There seems to be an idea in some circles that working with a coach is all about fixing problems but I am pleased to report that there is so much more to it than that!
Coaching is about change and unlocking potential in people. If you have come up against a roadblock on your career path, then coaching can be particularly effective to help you find a way around it.
At the heart of coaching is the belief that people already have the answers they need within themselves or know where to go to find them. My job as the coach is to help people work out what the real obstacles are and then support them to find the answers themselves that will move them forward.
Sara has just completed her 6-month coaching programme. She had been identified as future talent by her organisation who wanted her to further develop her leadership skills so she would be equipped to step up from her current management role to a head of department position.
She didn’t come to the coaching with lots of challenges and things that weren’t working. She was looking to explore ways in which she could play to her strengths, raise her profile, improve her influencing skills with the executive team and develop herself as a leader.
During the coaching, Sara completed a Strengths Profile to help her identify her own strengths and those strengths that she wasn’t using to full capacity. It enabled her to then go on and look for opportunities in which she could use these more. We used real workplace scenarios that Sara found herself facing to develop her influencing skills, find her voice and further develop her emotional intelligence.
“It’s made me more perceptive. I’ve really learned to own and develop my emotional intelligence and look at challenges from other peoples perspective. This increased awareness has helped me consider how people might be feeling or thinking and it means I am much more constructive responding to situations. I’ve learned to pause and respond rather than react immediately and not to take things as personally.
Two weeks after finishing the coaching, Sara had her annual review and was told she had got her promotion. She is now Head of Communications and much more involved in strategic decision making as part of the senior leadership team – and she’s loving it.