We are surrounded by talented people. We continue to support growth and development in those around us and it’s important to us to promote quality, especially in coaching. This year we’ve created even more platforms for those who want to share their wisdom and knowledge with others. This way we all have an opportunity to connect and collaborate for the benefit of coaching.
Our community of professional coaches is growing. It is our pleasure every month to invite another professional coach to introduce themselves, their work, purpose, approach and a view of coaching as a profession.
Q & A
Let us introduce our Coach of the Month for July. This is our Coaching Q and A with Niall English. We asked him to answer the following 3 questions for you. This is Niall’s reflection on his journey so far as a professional coach, his experiences and what brings him a real sense of drive, achievement and fulfillment. Read on to find out what topics clients will be working on with their coaches in the months to come.
PSG: Since qualifying, what are the top 3 lessons you have learnt that support your growth as a coach:
The first lesson that I have learnt since qualifying is that it is so important to have a clear vision and goals for what I want to achieve as a coach. I qualified as a coach with great enthusiasm and was overflowing with ideas about what I was going to do to start my coaching practice. That enthusiasm didn’t necessarily translate into implementation and I spent a lot of time getting very little accomplished.
When I stopped and examined my progress I realised that I was continuing mistakes of the past by not having a very clear set of goals for what I wanted to achieve. By not knowing where I wanted to be I had no idea of how I was going to get there. Relying on my new knowledge and coaching skills I set about clearly establishing my goals for the remainder of 2015 and beyond. Now I know the steps that I must take to realise my goals, it is much easier to follow them one at a time.
The second important lesson for me to support my growth is to stretch and challenge myself to be the best coach I can. I have found that it is so easy to just sit back and assume you know it all and get complacent. I remember an occasion with a client where I really felt I was not tuned in or actively listening. I was in my own head and letting my own thoughts distract me. Luckily I checked myself during the session and got back to where I should have been. On reflection I know that I did not spend enough time preparing for the session and indeed did not step into the coaching mind-set. I always remind myself to trust the coaching process. It is that simple but you must prepare the session and prepare yourself to be absolutely ready to coach. My coaching affirmation before I meet any client is – “this coaching session is going to be my best coaching session” – that is my challenge to stretch myself.
Finally my growth as a coach is enhanced by my peers and fellow coaches. I am very fortunate to have worked with a great variety of coaches in my diploma group at PSG. I am even more fortunate to have forged great friendships and links with a number of them. I rely on them for feedback, sharing ideas, receiving their wisdom and sometimes just simply knowing that they are there for a friendly chat, moral support and for some impromptu coaching if needed. Luckily they haven’t started charging me yet!!!
PSG: To -date, as a coach, what has brought you the most fulfillment?
The fulfilment that I receive as a coach comes in many different ways. It may come in the middle of a session with a client with one of those questions that just stops them in their tracks. You can see their eyes light up and the almost relieving smile on their face as the clarity in their thinking becomes apparent.
I also get great fulfilment when I get into my car after a session and I am driving home. If the session has gone well, there is naturally a great feeling of satisfaction. It is not only satisfaction for a job well done but a more fulfilling satisfaction that you really experienced flow in the session and brought the client forward.
However I think the greatest fulfilment I receive as a coach is the continuous self-development that I experience from coaching, my own on-going self-awareness and what that allows me to do in my life.
PSG: What do you foresee as the main reasons for clients to look for coaching in 2015?
From my experience 2015 is the year that people are really noticing and struggling with the imbalance in their lives when it comes to their work/life divide. In the conversations I have with friends and colleagues and in the journals and interviews I read, there is a sense that the old saying “life is too short” has never been more to the fore in people’s minds.
There is a real appetite for changing the way we work and for seeking a more efficient way to work to ensure that we can prioritise the more important things in our life. Family, friends, leisure time, relaxation, wellness and pursuing other interests outside of the work place appear to be on everyone’s radar. Everyone wants to get more from their time, seek new adventures and live more in the moment.
The questions on everyone’s lips seem to be “if only I could get more time off to do this” or “if I could reorganise my time in work, I could do more of…. and “how can I get more flexibility within my current job”. The challenge for most people is where do they start? Coaching is the best placed discipline to help. I have worked with clients in very traditional rigid industries where flexibility is generally unheard of. Through coaching the client is able to set clear goals about what they want to achieve and feel empowered to approach their employer to have the initial conversation and succeed with their agenda. The results are very encouraging and clients are really amazed at where they can get to from a starting point of general frustration.
Coaching for more flexibility and balance is driving a lot of clients in 2015.
LinkedIn: Niall English
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