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My Coaching Story so far - Mandy Baker

Posted 465 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles

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As I arrived at the London hotel at the beginning of the two-day free certificate course, I would be lying if I didn't say I was extremely sceptical - the saying "you don't get anything for nothing" was running through my mind.

As I arrived at the London hotel at the beginning of the two-day free certificate course, I would be lying if I didn't say I was extremely sceptical – the saying "you don't get anything for nothing" was running through my mind. 

"To be a good coach you must like people" they said... Tick that's me.  "Coaching isn't about giving advice"... Oh dear I thought, I think I'm brilliant at giving advice so maybe I need to get my coat?  I decided to stay and keep an open mind, surely this is why I was here, to learn new skills?  Using silence was definitely a new skill I could benefit from.

By the end of day one I was intrigued but still waiting for the "catch"... but by the end of day two my excitement at having found what I realised was the thing for me was hard to contain!

Having been working with my husband for the last 14 years, seeing our family label printing business go from employing 25 to a point where today we employ over 60 staff – it was becoming clear to me that I needed to increase my "human" skills and, with the ever growing number of issues that our staff were facing both at work and at home, I wanted to feel adequately qualified to deal with these things.  We strongly believe in our staff, and their importance to the success of our business.

I've always wanted to help people achieve their potential, but coaching offered a route that really appealed to my ethos – having looked into counselling etc I loved the future solution focused aspect of coaching, while helping people to move on to where they want to be (even if they don't at first know where that is!).  And who doesn't need more positivity in their lives?

Being a lover of stationery, the day my box of learning materials arrived was just a joy! Having thought I would start with NLP, after the two day certificate I decided to start at the beginning, which as we all know is a very good place to start!  So the Personal Performance Diploma was my starting point.

The variety of ways to learn has really suited me, a mixture of written tasks, DVDs to watch and accelerator days to attend.  The website offers a mountain of information and I enjoy dipping in and seeing what new webinars there are to listen to.  When you are learning about something you love nothing seems like hard work so I can say I've enjoyed every aspect.  I particularly like the accelerator days - I love the opportunity of finding out about a new colleague.  You come away from Latimer with a head full of new ideas and facts, rushing home excited at the thought of completing another module.

Nearing the completion of my diploma now, I would like to think I've improved greatly but I have to say you only really learn from your mistakes, so being brave and going for it is my new mantra!  And as I am also a qualified NLP Practitioner I know that there is no failure, only feedback – one of my favourite presuppositions!  There is no stopping me now.

I started off thinking that my coaching qualification would just enhance my present job role, but somehow as the months have passed, I seem to have ended up with a business plan, a shiny new logo, a half written website and a start date for my part time coaching business. The truth is that I can't stop – after attending Practicalities of Getting Going I was so motivated to "get going" I woke up at 4am in the morning with a mind buzzing full of ideas.

So greedy for knowledge, I signed up for the NLP Practitioner course half way through the Personal Performance Diploma. NLP compliments coaching perfectly and I am pleased I did it. I like stepping out of my comfort zone and the feedback from Kris was invaluable.

What I enjoy most about coaching?  It has to be those light bulb moments! 

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