Some of you may be wondering why I decided to become a coach; if you have not worked with one yet, you might be wondering why everyone seems to be hiring a coach these days.
I was fortunate to receive highly discounted coaching last year through an organization called the Women’s Impact Alliance. Every other week, I met with a coach who was there to support me with my personal and professional goals. I initially started out with goals around how to be a better leader but also knew I wanted to do some career exploration as I was feeling unclear about where to go next.
One of the things that were most helpful for me throughout the process was not only someone to vent to about whatever stressors I had in my job but also someone there to listen, reflect what they heard and also challenge my line of thinking. I still remember having this a-ha moment where my coach helped me see that some feedback my manager shared at the time might not actually be true; it helped me question the doubts I had experienced for months about how I was being perceived within my organization. Just this small mental shift took a huge weight off my shoulders and allowed me to see a different possibility. This is just one example of the power of the conversations we had during the six months we worked together.
If you have not worked with a coach, I believe the two biggest benefits of a coach are:
1) Accountability- every time you meet with the coach, you set goals, action plans and put in place accountability to ensure that you meet your goals. Having someone check-in with you regularly to see if you did what you set out to since the last time you met, is HUGE. With as busy as we all are today, it’s easy to get off track with your goals and a coach is there to hold you accountable.
2) Self-empowerment- the entire premise of coaching is not that the coach will give you all the answers, it’s that through powerful questioning, a great coach will help you uncover the answers you already have within yourself.
I found it really empowering to know that I had the answers to many of the questions I was asking and that I could trust myself. We receive so much unsolicited advice from people we know but also through the media; we are constantly being told either directly or indirectly how we should be living our lives or how we should handle something. I found it incredibly refreshing to be able to sift through my beliefs in my career and personal life and realize that I can and should trust myself to know what is best for me. I still struggle with this at times, but the coaching helped me with this a lot.
Going back to my why with coaching, I am a natural helper and I love helping people in general; whether it’s connecting two people I know or helping a friend think of a different way to go about a problem they are struggling with; all of it brings me so much joy. I also want to make a difference in this world. I used to think that I could only make an impact through my work in non-profit but after a lot of self-reflection and exploring with my coach, I realized that I can also make a difference in the lives of my clients; that piece is what excites me the most about being a coach.
If you aren’t sure if coaching is right for you, feel free to ask me about it. I might not be the best coach for you, but I might know someone else who would be perfect for you!