I just finished the first round of coaching sessions for iOwn, the social change movement through coaching. As you can read in a post I wrote before, iOwn is about coaching the change makers to improve themselves at a personal level so that they can make a bigger difference to society. And it has been a great experience coaching my clients for 6 months. The difference from where they started was palpable by the end of the sessions. In this post, I’d like to share some of my experiences how transformational coaching turned out to be for these clients.
I think one of the most important things that made this a unique experience was that its long term nature. I have worked with people for single sessions. There are eureka moments when some question really strikes a chord with them and magically reveals clarity in thought. But working with clients over a period of time is very different. I had 6 sessions to work with my clients and could get some real breakthroughs for them. Some of the benefits of working with a coach for a long term include:
– Someone to work with
– Regular feedback from the coach
– Keeps clients on track
– More progress than stand alone sessions
– Some behaviours become permanent by the end of it
– More confidence to carry on after the session are over
Like any coaching session, a long term coaching project also begins by setting a contract. It involves identifying areas the client wants to work on during the project. One of the clients started with areas like assertive skills, being a better leader and taking initiative on her list. Since coaching involves asking a lot of open ended questions, the sessions involved tapping into her own resources to see how best she could achieve her goals. The client decides what she wants to work on in each session.
And as we progressed through the sessions over phone calls, I could feel her moving towards her goals as she excitedly told me things she had gradually started applying on her job. She was unable to say no to anyone at the beginning of our sessions. She accepted requests from others and even did their work for them at the cost of her own. But by the end of the sessions, she learnt to prioritise her own work and practised to say no by giving alternatives or direct people to more relevant resources. From being unable to take initiatives, she had become the leader of a team by taking on that responsibility and was working on a plan to keep them motivated.
I think there is nothing more wonderful than to see people strive to push their boundaries and succeed. And I am glad that I have been a part of such experiences. Examples like these vouch for the power of coaching in helping people change behaviours and achieve their goals. I am already looking forward to the second phase of the my association with this NGO and iOwn.