"I was fortunate that my employers offered me coaching because they wanted to support me to develop in my role and progress with the organisation. Before I started, I was expecting coaching, in part, to arm me with new techniques and practical skills to better manage complex processes and people – and to take steps towards becoming the manager I thought people expected me to be. I was also expecting a bit of space to vent and to work on my own wellbeing.
When I accepted my company’s offer of external coaching, I made a commitment to engage with it fully, and in the first session, the coaching agreement confirmed/crystalised what I already imagined would be my responsibilities.
I talked a lot in the first sessions about wanting to be more organised, more credible and to communicate more directly. These were not cemented as agreed outcomes at the time, which I soon came to appreciate. Pursuing these in such a blinkered way would have not have met our more fundamental aims, ie to grow my resilience, effectiveness, happiness and self-awareness.
There were clear actions at the end of each session, and we would check on their progress at the next session. While there was an expectation that I would do what I had committed to doing, there were times when illness or work pressures make them difficult and we needed to make adjustments. I never felt stressed, anxious or burdened by these actions.
Being in a safe and comfortable environment, with a coach who demonstrated the utmost professionalism gave me confidence to speak openly. There were times when I would take the conversation to unplanned places, but I felt I always had the time, space and permission to do this. Nicki would organically weave any new insights found on these tangents back into the central thread of our session.
If you ask me what my greatest learning has been, and what I’m doing differently now, the first thing is that I am a lot more forgiving of myself these days. I allow others to be accountable for their own actions, rather than trying to protect people as much. I recognise my own qualities and harness them more effectively. I bring much more of my authentic self to my job.
I also listen to my gut and my heart more now. I find myself needing to weather the storm less, now that I can spot dark clouds earlier.
I need to embed a habit of creating and defending time and space for myself at work, to work in peace when needed and to reflect. I am communicating the need for this to colleagues honestly and without guilt.
I have recommended Nicki to a colleague already, but with the caveat that no coach has a magic wand. Coaching is a partnership. I threw myself into each session, did my homework and trusted Nicki to do the clever stuff. I got back twice what I put in.”
A MASSIVE thank you to my client (you know who you are!) for agreeing to share their experience.
This is one of a series of articles by Nicki Eyre about coaching. Nicki Eyre is a Transformational and mBIT Certified Coach offering coaching programmes for businesses and individuals, helping to increase self awareness and emotional resilience. She also supports people struggling to cope with bullying in the workplace, or to move on after such an experience. Contact Nicki for a confidential discussion about coaching: