From understanding my position to setting and achieving goals.
When I coach people I start with basics – what do they want to talk about, why is it important to them and how do they know they are there? On a recent session a coachee turned the question around – why do I coach, WIIFM? Why do I do it and what do I get in return?
When I joined my ICF journey in 2020 I had to provide the same answer. At the time I was a mid-level manager in charge of of department of 17 IT professionals and €4m annual budget. Four of them were software project managers whose decisions determined whether we delivered the products at timescale and remained in budget. All of the project managers relied on partner development teams. I felt that I needed to be less involved in technical elements, allowing enough time to focus on strategic objectives and developing my team. I felt I needed to improve my skills and knowledge on the second part – people leadership. By then I had devoured a trove of books on leadership, persuasion, NLP and strategic management. When I looked at the course curriculum I sensed that this combined with previous learning, a few mentors whose experience I could draw upon and practice would prepare me for the next role. Not knowing what it would be, I enrolled on the ICF ACC course.
The whole course is a self-discovery, learning techniques and practice. The latter is supported by the former, and both are equally important. Some people are naturally better listeners and are genuinely interested in others. Some can train these skills and some find it’s not for them.
Since then I have learned far more than I thought I would. Practicing coaching with people from various areas of life, both private and public sector has solidified learning and helped me to experience new perspectives. I would say that coaching has given me as much, if not more than my coachees who have found clarity in their problem fog. I have learned more about myself, what I want to do and where to develop. I believe that each coaching session gives something to both parties – coachee should get clarity in their issue/problem and coach improve the technique. Being better coach helps to get to solutions quicker and give coach more time to focus on everything else in their lives. And helps you get to the top faster.
Short answer? Interest in people, curiosity and empathy are the qualities I have identified in myself. I believe these are basis for a good leader who wants to achieve more, and through people. Continuous development leading to self-actualisation would be another way to say it.
What’s your goal? Do you know and have you mapped a route to it? How do you know how far you are?