Coaching, My Experience – From Skeptic To Believer

Welcome to The Coaching Equation Blog. I am a Business & Executive Coach & Mentor and view Coaching as your catalyst to success. When I started to study Coaching I was at a bit of a cross-roads. I had been in business for many years and had just taken a year off when I began the Advanced Diploma in Personal & Executive Coaching at Kingstown College, Dublin. When I left my previous business I was absolutely shattered physically, mentally, emotionally and needed some recovery time. I had read some coaching books over the years, surfed the net on Coaching, used some of the techniques on an ad-hoc basis – Coaching makes big claims. I couldn’t really decide what to do next and figured I would give it a go.

I knew I would really enjoy the experience; felt certain it would further my self-development. I wasn’t sure whether it would be my next career but what the heck, I needed to do something and I chose Coaching.

What was great was, that from the first moment I entered the college, there was a friendly atmosphere full of positivity. When we started learning the basic Coaching tools though, they seemed so straightforward and simple, I wondered how such uncomplicated techniques could produce the huge positive changes they claimed.

I had taken a decision to embrace Coaching, whether it became my next career or not. So, I read a lot, practiced on various willing (and not so willing) volunteers. I changed some of my own habits. Early in the course we worked on our own beliefs, values and sense of purpose. I became very clear about my own sense of purpose. When I decide (daily) to honour this purpose, everyone benefits. I am more patient with my husband and daughter; more focused and more productive at work. I have really interesting, positive, fun conversations with lots of different people. My creativity which had practially disappeared, is back with a bang and I have great energy. All well and good, I thought but I still wondered how a few short sessions with people who were very busy, stressed, probably over-worked and tired, would result in big changes – fast.

Before meeting my very first client I was really nervous. Even though I had practiced with a lot, I wondered how I would get on with a real client. I decided that all I could do was trust the process and believe that by really listening, using relevant tools and asking relevant powerful questions, the client would find the answers that were already within. I prepared well also. Would you believe – it worked! Using a pre-designed methodology, the client by getting to know herself and how certain beliefs were limiting her; taking some small actions, arming herself with appropriate tools, actually made huge changes. The transformation was incredible; the client was thrilled. I became a firm believer!

Time has passed and working with clients now; seeing the way, after a very short period of time, big change can happen by taking small steps is actually amazing. You don’t have to take your life asunder to benefit. I wonder how my own career would have gone, had I worked with a great coach early on. Whilst, Coaching is forward-focused, if I was to allow myself one single wish for the past, it would be that I had used coaching. Also, given that I personally, in all aspects of life and work, like to see results quickly and simply, coaching delivers a lot. Little changes have a big impact. One client likened it to a big tanker at sea – a 2 degree change in direction puts it 40km off course.

A particularly useful tool I use is the “Yes/No” question, ie if I say “No” to something what exactly am I saying “Yes” to and vice versa. This is a great tool for decision-making . For example if I say “No” to an early morning run or yoga, I am saying “Yes” to a day that’s not going to be 100% productive. If I say “Yes” to a late night cup of tea or coffee, I am saying “No” to a good night’s sleep, therefore to tomorrow being productive.

I love Coaching. Coming from various businesses which although exciting at times were very stressful and where I did not feel I added value to people’s lives, to a life where powerful questions lead to breakthrough insights; revolutionary tools combine with powerful strategies, all to deliver increased productivity whilst balancing life’s demands is amazing. I have always believed that if you want something badly enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Often that road whilst delivering the end goal was torturous. Now, I know that there are straightforward, effective formulae to actually get rid of the torture and make reaching your potential enjoyable too.