you to achieve your goals quicker and better than you would do on your own. Having your own professional coach is probably the single most important investment you will ever make in your own coaching career. I feel blessed to have met a number of coaches through The Coaching Academy over the years, who have helped me to grow my mindset and develop professionally, and this has further enhanced my belief in the necessity of life coaching in modern life!
Those currently in training with TCA?
Enjoy your time as a student, and make sure you exchange contacts and practice with others as soon as possible. These people will likely become your friends and colleagues for many years to come! Coaching is such a positive and joyful process, it should leave you full of positive energy and buzzing with ideas, even after the most demanding training session!
If you’re interested in learning more about coaching join our free two-day Foundation in Life Coaching Course. Dates here.
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