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Walking into a coaching mindset

In January I officially started my coach training in order to become an accredited coach, an ICF Associate Certified Coach, via Katie Linder’s Higher Ed Coach Training.

We are now in Week 7 of the course and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I have learnt a lot in the first few weeks of the training, met some amazing people and started to develop a whole range of skills. It’s been a very motivating part of my practice and I find myself looking forward to each Saturday night’s session.

Whilst the training is very comprehensive, the hours required fit well around my existing commitments, and I have been listening to readings on walks in the evening and at weekends.

Along the way, I have set up a summary page about the work I am doing, and as my first pro-bono clients start coming on board, I have started to share coaching information and resources .

Adopting a new mindset

One of the things I have found the most interesting so far, is adopting a new mindset – a mindset that is focused very much on whomever I am working with. It’s fascinating to focus on not knowing the answers, but to be curious about what we might discover together.

Curiosity is something I value highly and it’s an element of coaching that I find suits me very well. I like asking questions, and I always try to keep an open mind about what might be at the end of a thought process or a conversation, and the coach training helps me develop a new way of doing that.

Initially I was expecting it to be challenging not to give advice or offer answers because that is often what my work requires of me day to day. But I haven’t found it to be a problem at all, quite the reverse. Focusing on my clients priorities has helped me adopt a new, a coaching mindset.

Walking and coaching (literally)

One idea I have had that is inspired by my previous experiences of walking line management meetings is to offer established clients I work with sessions that enable us to walk and talk. Here is what I have in mind:

Walk with your coach

Sometimes a video call is not the best environment to get us thinking, so for established clients I offer coaching sessions whilst we walk. Usually, this would be coaching via a phone call, but if you are based locally, we could also meet in person. Walking coaching sessions are particularly suited to think together about difficult situations or to reflect on a particular problem or idea.