I joined this course with an intention to become a coach, yet I didn’t know what being a coach really meant, and I didn’t know that I don’t know! Today, after just 16 hours of training, I feel that the concept is more precise, and things are starting to make sense. I am excited to take this journey and willing to use every opportunity to develop and learn.
The main things that I have learned so far have to do with people and relationships. I was able to see that, though coaching concepts can be taught, one must have people skills to be able to succeed as a coach. The fact that coaching is about partnering with the coachee was an eye-opener to me, simply because I was not aware that it is possible to provide tools for people to reach a goal without guiding them or helping them. This makes coaching a unique and challenging experience for both the coach and the client, who is expected to put their heart and soul into the process to reach their goal. To digest the idea easily, I have imagined a relatable scenario that can justify why people would seek to be coached.
I see it as hiring a friend who really cares and shows a great deal of interest in what means to me, at the point, I am not expecting my friend to be an expert in my problem or goal. However, I would hope that he/she is all ears for me. In a way, most of us have been partly a coach or somewhat coached at some point in their lives without knowing it. I have also learned that active listening is an art that requires discipline, and I have reached this conclusion after doing various activities with the group members who had a lot of valuable experiences/values to share. It was my task to convert my listening skills to active listening with them.
Only after I have listened actively, I was able to make myself available as a tool of coaching. The differences among people is a concern for me because it is almost impossible that one coaching style fits all, or that what works for one works for the other. However, I have learned that every client brings a lot of value to the coach by being a source of knowledge and that the different situations translate to more experience and wisdom.
The CTA coaches’ values were just theory on the first day, but after having my first coaching experience, I could understand how these values need to be followed strictly for the coaching session to succeed. Knowing what coaching is not, was a brilliant way to learn what coaching is, because I had that confusion before I came to know the differences. Knowing that coaching has ground rules that need to be followed was new to me, especially that I had the idea that coaching is a creative process. But now I understand that the coaching style must be creative, but the process must be followed, considering all elements and ethical obligations. During my peer activities, I evaluated my learning by asking them questions that I thought represented what I have learned. However, this made my task more challenging because I was trying to achieve multiple goals at once, being an active listener, following coaching processes, and being genuine in showing interest in building trust and intimacy. I believe these challenges will fade with time as I climb the ladder of conscious competence.
I am eager to learn more, and I am anxious to utilize this knowledge and apply it in my day to day life, in my career, and in my social relationships. To start with my day-to-day life, I plan to be more receptive, less judgmental, and curious to learn. In my career, I want to start coaching people by applying what I have learned. This would be a great contribution to my organization, especially since we do not currently have this role, and I hope they will be open to help me apply my knowledge.
In my relationships, I will be asking people who trust me first to become my coachees, as I believe it is the safest environment to start with. I will eventually reach out to the rest of my network once I am in a better position as a coach. However, aside from being a coach in coaching sessions, I can apply this knowledge to improve my people skills in general. I feel that I have been exposed to is the number of keys that help me learn how to open doors with people. Being surrounded by people with diverse backgrounds is giving me a live example of the clients I will be coaching in the future; thus, I will be able to go back and relate to behaviors and be more relatable to my client. I will consider my clients’ learning styles and try my best to be relevant to them. I will continuously develop my knowledge and utilize it in the best way possible.
In fact, I can sense the changes happen to me already as I interact with people by asking them more meaningful questions and giving them a big space to speak and let out. Which I feel they appreciate and have reacted positively to. I think that if I practice the coaching principles outside of coaching sessions, it will help make it more intuitive to me and less of a set of rules to follow. I will always seek feedback, whether directly or indirectly, and accept it with an open heart.
I believe it has been a very intense experience that touched upon my emotions, cognition, and self in general. I feel the need to have coaches around, and I now appreciate this job more knowing how tough it is to get it through and the effort needed for someone to be a successful coach. I wonder if the 10 days are enough to make me ready, because I feel there is a lot to digest and the tackled area is susceptible, especially in life coaching. However, I am confident that I am taking the most suitable route to become a coach. To wrap up, I am glad I have chosen this training program. I am happy to be among an incredible team that I can learn a lot from, and I appreciate the mentors’ efforts to facilitate the learning process in the simplest form possible.