(Article published by The-Coaching-Academy in August 2017)
It was one day in late 2015, when I had a moment of realisation: even though, through my role as a manager, I had spent lots of time and energy encouraging others to develop themselves, my own development had been static for too long. In essence, I was not acting on my own advice. It was at this point that I decided that I needed to move forward, and that it was finally time to address my own personal development!
I’d been a IT Manager for a number of years, largely learning my managerial skills whilst ‘on the job’. I remember always wanting to move into leadership, mainly enticed by being able to interact well with different people. I felt that I was passionate about helping a team and individuals become successful. However, I did not have a clue how and what I wanted to do to develop myself! After a few Google searches, I came across the thing called ‘coaching’. It immediately appealed to me, as I recognised it as something I was probably already doing.
I attended TCA's free 2-Day Foundation in Life Coaching course in January 2016. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! After sitting there for only a short while, I knew I was in the right place and that this would be the start of ‘something’. That ‘something’ turned out to be a fantastic journey to become a qualified coach!
I remember how excited I was to be enrolling on the Personal Performance Diploma course in February 2016. I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow, whilst gaining skills and a qualification that would enable me to coach people professionally. My expectation was high and I was not disappointed.
The course’s structure and its flexible learning approach was perfect for me to able to fit my study and practice coaching sessions around my work and personal life commitments. The materials provided and the online resources available to me were of a high standard, as was the support provided by the Coaching Academy team.
The two main elements of the course, that were specifically enjoyable to me were the Accelerator Days and being able to start performing my own coaching sessions.
The accelerator training days were delivered by fantastically skilled, knowledgeable and enthusiastic trainers. The days were jam-packed with coaching skills, strategies, tools, techniques and lots of opportunities to try out what you were learning in a safe environment with your fellow coaching students. I found the days amazingly inspiring. They gave me not only invaluable knowledge, but also the confidence to apply my new skills and tools in my own coaching sessions.
I arranged coaching sessions as soon as I started the course and I was surprised how much I enjoyed them. I worked with some wonderful people, covering a wide range of topics. Being able to help individuals make positive changes to their lives was just marvellous! I became very aware how important the small steps of progress were to my clients’ overall goals. Helping my clients to realise some awareness or learning about themselves and their situation was extremely powerful and was hugely empowering to the individual.
I gained my Personal Development Diploma in February 2017 and was thrilled to be awarded a Distinction. The feeling I experienced the moment I was informed that I had qualified was exactly as I had thought it would be: a feeling of elation. I celebrated as I had always planned with some fantastic friends and some fine wine!
My top tip for coaching students who are coming to the end of the training is to get yourself a coach to help get you ‘over the line’ and spend some quality time with – to remind yourself of the reasons why you started the coaching journey and the impact and benefits that being a professional coach will bring you.
It’s not an understatement for me to say that my coaching journey has been life changing! I honestly feel that I am a different person now, compared to when I first started my coaching journey. I believe that I think differently, in a much clearer and non-judgemental way, without the distracting ‘mind-chatter’. I am now able to deal with my own issues in a more honest way: acknowledging, accepting and learning from the feelings that are generated from negative and positive experiences. Most importantly, I now feel confidently equipped to help people make positive changes to their lives.