Would you like to hear a story… a coaching story of positive success?
We’re often asked. What do graduates of the Executive and Life Coaching Diploma do afterwards?
Where do they use their coaching?
How do they apply their skills and knowledge in self-coaching and in their work with others?
Here is our first story of positive success in coaching :
The world is constantly in flux, and our lives are always shifting in one direction or another. For Margaret Keogh, shifts were occurring in both her professional and her personal life at the same time.
Keogh’s career began more than 30 years ago when she was 18 years old and her mother insisted that she apply for a clerical job with what was just a small insurance company in those days. Now referring to herself as a “petulant teenager,” she admits that she was very reluctant to apply for the job but she landed it and ended up enjoying her new position. She also appreciated the level of job security she had, which was greatly valued then. Through the years she studied at night and carved out a career for herself, going on to accept a secondment to a large IT programme in 1998. Two years later, she was offered a permanent management position in the IT department and since then she has held varied management roles within IT.
After three decades with the company, the decision was made to go global so she found her position shifting as she helped to facilitate and deliver the company’s new global strategy. At the same time she began to shift from child to caretaker of her parents, who both began to struggle with age-related illnesses. Meanwhile Ireland itself was undergoing some shifting of its own.
“The rate of change in my work life was significant,” Keogh says. “And proving another challenge in a fast-changing world, locally in Ireland we were dealing with economic crisis and the resulting changes.”
The economic situation in Ireland created an unprecedented level of uncertainty, which just added to the challenges she felt in the shifts that were occurring elsewhere in her life. Keogh turned to coaching to help herself, her staff and her family deal with all the uncertainty. She credits Maureen Hewitt’s coaching course with giving her the confidence she needed to make the right decisions, as well as the tools to put her coaching skills to work in all aspects of her life.
“I have learned to manage myself and to own my own words, actions and reactions,” Keogh says. “What changed was a realisation that I cannot control the world but I can control and manage myself and my reactions. Now I always ask, ‘What’s going on for the other person?’”
Keogh has now begun to put her coaching skills to work by actively encouraging the principle of self-management and owning your words, actions and reactions in the workplace. She feels that this is important in a highly competitive and fast-moving environment where different teams sometimes seem to have different objectives.
Keogh says now she still faces challenges in the areas of communication, people and behaviours, company politics and the overall complexity of their now global organisation but now she has learned to manage them. She has also learned how to help others manage their own challenges.
“In one of my peer sessions, I used ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions to help the coachee realise that they had given their power to someone else,” Keogh says. “This was a light bulb moment for the coachee which helped them turn things around.”
She plans to continue adding to her coaching arsenal so that she can keep facilitating her organisation’s growth. Last year she completed the Train the Trainer diploma, and her next step will be to tackle customer service. “Customer service is something a lot of businesses lost sight of in recent years in an effort to cut costs and maximise profit in a difficult economy,” Keogh says. “I’m passionate about customer service and I’d like to approach this from a coaching perspective, so I plan to take a Diploma in Customer Service as the next step along the road.”
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