Let’s Hear from Tendo ~ What is Coaching? What’s its Value in Your Life and Career?
I have often been asked to explain what coaching is and its value. Today I thought it best to respond through the voice of one of my Coachees, Tendo (pseudonym). She has so generously agreed for us to share her experience with coaching and the impact it has had in her life and career.
🌟 What is coaching? How would you explain it to someone else?
Tendo: Coaching for me, has been like having a professional companion while I continuously work on discovering my identity (ies) in my quest to become the best version of myself. The Coach has been many things to me; a guide for when I go off-track on my goals, a mirror through which I am forced to look at myself authentically, a safe place for me to dream big and also to face my biggest fears while exploring ways to turn them into opportunities for growth.
🌟 What is the value of coaching OR working with a coach?
Tendo: Working with a coach has helped me to harness my hidden potential. The process is like a mirror through which I can see and access the progress I am making in all life areas. Through this practice I am getting more clarity on the key areas of my life. I have also been able to explore my multiple identities that are a product of my career, gender, values, beliefs, my place of birth and residence. Before I started this coaching journey, the focus of my identity was tied to my job and I worked very hard to be the best in my game. Sadly during that time, my other life areas like my spirituality, physical and mental health wellness became casualties of my career success. However, now that I am working with a Coach I have been able to strike a balance between my professional and my personal life.
It’s also always good to know you have someone to support your life journey. A Coach is there to cheer you when you are doing well and there for you in moments when you doubt yourself. I have found it be very helpful to have someone who believes in me especially in your darkest moments.
I must add that coaching has also helped me to get rid of some self-limiting beliefs about what success looks like. I grew up in a patriarchial and conservative society where being a strong woman was glorified and also a badge of honour. As a young women building her career and life far away from home, I thought I was expected to handle whatever was thrown at me, and you don’t just leave or give up. As a result of this I stayed for a long time in relationships (both professional and personal) that were toxic for me. Now I appreciate the value of knowing that I do not need to prove to anyone that I am strong and that it is ok to ask for help if I am struggling with something. This realisation led me to leave an abusive work place last year, despite the financial security it offered. I have also left had the courage to leave unhealthy relationships, and value myself.
🌟 Why and When would someone seek coaching and on what?
Tendo: “Usually a person seeks a Coach because they feel stuck in their life or with their career and they want someone to help them get unstuck. In my case, the way my career was moving was not in my control. The shifts I went through were determined by my senior management who defined the opportunities I could access. This is where it becomes important to have a career coach as they can help you to navigate the shifts to your advantage. A Coach will help you define your path so that even if at work you are moved to another area of work, you are still able to explore ways of aligning the shift to your advantage. In essence it gives you control of the process and in the coaching space you are co-creating solutions with the Coach.
🌟 When should someone seek coaching support?
Tendo: Career development as it’s something we don’t learn that much about in school in this part of the world (Africa). There is usually no support at work for personal development and the world of work is changing, so you need a career coach to constantly nudge you to find out things like trends to refine your career plan. Also, life at times is tough, if we go back to the 8 life wellbeing areas, there are certain things from our past that are family related that influence how we show up in the world. Having a Coach becomes a safe space to address self-limiting beliefs that emanate from our past that if not addressed can potentially ruin our careers and relationships.
There is also something I read a lot about and had to work on with the Coach, imposter syndrome, especially among women and this can ruin your Career. You just feel like you are not good enough and working with a Coach can help you deal with that. Some successful women I know also say they constantly must work with a Coach on it. Its about reminding yourself that you are good enough and worth of everything good coming your way is the goal.
🌟 How does the Coach work with you? What is the process?
Tendo: The coaching process gives you structure. I did eight sessions online via phone calls and WhatsApp, once a month for one hour. She used a lot of tools and asked me a lot of questions in each session to help me think more or find my own solution. I wanted a Life Plan and I was helped to develop a vision, life purpose and a big 5 year plan that we broke down to a quarterly and monthly plans. And weekly I take actions and review to capture lessons, progress and plan again. Instead of just having a plan in your book you can see the movement each week.
There is also accountability, so you can act knowing you can’t make excuses. It makes the journey lighter and easier. It’s a safe space. I can dream as big and as wild as I want with no judgements. The process allows you to face your fear but it doesn’t end there but you look for opportunities in those fears. E.g. I don’t have a full time job but it’s not the end of my life. My coach has helped me to look at opportunities of what I can do to advance my life and career while I look for a permanent job.
🌟 How have you used the self-coaching guides provided by the Coach to coach yourself (self-coaching)?
Tendo: Yes I have. Since I started working with a Coach, I have made progress in dealing with some limiting beliefs and negative self-talk that for a long time trapped me into getting stuck in what I thought was my comfort zone. I remember a few years ago attempting to apply for a scholarship for postgrad studies and I initially got rejected. Instead of giving up I continued applying until I finally got the scholarship.
The words from my Coach that have stayed with me are: “Don’t give up after one attempt. Try more times and give it your best. So that when you do stop and try another path, your self-credibility will be high because you didn’t give up easily.” Recently I have been job hunting without much success but I have been able to apply those affirming words and some of the self-coaching tools to keep myself motivated as I work on other areas of my life. In the process I have been able to access other opportunities for income generation and career development.
🌟 Final words ~ an affirmation, a life lesson or career nugget perhaps?
You are only confined by the walls that you build around yourself. Look at me and where I came from; I didn’t have the ‘right’ surname, didn’t come from the ‘right’ suburb or went to the ‘right’ schools in my country. However, that hasn’t stopped me from seeking the best in life. I didn’t allow my origin, my schooling and country to stop me seeking opportunities that life can give. It’s not about the right background or the right schools to deserve the best in life.
Coach Ennie: I would like to thank Tendo for the courage to tell her story, the generosity to share her experiences in the hope of enlightening and inspiring others. Thank you. 🙌🏽🌻
To learn more about coaching:
Watch ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFx6yKZrzco Smith Leadership LLC, What is Coaching, 17 July 2012 Video (2m 12 sec) This is a great short video that explains through animation the differences between coaching and other helping professions. It also outlines very well the coaching process, skills a coach has and the value of coaching.
Connect ~ If you would like career coaching or life coaching services as an individual or as a group, please get in touch: 📧 email@example.com
Let’s Shake Things Up Together in 2019!!!
Career and Life Coach🔥