On the first day of April 2013 I started a new series for our blog posts, Create Your Niche-A Personal Perspective. Today, I am sharing some thoughts about coaching from a client’s perspective. In this post, I will talk about how I have benefitted from having coaches in my career. In the next post I will include quotes on the benefits realized from Evolve Executive Coaching clients.
It Started Here
Through much of my career I had a few informal mentors, mostly executives who recognized my work ethic, and saw my potential. They offered wise advice when asked and offered advice when they saw a way to help me at other times. I valued those interactions, took everything ever offered through their kindness and worked hard to create something out of that advice. I have never had a formal mentor but my first executive coach came as part of my management role in one organization. My coach at that time was the only person willing to tell me what I needed to hear and to work with me to turn that awareness into actions that helped create more success in my career. The benefit I gained from that coaching relationship was significant enough that I started playing with the idea of coaching as a career. This came up a few more times in other roles in which having the expertise of an executive coach was offered to me and it reinforced how helpful it is, offering benefits that are not available from performance reviews or 360 reviews.
Where It Really Started To Take Shape
Part of my responsibility in several of my organizational roles was to provide coaching from an internal perspective, to my client groups and to my colleagues. This was part of the overall development plan to assist a manager who may be new to a management role, struggling in their role or stuck in their career. So, executive coaching was something I was observing from a variety of perspectives. Additionally, I frequently heard from colleagues, clients and others that they felt I should consider being a coach as my next career. But I hesitated, for years, without really knowing why. I had all sorts of practical excuses- “the coaching field is saturated, the economy is in trouble, few people are paying for coaches” etc. Ask me about becoming a coach myself and I had a quick ‘oh so logical’ reason why not.
We All Get Stuck
I was also ‘stuck’, pursuing work I no longer felt any real satisfaction doing. I can only stand being ‘stuck’ for so long before acting, taking the leap, going after something new so my decision was made. I stopped thinking about why not as part of my work on my own Roadmap from the Striving Styles Personality System™. I recognized it wasn’t about the coaching business but about how I was seeing myself. I started thinking about why yes, looking for solutions and taking actions to accomplish my goals.
Multi-Tasking For Change
I decided that I would earn a certification in Executive Coaching, create a business and go through the rebranding process. I already had a lot of research available about executive coaching certifications, was easily able to determine that I also needed a program that offered a business-coaching module. What I needed was new tools! Once I found the right option for my needs, I signed up and once committed threw myself fully into earning the certification and creating my business.
At the same time I started the certification process for the Striving Styles Personality System™ because I knew that the better the tools I had to offer my future clients the more benefits they would gain from working with me. This was a good decision because Heather and Anne have the experience in working with similar tools with their clients and knew what was missing in many of them. It was also a good decision because the SSPS™ helped me understand more about myself, which led to improving my conversations when talking to prospective clients. It offers a lot more benefits in other areas of my business and life in general so overall my satisfaction in business and life is back on track.
Using What I Learn
As I reflect on my decision last Fall to take this path, and consider the time spent pursuing something that no longer provided satisfaction I also came to gain even more appreciation for the coaches I had in my career. My current business coach, Catherine Rocheleau of Ignite Leadership International, was instrumental in helping me put everything I learned into action. I still use what I learned from my executive coaches in previous roles, and now use all of that for the benefit of Evolve Executive Coaching clients.
Where Are You Right Now?
Today’s questions: When was the last time you felt ‘stuck’, you knew a change was needed but just could not quite make it happen? What did you do to resolve it? How did that work? What else are you willing to do to achieve what you want in your career or business?