At PSG we value our coaching community very highly. This is why we have a monthly tradition of announcing our Featured Coach of the Month. By doing this we offer an opportunity for one coach from the community to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom with others. It’s a great way to be connected, supported and learn from each other.
In February we are introducing you to our Featured Coach of the Month, Paula Hanlon. Paula has answered three questions about her lessons learnt, fulfillment gained and an approach to the future.
Here is our Coach of the Month – February 2016 Coaching Q & A
PSG: Since qualifying, what are the top 3 lessons you have learnt that support your growth as a coach:
Don’t shut doors before you try them. Towards the end of my PSG course, we talked about people’s preferred niches. Working in a Corporate world for over 25 yrs. I thought ‘no way am I going back there’. I had other ideas – I wanted to work anywhere except Corporate. How wrong was I? What I found is that this is exactly where I’m at my best. I understood this world, this culture, this environment. I could identify the challenges my clients faced and speak their language. I also had connections that I could use and because I had industry experience, I had credibility. How naive was I not tapping into that sooner? But that was all part of my growth, development and learning as a coach.
Supervision supports me to be better for my clients – without doubt I am a better coach as a result of my supervision. This is a place where I can come and in a safe, confidential and non judgmental environment, I can talk open and freely to my supervisor about anything that is bothering me in relation to my coaching work. My supervisor supports and challenges me in equal measure and I always come away from these sessions feeling lighter, energised and more informed. I would highly recommend all coaches go for supervision whether you are newly qualified or a seasoned pro.
Listen to my gut more and not be afraid to put me in the centre of the decision. At the start I took on every client that came my way. Was this a bad thing? – no as the more clients you experience the more insight you get as to your preferred niche, but sometimes, you know in your heart that this client is not the right client for you and you are probably not the right coach for them. Now if I get that ‘feeling’ I either tease it out on the phone or suggest we meet for a quick coffee. Working with clients is a privilege. You want them to get results, but equally you want to enjoy working with them. So don’t be afraid to trust your gut!
PSG: To – date, as a coach, what has brought you the most fulfillment?
I bumped into a client a few months back who had come for coaching to help them get clarity around a big decision in relation to their career. Time was up against them so we only had one session to explore their options. We used the session to identify their values – both career and life. When they reflected on the list, and their top five in each category, they realised that there were five more important things to them than the one they thought. Based on this new self awareness and having discussed it with their partner, they decided to leave their job and go elsewhere. When I asked how it was going they said ‘it was one of the best decisions they had ever made’. To get that feedback and hear how from just one coaching session, this person changed their life and is now living the life of their dreams was fantastic. This is just one example of how coaching has helped clients transform their life – is it any wonder every day I feel fulfilled as a coach, knowing I am facilitating life changing moments for my clients.
PSG: What do you foresee as the main reasons for clients to look for coaching in the early part of 2016?
Typically, the start of the year is when we all decide to set ourselves some goals – maybe its to get fitter, get our finances in order, change careers or a myriad of other goals. Whatever the reason there is one common theme – Change. And that change can be in any part of a person’s life. The working landscape is changing – people are starting to explore new horizons and realise they have options. Happiness is a theme I am seeing a lot. People just want to be happy and that can mean different things to different people at different times of their lives. Balance is another area that clients are struggling with. Life is busy, demands are everywhere and often people just can’t manage their time. In the Corporate world change is also a key factor. Companies and individuals have had to deal with enormous amounts of change over the last few years and that has taken its toll. I find whether working in a private capacity or in a corporate environment the themes are usually the same just presented in different ways.
Phone: 087 1788768
Website: Paula Hanlon
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