It’s our pleasure this month to introduce Sarah McCandliss as our Coach of the Month for August. Sarah has been a member of our professional community of coaches for many years now. Everywhere she goes she brings positivity, joy and a sense of happiness that she is always ready to share with others. Just between you and us, we are not sure where this endless source of energy is but maybe in her answers Sarah will share some of her secrets with all of us.
Here is Sarah’s reflection on her journey so far as a professional coach, her experiences and what brings her a real sense of success and fulfillment in this profession.
PSG: Since qualifying, what are the top 3 lessons you have learnt that support your growth as a coach:
HELP – the joy of asking for and giving help
I used to have this great self- limiting belief that asking for help was a bad thing, in that it showed that you had failed in some way, and really let the side down ( who ever ‘the side’ may be). Recently I had the great pleasure of putting that ‘great’ self belief where it belongs – in the bin. I was stuck in the development of my Coaching business, hadn’t a clue what to do. And then, I asked for some help and it was a wonderful thing. Admittedly, it took some courage and I had to pack my ego in a box to make the call – but the results were so worth it. Not just the business results (which so far have been great), I mean the feeling of being helped, and someone going out of their way for you, and of course the feeling that you are not on your own. I help people all the time, in fact its one of those things I keep saying that I need to make a better boundary for. People asking me for my help is an honour, it makes me feel special and appreciated, and all of that without realising what the other person is getting on the other end. So now I ask for help, and its with great joy – because I know whats coming, and when someone asks me for help I appreciate it much more than I ever did as I know that I am giving more than I thought.
THE WONDER OF PEOPLE I COACH – finding and appreciating the wonder inside each person I coach and the effect it has on my coaching
As part of my preparation for my session with anyone, I have built in the most amazing question to my before session ritual. I ask myself ‘ I wonder what the amazing thing about the person I am about to meet will be?’ this questions sets my state for the whole session.
This question has changed the way I coach forever. I started using it during sales coaching with the Reps I work with. When someone can feel, hear and see that you are genuinely curious about what is great about them, they respond in a different manner. They become more open, softer and honest. Which in turn, helps both them and me, get to the heart of the matter quicker and allows them to dream freely – even if you are talking about what a Sales reps plan to increase the number of calls a day is.
For me as a Coach, it allows me to see a side of the person that I am coaching that most of us keep under wraps, the genuine authentic person underneath. Which leads to better rapport and listening on both sides. The biggest gift it gives me though, is a higher level of curiosity and enthusiasm for the session I am in – helping me to be fully present with the person im with.
THE EDGE OF CHAOS and why its like Dorothy’s red shoes
Ah, the Edge of Chaos!. For those of you that don’t know: The Edge of chaos is: ‘ that moment just before you create (or recreate) a sense of order that puts you back in control and allows you be flexible enough to deal with the problems of being human. It does not require you judge yourself. It does require you evaluate your actions and how you contributed to the chaos’ (Ron Finkelman)
And the edge of Chaos, as they say (and I can attest to) is where all the great ideas come from. Now, when you are in the middle of chaos, and the world seems a bit like a swirling maelstrom of mad stuff, it is easy to forget that. What I have found though is right at the epicentre, is usually where it happens, it’s the time that you remember ‘hang on a minute’ its all gone mental – there’s bound to be a great idea along in a minute. Just realising this for me and my clients, calms the storm and then just like Dorothy clicking the heels of her ruby slippers together, everything changes.
PSG: To -date, as a coach, what has brought you the most fulfillment?
Ah that’s Easy – seeing my clients the session after they have had a lightbulb moment. Being there to witness the light going off first hand is a true honour, but the real joy, for me, is seeing the change in my clients the session after. When they have had a chance to let this new thinking set in, adjusted their beliefs, emotions and behaviour to match. Its a bit like watching the sun come up, and makes me so proud of my Clients.
PSG: What do you foresee as the main reasons for clients to look for coaching in the second half of the summer?
The most common theme I am seeing with my clients at the moment is Career change. Due to the economic upturn, people are no longer feeling as trapped in their jobs by circumstance. People able to come to a coach, have furnished their basic needs and now have some wriggle room to move up Maslow’s pyramid – leading to that feeling of ‘is this it?’ and ‘I need something different/more from my job’, and less likely to put up with things at odds with their values. This is compounded by the fact that most people take a break in the Summer months to spend with friends and family or pursuing other leisure pursuits, activities and time spent doing what people enjoy ( and that are usually in line with their values) which reinforces those feeling of ‘I want something more’. And of course how big the dread of going back to work – is usually a good barometer of what change is needed.
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