We are especially delighted to present our Coach of the Month this month because apart from being a member of our international community of professional coaches, a successful coach and a trainer, she is also a PSG team member. She is dedicated, active, driven and absolutely passionate about the highest quality standards of the coaching profession. (Now you know who keeps an eye on us:) ). She is committed to her own growth and development as well as always being ready to support others. We know that many of you will be as excited as we are to hear that our Coach of the Month in June is Janice Benson.
Q & A
Here is our Coach of the Month – June Coaching Q and A We asked Janice to answer 3 questions about her work, approach to coaching, the best lessons she’s learnt so far and her predictions for the development of the coaching profession.
PSG: Since qualifying, what are the top 3 lessons you have learnt that support your growth as a coach:
My desire to help and support others had a negative impact on my coaching. It wasn’t that obvious in the beginning as my clients were getting results but I knew inside that there was more I could be doing. So in order to find out what that might be, I began to broaden my knowledge of coaching and attended both coach networking events and coach professional development workshops. I discovered that while I was holding my clients’ agendas’ during my coaching sessions, I was also working to my own agenda of providing help and support. This was challenging as support and compassion are two of my values so it took a lot of practice and self-management to move away from my agenda and towards my client’s agenda.
The second lesson I learned was recognising the difference between listening with my ears and listening with all my senses, intuition and presence. I really believed I was listening to my clients when I qualified but I wasn’t truly connected with my clients in terms of their energy, breathing, mood shifts etc. This became very clear to me when I listened back over sessions which my clients were kind enough to allow me to record. The very first time I listened to a recorded session I physically cringed, I couldn’t believe how I had missed so much that the client had said (and not said). In that uncomfortable, cringing experience I committed to develop my listening skills and have had great results since. I continue to develop them and believe that we never truly become perfect listeners, we have to commit to it every time we sit with a client
The third lesson I learned (and there have been more than three) is how creating awareness with our clients really happens in a session. I used to think that I sometimes knew the answer to my client’s topic or challenge and it was up to me to help them realise it for themselves. Big Mistake. What I was actually doing was leading my client towards an outcome which I thought best for them and in doing so I was not staying true to the Co Active Coaching process. I almost hung up my boots as a coach. Thankfully, with the support and guidance of fellow coaches and mentors, I put my coaching boots back on and began trusting my clients and the process. This was one of those “Awesome Fails” which I have learned so much from.
PSG: To -date, as a coach, what has brought you the most fulfillment?
Finding out my purpose and getting clarity on the types of clients I like to work with has been extremely fulfilling. My purpose as a coach is to enable growth and development and I love working with clients who truly want to be challenged and stretched so they can be more and achieve more than they once though possible.
Being a part of the PSG team and supporting student and qualified coaches develop and enhance their coaching skills is very aligned to my purpose as a coach. Getting the opportunity to be a part of a team that are committed to growing and developing coaches is the icing on my coaching cake.
PSG: What do you foresee as the main reasons for clients to look for coaching in 2015?
So far this year, the majority of clients I have worked with are looking for one thing in common –change. But it’s a different type of change. When we get into the coaching, be it life or career coaching, what these clients are actually looking for is getting clarity on what they need to do in order to take the first step to enable that change. For some it’s commitment, for others it’s courage or a mind-set shift. I have had to turn up the challenge in my coaching (which I love) to enable my clients to start doing something different to what they have been doing in order to change.
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