We caught up with the beaming Natalie Costa, winner of the Coaching in Education Award at the 2019 International Coaching Awards to get a glimpse into the life of an award-winning coach. We hope you enjoy this thought-provoking interview!

We invited Natalie for an insightful Zoom interview to learn more about her work to empower kids and to find out how confidence and resilience can be taught to children when the whole world is in a health crisis.

Natalie Costa has been a qualified coach for 6 years and has over 11 years of experience in the Education sector. She runs a range of workshops within schools, as well as parent talks, staff wellbeing sessions and 1-2-1 coaching sessions. Natalie has also published two activity booked titled 'Find Your Power’ and 'Stretch your Confidence.’

When schools closed, Natalie decided to find a new way to host her workshops and like many small business owners, pivoted online. As you’ll find in the interview below, this new 'Confident Me’  programme has not only received great feedback but it turned out to be one her favourite projects at the moment, reminding us that sometimes all you can do is take a chance on an idea you are passionate about and just get started!

When talking about her coaching journey, Natalie recalls that after years of teaching, all she wanted to do was get out of the education space.
She dabbled in the fitness industry for a while, she wanted to help women with confidence and career changes but nothing really ticked the box, until she started talking to year 6 kids about stress management that she learned on CPD days with The Coaching Academy.

“I was still teaching full time, so I was looking – What do you do? How do I set up my business? So initially I thought well I’ll help women making career changes like myself. But again, that just didn't seem to take off and inside it just didn't quite feel the right fit.

And I had a lot of people tell me that you should apply this to children, you should do this in education. But I mean, I was kicking and screaming against it, I was like, I want to leave education, I don’t want anything to do with it. But funny enough I was pulled back.

And how that came about is - I had to teach an after school club. So I thought of calling it Mindfulness and my intention was to let children colour in whilst I marked their books because that’s what I was gonna do.
But these poor year sixes were so stressed out with their SATs exams.

And so I just started talking to them about things I think that I learned from the Stress CPD day.
And thinking - are they going to get this, are they not going to get this? But that was sort of the taste and the door kind of like slowly opened up there that they did understand. And obviously, my gift as a teacher is to break things down into bite-sized chunks and to make it into lessons.

So I actually started to create lessons around other aspects, in terms of limiting beliefs and those sort of things. And the feedback I got from the parents saying my daughter is coming home and shes using these tools to help her worry less, and my son is coming out of their shell.

So that really made me think, first of all, we’re not teaching children about their thoughts, we teach them how to analyse, problem-solve, we don’t actually teach them about what their thoughts are and that you don’t have to believe all of them. There's’ nowhere, you know, space in the curriculum for that.

So why don’t I bring what I know as a coach and my knowledge and make this accessible for children? So that really is how Power Thoughts was born."

Listen to Natalie’s fun story of finding her niche and all the steps she needed to take to reach the success she has today.

Talking about all the tools she uses in her workshop to empower kids, Natalie's knowledge and passion shines through. 

"Something else as well is definitely helping children to build their emotional vocabulary. Because, and I can't remember where I read this, and I read it recently, that young people and children, people in general – if we have an emotionally rich vocabulary we’re 40 % less likely to be physically or verbally aggressive.

But so many children that I work with, feel, I feel happy sad or mad. You know, it’s these three feelings. There’s a whole wealth of other feelings underneath that.

So I think, even simple things like printing off a feelings chart that you google, and you print it off, and just putting that up and having a discussion on – where might you notice jealousy? What does that feel like? You know, let’s give it a colour. Vs frustration, vs disappointment, embarrassment, and you know, happiness and excitement and all of those things.

Because the more verbal, emotional verbal words we have, the more easier it is for us to express how we feel.

And then, what I teach is something called I messages – what I feel? And what I need?"

In the second part of our interview we got deep into how to help children express their feelings, the impact an emotionally rich vocabulary can have on taking back power and the 'I’ messages that Natalie teaches in her courses.  

Natalie’s story is a great reminder that all the steps in your life work towards helping you become the person you are today. By giving in to her instincts, Natalie started doing a much-needed work coaching children because she believes that it’s important to give the tools and resources we learn from coaching as adults, from an early age.

Natalie uses her coaching skills to build resilience so children can manage their emotions better, respond to challenges and obstacles in a more resourceful way, to allow kids to feel calmer, happier and more confident within themselves.

If you are a student or qualified coach, let us know – did you ever put your skills to good use with children? What do you think of this initiative to start teaching kids coaching tools and empower them from a much younger age?

And if you would like to find out more about coaching and how it can change your life, just like it changed Natalie’s and many other’s journeys in life, start by joining us for a free live training on Introduction to Life Coaching. Choose available dates here.




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