So, last year I became a Certified Business Coach. What does that even mean? Well, there’s the training piece and that took a bit of research. There are so many ways to become a coach, but I wanted to go to a school that was ICF Certified, The Gold Standard of Coaching. Luckily for me, my friend Dez started Radiant Coaches Academy, which is ICF Certified, whoohoo!
Her training consisted of a full 2 weeks of immersive learning, field trips and group outings. It was fun, invigorating and enlightening. We learned so much, starting with setting expectations for ourselves and our clients, the Basics of Coaching, Behaviors and Boundaries, lots of techniques around Asking vs. Telling, Active Listening and how to build authenticity within your coaching practice and your life.
So much of what I learned felt like it applied to way more than just coaching! For instance, in my real life, how could I set better boundaries with my kids and at work? How could I use the Active Listening techniques with my team and my friends? And finally, the biggest one, how could I coach myself to my own best life?
I’ve always been a social experiementer mostly on myself to see how different things worked. I used to play dress up when I was a kid, which is when I first discovered that people treat you differently depending on how you show up. If you show up as a clown, they expect to be entertained, if you show up as a stern parent, your kids expect discipline. These new coaching techniques where challenging me to show up differently.
My kids started noticing first, as I began asking them more questions and telling them what to do less, they became more self-sufficient, we had better conversations and the general energy in the house became more peaceful.
Then I began experimenting at work, using more open ended questions, practicing active listening, setting harder goals and holding myself and my team accountable. And probably the most impactful was I owned my authenticity, I didn’t hide my passion, I stepped up my own leadership capabilities, we accomplished a lot in a year and I was proud of every single person on my team. And the wonderful thing about my day job, we have the freedom to be authentic and get things done on the daily!
You know what else happened? I got a promotion and a significant pay increase! All by doing something I truly enjoy, working with great people and asking them to bring their best self. I also got asked to coach a few colleagues at work, and that was so much fun and rewarding. Seeing them change their own life, moving up or on to better places, having a fulfilling personal life, and owning their transformation was exhilarating! I was merely a change-agent facilitating their personal growth it was like being a master gardener and watching a flower patch blossom.
Pretty soon, I started meeting people outside of work, too, who wanted to be coached on their business or for their job and before I knew it I had a few clients that I was coaching. What I have noticed is that my style is more of a coach/consultant approach. Asking open-ended questions, using coaching techniques to help people find the real goals inside themselves is only the beginning. Once we self-discover where we really want to be/go then the work really gets interesting! I have had a life of wonderful experiences, some didn’t always start out so fabulous, but what I have learned is I am a great solution expert. I can figure out just about anything that comes my way, I have a lot of experience at thriving in unusual environments. And when I look at a problem, I look at the ripple affect it will have in someone’s life, their family, home, business, it all fits together. So, my perspective is a little bit unique in that I might not always see the obvious solution as the right fit for the purpose. I help bring the bigger picture into perspective and go from there to work out the details.
One of my recent clients came to me to set up a plan to have her coffee store be fully stocked by Christmas so she could actually relax over the holidays. As we started working together, I realized she was also processing a hard break up and that was really affecting her performance. As we worked through this, she actually saw her business really take off and heal up from her break up. She has become a new person!
I learned so much this year, it has changed the way I show up at work, I have so much more confidence, we have gotten an incredible amount of work done, my side business as a coach has taken root and my family is much closer.
My coaching assignment for you this Thanksgiving: ask a lot of questions, listen intently and practice being authentic in different ways, see how people react to you. If you are feeling confident and kind vs. if you are feeling depressed and irritated, it will make an impact. Challenge yourself to show up as your very best self and watch how that can change your life and the lives of the folks around you. You might be surprised!
In my next blog post, I will talk about what we do at my annual girl’s weekend, what it takes to set a year’s worth of goals and how to actually accomplish them.
Until then, I urge you to hug the ones you love, celebrate the tiny wins and embrace your inner CEO!