When someone asks me what made me decide to get into coaching, I start by saying how I had a wonderful career in association management and I have no regrets on that front. I am a Certified Association Executive (CAE) who had a long, successful career in the association field, most recently as a senior level executive in healthcare, and often with a focus on publishing. I have experience running a business and I have had numerous, varied experiences as an association executive. I had so many amazing opportunities and worked with great people. I also dealt with the ever-growing demands and stresses of today’s workplace. I could have continued on this way for my remaining work years.
Despite the deep satisfaction from my career in association publishing, another type of work has always pulled at me. Years ago, before my association publishing career really took off, I completed a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling. I loved the coursework and practicum experiences. But because I was enjoying association publishing work, I stayed the course. I noticed that coaching staff members was my favorite thing to do on the job. When I decided to get formal coach training a few years ago, some of my closest friends teased me that I was getting training for something I’ve been doing reflexively for 30 years!
I recognize I am someone who loves to encourage people and help people. I’ve been a mentor to a number of people, formally and informally. Coaching is in my DNA!
How I prepared to become a full-time coach: So I gave into the pull of those feelings and completed a rigorous coaching training and certification process, which propelled my career in a new direction. I’m now a certified coach, trained by the very reputable Coaches Training Institute (CTI). The 100 hours of face-to-face coach training were remarkably fun and life changing! The next phase to certification involved 100 hours of paid coaching hours, a weekly 90-minute class, supervision by experienced coaches, a written exam and an oral exam where I had to coach master coaches as other master coaches listened, evaluated, and graded me.
This excellent training featuring CTI’s state-of-the-art coaching model, tools and techniques, coupled with my extensive work experience, help me feel very well equipped to coach people. I’m also certified in a powerful 360 assessment tool and can help people understand how they are perceived in the workplace by their colleagues at various levels in the organization, and change by closing any gaps between who they are and who they want to be.
What I do as a coach: Each person and situation is different, of course, and I tailor my approach and tools accordingly. As a coach, I hold a trusting space for clients to talk with me in a confidential setting. I listen; we brainstorm; we explore different perspectives. I work with clients to get them unstuck and moving again. I help quiet down the inner critic voice we all have inside our heads and bring up the volume on the wise part, our inner compass we all possess. I help tap into the client’s inner resources. The benefits my clients experience and have articulated are more confidence, better decision-making, improved communication skills, more satisfying relationships, and overall enhanced leadership presence. My clients tell me they feel more centered, more decisive, happier and more engaged in their jobs–and their lives.
Watching and experiencing people transform is exciting. I love hearing my clients tell me they feel better. They call me and report that they are feeling surer of themselves, and things are going better at work. The boss is happier, the client is happier and all of this good feedback lifts me up. We sometimes work through some not-so-happy feelings to get to the happy place. For example, fear is a very common feeling in coach work so we spend time exploring the fear the client is feeling, understanding it, getting new perspectives on it, and ultimately letting go of it.
People are overwhelmed in today’s hectic workplace and it’s so satisfying to experience the change as people become less stressed and anxious, gain capacity, and return to enjoying their jobs again. My clients become more engaged and what a thrilling outcome that is for me!
Rewards/Freedom/flexibility: This career change has resulted in big shifts in my work life. I get to decide how I will spend my time. I can select the clients I will work with, how and when. I spend most of my time coaching, and less time on administrative work and meetings. My days are varied and I continue learning so much.
When Dan Doody, a trusted colleague from my association publishing world, decided to expand his consulting practice into professional development, it was easy to say yes to joining Doody Consulting as a Principal. I have always enjoyed working with Dan.
And it’s an honor to work with my clients. They teach me so much. I’m proud of them and the effort and courage it takes to work to achieve their goals. Their positive feedback is highly motivating to me.
My new life as a coach is more aligned with my values and who I am. I feel I have the opportunity to make a greater impact now, more than ever before in my career. I’m so glad I finally listened to my calling!
Every new coaching assignment starts with a conversation. So let’s start talking.