I had a fabulous career with one of the biggest businesses in the UK. My role was a sales contributor and later on sales leader. Although I enjoyed my role, I always found that I preferred the softer side of leadership, through working with people's development more than the operational side of driving the business.

I left after 36 years and was a little unclear about what I was looking for. I used coaching and the GROW model, albeit loosely, within my career. However, it was challenging given that my teams didn’t ask for the coaching, so I used it as a tool to get the job done.

I picked The Coaching Academy for two reasons. Firstly, the Academy was recommended by a close friend who had also graduated, and the standard of training and learning had to be high because nothing less would do. 

I loved the journey that studying for my Personal Performance Diploma took me on. The most interesting element to learn was Limiting Beliefs, how they drive our choices and why we don’t do what we need to do in our lives sometimes. 

It never ceases to amaze me how much I’ve noticed since the Accelerator day! I obviously didn’t know what I don’t know, but what I do know is that the best part of my journey were those Accelerator days – they take you from your lonely existence learning in your home and bring the learning to life; making new friends with other people who are on the same journey. I miss that a lot. To make the learning work for me, I took 12 months out to invest in myself. I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of going with my fear and securing an unfulfilling job, and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that.

Today, I have set up my own coaching practice – Improving Performance personal coaching and am working with people that want to develop and make progress in their career. That’s the transformation that we have all looked for at one time or other, right? That is what I am enjoying doing right now and it is a result of having a corporate career as a sales leader; having to work and develop my sales team. I did have a long hard think about what I wanted to have my niche – sales, leadership, management, sales management etc.

Then I had my lightbulb moment – all of those things are careers. So, I’m a career coach working with people – making sure I side-step business coaching. After so many years in a corporate environment, I didn’t want to do that. 

My clients are quite diverse from business leaders to admin staff at smaller businesses, who just want to see what they are capable of. That is where the joy starts. If the client is engaged, your job is a brilliant one to have.

I have a 2-year plan where I will have built my practice up and have a few high paying clients and others that I help because I can!

Being a coach is a lot like being an actor - you have a favourite role to play and a favourite line. As a coach, my favourite question is if a potential client asks me “why do I need a coach?”. My answer works every time – “who told you that you need a coach”? Wherever you go from there, you have their undivided attention.  That’s when I step into my role.

Following this part of my journey, I would like to pass on tips from my learning:

• Make friends at the Accelerator days. They will become your family and you may need their support along the way – a chat, sharing information and learning or a sounding board. Who else knows your journey and perhaps what you are going through with your learning better than a fellow trainee?

• Do not wait until the end to do your 3000 words. Start the questions now.  It can be a challenge recalling what you learned 18 months ago!

• Do the whole workbook before you attend the Accelerator day. There can a be a temptation to just do some of it but, I promise you, you will get more out of the days when you do as there are plenty of light bulb moments – the Advanced GR day absolutely put everything into place for me.

• Use your mentoring sessions effectively. It’s not a tick in the box. The mentors know their stuff and will help you to find the answer or tell you.

• Diary your training if your schedule allows for it. It then becomes a habit.


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