Are you Ok?
Being just OK, is not OK. Most people come to me because they are frustrated, have a business issue or challenge that they are struggling to resolve or simply, they feel stuck. Things are ok-ish but not what they want. Deep inside they know they are capable of so much more, but they just can’t seem to breakthrough. Sound familiar?
Are you keen to raise your own personal game and standards, refine your approaches, skills and disciplines to produce better results. Are you fed up and tired of reading books and becoming a self-help junky in the process, listening to podcasts or following ‘gurus’ online? Changing your situation, perspective in your life or work isn’t a switch that you can flick on. It goes deeper.
I have worked and coached hundreds and hundreds of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, cultures and countries. Coaching is a form of learning through 1 to 1 conversations that facilitates development for an individual or team. There are many types of coach, some are Life coaches, Leadership or Executive Coaches, Business and start-up Coaches, Relational Coaches and over the past 15 years there has been a profound change in the way coaching is viewed. Coaches are not therapists, councellors or psychologists, as Counselling and therapy explores specific, deeper, underlying personal, psychological and emotional issues, trauma, physical or mental illness or serious health issues.
Coaching is a way of ‘being’ with someone in a more focused and meaningful way. It is a way of encouraging and supporting someone to achieve a task, goal, change in behaviour, develop or build on existing skills. The focus of coaching is the individual being coached (the coachee). The Coach makes interventions to support the coachee to move forward and to take responsibility for their own decisions and actions.
In the past, Coaching and Mentoring has been seen as remedial. Now, Coaching has progressed from having a stigma attached to it, to being widely recognised as being of value, and in a business context, of significant importance to most organisations, for developing talented and upcoming stars. It provides a safe place where individuals and teams can explore areas that otherwise may remain out of reach. Coaching essentially supplies the challenge and support people need, to face up to and explore their undiscovered potential.
A real advantage of coaching is that it encourages a person to focus on their strengths as well as other areas of development. It enables individuals to challenge beliefs about themselves and the world around them, that may be holding them back. It helps open doors and release them from self-imposed restrictions, giving themselves permission to move on, in a way that is right for them.
Since 2012, the ICF (International Coaching Federation) in a Coaching Study reported that there were 47,500 coaches worldwide and this continues to grow. Now, 74% of companies recently surveyed confirmed that they use internal and external coaches, of which 92% of these judged coaching as ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’. I have had the privilege of working with some inspirational clients, and those that stand out are the ones who recognise the link between engaged human beings and the bottom line of their business. Adapting the way people have conversations and having an organisational approach to coaching and mentoring can enhance the effectiveness of teams and reshape the work environment.
In my own experience, coachees value the space and time to think, gaining clarity, increasing confidence, discovering things about themselves, their personal impact and facing up to it. Equally, I have worked with individuals, new into role, where they just have no clue where to start, once they begin to realise there is more to it, particularly where an individual moves from Sales Executive to Sales Manager or Sales Manager to Dealer Principal. Like most individuals, leaders and managers often do not perceive themselves as others do. Working with a Coach helps to remove blind spots, for example communication, how they come across to direct reports and superiors – even customers; how they view their own skills, contribution, capabilities, role and perceive the organisations challenges all have a bearing on performance and success.
In my early career and first senior management role, my learning curve was steep and I valued the support and coaching that I received from an external coach, helping me to identify and leverage my strengths of communication and getting things done, and amplifying the importance of understanding people. Later, I was coached and mentored by an Internal Coach, an Executive Director, who was an exemplar, a great role model. He taught me to be firm yet fair. He also taught me the art and science of reaching agreement in a way that gets results, getting to the heart of a matter quickly, ensuring that ‘we deliver on our promises’ every time. Our working relationship lasted 5 years, and it was on his departure to take up a very senior role within a global organisation, that I co-founded WhiteTEC.
My Coach’s advice supported me through the challenging days, when I was out of my comfort zone and into the ‘red’ zone, I had the resources within me. His belief in me, open and honest communication, he allowed me to come up with my own solutions and to work out my own strategies – which was empowering, inspiring me to greater achievements. As a leader, my aim has always been to be a role model, just like my coach back then: someone who inspires others to be proud of their achievements, fostering strong relationships so that people feel trusted and valued; someone who guides and supports people so that they enjoy the journey as well as the end goal. I continue to strive, realising that work and life is a bit like an elastic band ‘constantly stretching and contracting’, which makes learning and being curious even more fun, yet challenging. Who knows what is around the corner?
As a professional Executive Coach, who is a great listener, approachable, passionate about what I do, and the courage to face my fears (and do it anyway ), my goal is to help individuals to become a professional, prosperous, reputable person who will powerfully transform people’s lives – and create a good name for themselves and the businesses they work within – or own. There is one thing, that an individual who wants coaching must have to achieve this. It is 100% commitment. Commitment to do what it takes, to share their own vulnerability and to be ready to invest the time, energy and desire to see it through.
How about you? Adapting in unprecedented times, pushes our comfort zone into the ‘grey’ or the ‘red’ zone. Are you looking for inspiration, want to boost your business, improve relationships, revitalise your health and well-being? Whatever your goals, head to our website now.
Co-Owner White TEC