To celebrate International Coaching Week (ICW) I'm running a series of daily blogs on both coaching & mentoring.
Today I am delighted to host a guest post from Karen Locking (@karenlocking) who is a Workforce Development Resource Officer. Her post gives a wonderful sense of the coaching journey of an L&D professional. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
THE COACHING JOURNEY
I’ve been training and practicing as a Performance Development coach for ten months and I cannot believe the impact the programme is having on me as an individual.
I signed up go on a coach programme to become a coach seeing it as a way of providing a service our workforce needed, we were offering performance development coaching and they needed people to train as coaches, I love learning and thought “I’m in, I’ll give it a go!”. I didn’t expect the transition to be personal and have such a huge impact.
I believed I had a reasonable level of self awareness, I thought I knew what made me tick and I knew how I learnt and how I worked. I have had counselling before and am a self confessed “overthinker” so I truly believed I had learnt a lot about myself. However, the world of coaching has opened newer areas of thought and continuously challenged what I thought I knew about myself. It has changed how I interact and my thought processes and patterns in ways I didn’t ever think it would.
For example - I find myself asking my husband questions when he’s stuck with a problem instead of giving him answers for ease and quickness (much to his annoyance some days! – “Don’t coach me” he replies!), I listen more attentively and find myself asking people questions about why they used specific words and where assumptions have come from.
And this isn’t even in my formal coaching sessions! The formal sessions have been so very eye opening, my self reflection afterwards about whether I ask questions linked to my comfort zone and way of thinking and then trying to ask questions around their way of thinking to build rapport and open doors for them has been unbelievably useful. The feeling of “wow the coachee has shifted mindsets” is so fabulous and to know all I did was continue being inquisitive through questions.
I have had the new coach internal panic and I don’t think I’ll have buried it forever. The “overthinker” inner critic in me has had a feeling of worry as well as excitement before a coaching session and I realised mid way through my training I was procrastinating with the finest level of skill before setting up my first session with a coachee however, overall my experiences have been one of unbelievable personal accomplishment and satisfaction.
I would invite any individual interested in coaching to speak to a coach, have some sessions perhaps and explore this way of learning. Not just as a way of learning about yourself but learning about others as well. I began my training seeing my coaching experience and training as a journey with a final destination, however the more I explore and the deeper I dive into the world of coaching
I’m realising there will be no final destination no final finish line, the journey will be the reward if I continue to learn about myself, and through the people and sights along the way.