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A milestone moment on my coaching journey

This month I am celebrating a big milestone moment on my coaching journey. After two years of training and 100+ hours of coaching with over 20 clients I am set to formally complete the ACC credential of the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Thanks to Katie Linder’s Higher Ed Coach Training, I have now completed all mandatory training to become an ICF Associate Certified Coach. Completing the training and gaining the requisite experience in formal coaching hours means that my clients can be confident that my coaching adheres to the ethical and professional standards of the the International Coaching Federation. And, to help with clarity, the International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership”.

Before I started the coaching training process I already had experience in mentoring and coaching on an informal basis, and I continue to be active in mentoring, for example as part of the 1MM programme for young adults, but the training process really helped me understand the professional dimension of coaching as a practice.

Learning a new skill and developing in an emerging professional practice was a challenge. The training programme I chose to join is US-based, and thus a lot of my training happened in the evenings especially at weekends, and for months at a time, every Saturday or Sunday evening would be spent together with a cohort of inspiring new coaches with whom I built great relationships. Katie’s approach to coach training provided just the right mix of support, aspiration and stretch goals and I especially appreciated the focus on coaching in Higher Ed.

Being new at something was a valuable experience for me. When you are practicing coaching, making mistakes and reflecting on your practice together you are in a vulnerable position and it took quite some time for me to develop confidence in my own judgement when it comes to coaching.

What I love about coaching is that moment when it opens up a new insight or leads to a decision or an action. Sometimes it takes a long time to get to a moment like this, and being part of that journey is a privilege. No matter how long or short a coaching engagement, I always feel that the journey is rewarding.

Initially I was focused on using coaching approaches within an executive role, and at the moment I use coaching in most of the work I do in different ways. It’s a valuable skills to have in all sorts of contexts, and it makes me better at being in a leadership role.

I coach individuals and teams, within Higher Ed and outside of education, and I am on a journey to finding my niche, which in coaching terms means that you are trying to find what or who is the best fit for a coaching relationship, a match where it feels easy and productive and where you can make the biggest difference. Thus gaining experience coaching in different contexts and with a range of clients is especially valuable to me at this stage, as I am trying to learn about where my strengths as a coach lie.

Coaching is a fantastic tool that I hope more people, particularly those of us who are juggling a lot whilst also achieving a lot, will make use of. That’s why I’ll continue to offer 10% of my coaching sessions on a pro bono basis.

I am very grateful to all of my teachers, training colleagues, fellow coaches and most of all my clients for an amazing two years of developing as a coach. Thank you!

Here’s to the next hundred hours of coaching together!

Thank you

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