I am continually astounded by the generosity of the coaching movement and was overwhelmed by the response I received in relation to the question I posed in the latest edition of this column.
To refresh your memories I asked you to tell me your thoughts and feelings towards age and whether or not it is a necessary precursor to coaching.
From the many replies I received I realised that there is of course no yes or no answer. Experience does not necessarily come with age. I have received many examples of older people who were able to learn rich lessons by talking to young coaches who gave a fresh insight into old beliefs. As the mother of young children I am continually faced with lessons and opportunities to reflect from my own childhood.
So I suppose the answer which I favour, came to me from a coach who said that I must trust my intuition. Of course this is the answer, it was within me all the time and is within each and everyone of us all the time and as long as the coach taps into this, age is irrelevant. My thanks go to Alexandra Watson, the happiness coach for this intuitive breakthrough.
I say that the generosity of the coaches whom I contacted has been a revelation to me. Firstly, because many contacted me directly via e-mail rather than the website. Therefore there was no other agenda from them apart from to give me the help I sought.
In fact, I had to ask a few to respond via the website as I wanted to encourage a debate. Secondly it is a very different experience to my own experience, and therefore my own reality, within the corporate world where ‘a sink or swim’ mentality rules.
Chuck ‘em in at the deep end, those who survive are up for the job those who don’t do not deserve a place here. This creates a culture of: ‘stress is good for you’ and even worse ‘if you don’t know blag it’ and just hope that no-one finds out.
I find myself returning to my ‘old ways’ when an opportunity arises. What I mean is that I don’t want to share it, in case someone steals my idea and is better placed or better connected to make something of it. Remember Working Girl. Albeit a caricature of business there were certainly some threads of that movie that rang true.
The coaches I have spoken to on this subject were more than willing to share information which would allow me to make a breakthrough and inevitably become a better coach. Not once was there a fear that I may be competing with them, just a feeling of mutual respect and support.
I have also had the opportunity to experience the situation of the negative belief from the other side. I rather cheekily hectored a very experienced coach to allow me to coach him. I was relentless and he eventually gave in.
If he had the same limiting belief as I may have he would probably feel the time he spent allowing me to coach him was a waste of time. However, he did not and on the two sessions we’ve had he has had a break through, even if one of them is that he now feels more enthusiastic about a particular project.
This only goes to show the power of coaching and the fact that even, and maybe especially coaches, need a coach; and if you trust the process and your intuition all can learn from the experience.
It is with this in mind that I will share with you the discussions I am in with a couple of coaches about becoming their apprentice. I want to be a great coach and to change the way people operate in their lives to make their lives richer, however it’s a big task for someone who up until a few years ago had a high rise ego, extravagant tastes funded by large expense accounts and a desire to win business at any cost.
As a novice with growing skill and intuition I am a sponge for learning and self-development which will allow me to make significant changes in others. Now, without sounding like a contestant for Miss World, I am working towards world peace. As Bhikkhu Bodhi (Buddhist monk and philosopher said) “It is only by transforming ourselves that we can transform our world in the direction of peace and amity.)
Apprentice schemes are making a come back in many industries, it is a great way for companies to recruit individuals to learn the trade and carry on the philosophies of an individual or company.
My grandfather was a printer and talks fondly of his apprenticeship days where he learnt as much about being a man as the skills required to be a printer. The Apprentice TV shows with Donald Trump and Alan Sugar teach more about attitude, dexterity of thought and chutzpah than about being a business person.
These can’t be taught! A voice inside my head says, maybe not, but the power of these inherent skills can be honed to be used at the right time in the right quantities.
Coaches are drawn to the profession by a desire to make a difference. No doubt this is why so many regularly give to charity, and also why they have a desire to ‘pass on’ their learning to others when it is asked for as I have already experienced. I really am enthused by the possibility of a becoming an apprentice and sharing my enthusiasm with more experienced minds who see the opportunity of making a permanent impression, as of course I will in time do the same.
I believe this is one way that the coaching movement can expand to fullfill the potential of all it touches. Even if world peace can’t be experienced in our life time I would settle for a better work/life balance for my clients!
Emma can be contacted at [email protected]
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