We are very proud of our diverse community of professional coaches. Our coaches have a positive impact on a local as well as global level. There is so much wisdom, experience and creative ideas within this community. Each month by introducing you to our Featured Coach of The Month we offer you an opportunity to benefit from this great source of information.
In October our Coach of the Month is Keelin O’Dwyer who is now running a successful coaching practice in Shanghai. Keelin answers questions about her lessons learnt since gaining her Coaching Diploma, her most fulfilling moments, and her predictions on the skills that clients will want to develop this year.
Here is our Coach of the Month – October 2016 – Coaching Q & A
PSG: Since qualifying, what are the top 3 lessons you have learnt that support your growth as a coach:
- Heal yourself so you can be a more effective coach to others – You are only going to go take your client, as far as you have taken yourself. I found especially starting out as a coach, I would hit stumbling blocks with clients where I felt I couldn’t explore an issue deeper. Upon reflection, it came to light that the reason I was coming up against those barriers was because it turned out my clients issues were issues for me also. For example, maybe your client has a lot of negative beliefs about money and wants to shift that but you also encompass those negative beliefs too, if you don’t work on your beliefs and resolve the limiting ones, as a coach it will only serve to drag down your progress overtime.. After each coaching session I would suggest looking at what made you uncomfortable during the session, then ask yourself why and more importantly go do something about it. Doing this has really helped me discover my blind spots, my self-limiting beliefs and has given me insight into what is holding me back. This is not always easy but it is definitely worth it and will pay off in dividends for you and your clients in the long run.
- You are the greatest tool in your toolbox – During the course this was constantly said to us, it was like the classroom mantra but it definitely took a while for it to sink in, for me anyway. Starting out I was constantly googling powerful questions, going into a session I would practically have them stapled to my forehead!!! I was just so afraid of asking a silly question or one that wasn’t powerful enough because I saw it as wasting the client’s time when really all I had to do was listen. If you listen and just go with the flow of the conversation and you are tuned in to what is going on then a question will present itself when necessary to bring the session forward. Going in with a million different pre-made questions memorized won’t serve your client, just be present in what’s happening now and trust the process. The rest will follow if you do that, it always does.
- Be yourself – You need to remember out of all the coaches in the world that your client could have chosen, they have chosen you for a reason. There is something so special and unique about you, something that they like so much that has encouraged them to invest their trust, time and money in you. So honour that by being yourself and using your gifts. By being authentic and true to you, you inspire others to do the same… and living authentically is what coaching is all about!!! So go out and inspire!!!
PSG: To – date, as a coach, what has brought you the most fulfillment?
Seeing positive growth and change in my clients is what brings me the most fulfilment. It’s about the whole person and how they are progressing on all different levels (emotionally, physically and spiritually) that I enjoy watching the most. Goals are great but they aren’t the be all and end all, sometimes it’s who your client becomes through stretching themselves for a goal or how they bounce back and recover in the face of a goal not working out that is the most inspiring part.
PSG: What do you foresee as the key skills our clients will want to focus on for development and growth for the rest of this year?
For me, improving body language and communication skills are topics that come up time and time again – these skills also improve when you are authentic in what you say and do, as when you act naturally, your body language opens up. When you trust and believe in yourself and what you do you instil more confidence from others. I feel this is a universal problem, as we live in a world where everybody is on their phones constantly, we are slowly forgetting how to fully communicate without any distractions. We need to get back in touch with ourselves and others and place our attention on what really matters. Businesses want to tailor messages to their audience effectively, employees want a boss who will listen to them and demonstrate empathy. Schools want their pupils to encompass these skills so classrooms flow more easily and learning quality improves, practitioners and coaches want to build these skills to create stronger trust with old and new clients to improve their practise. These are key skills that we need to give more focus to in 2016.
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